In 1931, Nellie Shaw Edgar, Lettie Bullock, and Lila Cooper came together to form Morrisville First Baptist Church, later renamed Hatcher Grove Missionary Baptist Church. The church was originally housed in the school house in Morrisville and services consisted of Sunday School, prayer meetings and worship through songs and offerings. Eugene Mason(Uncle Genie) joined a few months later and discussions were initiated to seek a pastor for the church.
In the late summer of 1931 Rev. Arthur Jones of Raleigh NC was called as the first pastor of the church. Rev. Jones traveled by train each first Sunday to preach to the congregation. In the spring of 1932 a deacon board was formed with Eugene Mason being appointed the first deacon. As the spiritual growth of the church progressed, persecution began at the hands of a few whites in the community. Railroad crossties were placed across the road to prevent entering the church, windows were broken, rocks were thrown and name calling. Rev. Jones, shaken by the events, resigned in late 1932. After Rev. Jones resigned, ministers would preach to the congregation but it was difficult to find a new pastor because of the persecution. The church struggled on for eight years without a pastor but kept the faith.
The church continued to grow during the tenure of pastors Rev. Harry J. McGill (1940 to 1950), Rev. P. H. Amey (1951 to 1962), Rev. Moses Hardy (1963 - 1969), Rev. Robert L. Fuller (1969 to 1987), and Rev. John Baker (1987 to 1994). During this period Deacon Cooper prayerfully went to Mr. T. E. Hatcher with a request for land to build a new sanctuary without the knowledge of the pastor and congregation. God had opened a door and Mr. Hatcher was receptive. A subsequent meeting with Mr. Hatcher, Pastor McGill and the deacons changed the lives of the church forever as Mr. Hatcher donated 1.45 acres of land. The name of the church was changed to Hatcher Grove Missionary Baptist church in honor of the Hatcher family.
The congregation worked diligently to realize the dream of a new edifice for worship. Help by the Shiloh Baptist Church and the New Home and Durham Missionary Baptist Association in the form of a musical on the fourth Sunday of April in 1951 raised one thousand dollars toward the building fund. On the first Sunday in July 1951 the church held its official ceremony in the new edifice. During the next forty years the church continued to work faithfully and many deacons and ministers were called; choirs were formed; Sunday School classes and other auxiliaries were organized to spread the gospel. On August 20, 1989, the first women Deacons of the church were ordained; Ruth Grimsley and Willie Mae Sanders. July 1, 1991 was yet another milestone as the church completed an expansion and entered it's current sanctuary.
On Sunday July 7, 1996 Rev. Kenneth Pugh was installed as pastor. Work began to focus the congregation on teaching and serving. The Christian Education department was formed to include Sunday School classes for all age groups. The AWANA Club was chartered to minister to youth and children on Wednesday nights. Review and update of the teaching curriculum was completed and core competencies identified. Computers were purchased to build a computer lab. Computer skills and training were incorporated into the curriculum. Stewardship programs for the church were implemented to include a plan to retire the church mortgage within three years, paving of the parking lot, and clearing the campus of trees. The church was incorporated in nineteen ninety-seven and an executive board was formed.
A vision for a Christian School was received in 1998 and the church immediately began seeking God's direction, which led to more land from the Hatcher heirs being donated. In January 1999 the church determined to move ahead with plans for building the school and Kevin Lauenstein was hired as the administrator for the project in June. The school was incorporated as Hatcher Grove Christian Academy & Learning Centers, Inc. and groundbreaking services were held in July of 2000 and construction began on a 15,000 sq ft building. The facilities included six classrooms, a teacher's lounge, media center, kitchen and multi-purpose area for seating of up to 400. As the school began to take shape Pastor Pugh received another vision from God to form a non-profit corporation that would seek grant funding for community based services. The corporation was named Remnant Outreach Centers of Kindness, Inc. - ROCK for short. ROCK began operating summer camps, tutoring, mentoring and drug awareness programs with an initial grant of $7,500 in November 2000.
As the Lord increased the work the church prayed for laborers and two ministers were called in 1999 - Celestra McArthur and Ted McMickle. Ministry has continued to grow with the addition of Greeters, Sacred Dance, Praise Team, Monday night prayer meetings and missionary service was expanded to include a street evangelism team fondly called the God Squad. Foreign mission work was initiated in Haiti with plans to assist in building a church there. Men's and women's fellowships were started for the development and strengthening of the membership with each committing to quarterly fellowships and participation in conferences each year. Media ministry to include video tapes of worship services that are distributed to the sick and shut-in, quarterly newsletters, web site and computer skills training. The Lord continues to grow the vision for Hatcher Grove and the church is currently seeking and praying for an additional eight acres. The additional land will be used to expand the school to include middle and high schools and a new sanctuary. The vision for the church is being fulfilled. To God be the Glory!
We Envision a Church Where:
Christ is the focus.
Pastor Kenneth Pugh has
served as pastor since the summer of 1996 and shepherds along with
his wife, Revella. They have two children and reside in Raleigh.