HISTORY OF GOOD HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
The Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church came in to being under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. During the days that Jesus was here on earth, He established the Church. After listening to the statement made by Peter, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
It was 1885 when a band of Christians felt the need for a place to worship. With this idea in mind, they asked for and received permission from the late Mr. Irvin Johnson to have Sunday School in his black smith’s shop.
While meeting in the black smith’s shop, this band of Christians held a revival service and later they were organized in to a Baptist Church. After being organized and feeling the need for a place of their own, they built a bush arbor on the late Mr. Jim Allred’s place. At this time, there were six members and a pastor. The pastor’s name was Brother Wright. Some of the members were as follows: Brother and Sister Nola Watt and Brother and Sister Oss Morgan. These first pioneers are now resting from their labor.
Soon as the members could, they built a small one-room building with wooden shutters for windows. It probably was very crude in looks but this was the place that they had build for the praise of God. This was for them a fortress from the wind and cold and house of God.
During these days, the church house was the center of community life. Therefore, several special services were held. Some times, all-day services were held with dinner being served. The small building burned after worship services were there for many years. This small determined band of Christians didn’t let this stop their services. Their worship was held in a log house located in the vicinity of what is now known as “Cross Road Apartments”.
Some ministers that led the Church in those early days were: Rev. Bonie Wright, Rev. Griffin and Rev. Turpin (Rev. Turpin was the grandfather of Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr.). In 1920, Rev. Derry L. Fleming was called as pastor of the church which consisted of about 34 members. Worship services were held once per month, with strong support from such deacons as Dea. Slay Watt, Dea. George Stokes and Dea. Albert Kimber, Dea. David Flakes, Dea. George Davis, and Dea. Roscoe Robinson. These pioneers also are now resting from their labor.
During these early days, the present sanctuary burned. When enough money had been raised, the church purchased an acre of land on August 8, 1921 from the late Mr. Sam Meadows, home of the present site of the church. A larger sanctuary was build – bigger than the one that burned.
A new road was cut by the church that caused the Church to be turned around. With Rev. Fleming’s carpenter experience and the help of the members, the Church was made to face the new road. Along with the new face came a pastor’s study, storage room, choir loft, a new roof, electric lights, and painting was done inside and outside. Rev. Fleming saw the need at this time to organize a Missionary Society, with the late Mrs. Sally Allen as president and an Usher Board with the late Mr. David Flakes as president. A piano and light fixtures were also purchased for the church at this time.
The Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church also had a school known as the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church School. The school was located next to the church, on the east side, sitting where the parking area is currently located. The school consisted of two floors. The lower floor housed grades 1 – 3 and the upper level housed grades 4 – 6. The late Sis. Susie Sledge Allen was the teacher for grades 1 – 3 and the late Sis. Carrie Scott was the principal and also served as the teacher for grades 4 – 6.
On July 6, 1950, another tract of land was bought to be used for a cemetery. Shorty after 1950, the membership had grown to 151. In 1958, another Missionary Society was organized with the Mrs. Carrie Thomas as president. This made a total of three circles, meeting in various homes and uniting on the First Sundays for a General Mission Program. Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr., was our first Mission Speaker.
In 1958, Rev. Fleming was called to rest after 38 years of loyal service. We pause to salute the pioneers of the effort, who without a doubt, put God in front and in spite of small financial gain were able to hold on, carry on, and push forward to here.
During the latter months of the year of 1958, the late Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr. came to Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, as he was, “A boy from Pumpkin Bottom”. He was a young man on fire for God, preaching from the depths of his heart. As a young boy, he would come to Good Hope with his father, the late Rev. J. H. Flakes, Sr., who was a member of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church and preached every year at the Sunday School picnic. Rev. Flakes, Jr. was known as the annual picnic preacher.
After Rev. Flakes had been preaching at Good Hope for a few months, some members of the congregation were leaning towards calling him as pastor. However, some of the older deacons and members were’nt sure of his ability to lead or pastor a church. They said that “he is just too young” and they felt that they should have an older man for the job of pastoring. It was some time during this controversy between the deacons, the chairman of the deacons board, the late Dea. George Taylor, Sr., spoke out, and said, “I want that boy”. “I can see something good in him and I will pray and do everything in my power to get him here”. After much prayer and controversy, the Holy Spirit moved in the congregation and Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr., became the new shepherd of a growing flock in January 1959. Oh what a wonderful union of 53 years was shared with the Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr. Pastor Flakes was like an ever ready battery. A small piece of leather but well put together.
At the time Rev. Flakes was called as pastor, there was only $5 in the church treasure. His motto was “God can take so little and do so much if you put your trust in Him” were the beliefs of the Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr. The new shepherd came in to a once per month worshiping schedule which was changed as the need was spotted for a little reorganization. The subject of one of his initial sermons was “Don’t Do Wrong”. The Good Hope Church Family had no idea that the young boy, Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr., would one day serve as pastor of Good Hope.
On January 11, 1959, the First Sunday was proclaimed a Service Sunday. Other improvements were the organizations of a sick and advertising committee. On November 12, 1959, the B.T.U. was organized. Also, on December 19, 1959 the decision was made to take care of all Church business in a monthly conference. In 1960, all annual days for the Church program were organized with the First Men’s Day held January 17, 1960.
Under Rev. Flakes’ administration, the membership continued to grow. Some improvements during this time was the purchase of a new piano, the hiring of a musician, the purchasing of 50 hymnals, new pulpit furniture and furniture for the pastor’s study. A bus was purchased for transportation of member to and from services. With the lack of care for the bus, this service was discontinued.
On the third Sunday in February, 1960, Rev. Flakes was installed as pastor of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Other events to occur in 1960 were the organizing of the Garden Club, the resigning of the Church Secretary, the late Mrs. Lula Moffett, and the electing of the Miss Mary Jean Robinson as acting secretary. The late Miss Mae Frances Floyd was elected as secretary. Another board was organized, “The Willing Workers Club” with the late Mrs. Carrie Riley as president, the late Mrs. Rosie B. Taylor as secretary and Miss Frances McCory as treasurer.
In 1961, progress was made by organizing a Bible Study and Junior Deacons Board. On December 16, 1961, a change was made in the time of worship hour from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.
On March 14, 1962, the Church was incorporated. A Trustee Board was organized with the following people serving as trustees: Mr. Audrey Davis, Mr. Farris O’Neal and the late Mr. Willie Pate Heard. Also, the there was a Matrons’ Circle organized. Officials of the Matrons’ Circle were Mrs. Almutha Heard, Counselor and Mrs. Virginia Jackson as President. A Calendar Club was organized during this time also. There were also three missionary Circles meeting in the homes of members. They combined on the first Sundays for a general mission program.
On November 16, 1962, the Ushers’ Board paid the church’s only indebtness off, which was the piano. The treasure of the Ushers’ Board was combined with Church’s treasure. In 1963, 50 folding chairs were purchased. On August 14, 1963, a pump was purchased and a pump house was built. On April 17, 1971, the Pastor’s Aid Club was organized for the purpose of rendering assistance to the pastor. In the meantime, 50 more hymnals were purchased. And Sis. Mary Smith was hired as pianist for the choir.
After eight years of hard work, the Church has secured enough money to buy the materials for the long awaited and much needed church house. Plans for the new church were drawn by architects Hogencamp and Johnston. The building was built by interested friends and members. Ministers who were brick masons donated their time to the building of this church. Rev. Rudolph Allen, the late Rev. Charles Jackson, the late Rev. John Parkman, the late Rev. Curtis Walker and other brick masons worked along the ministers each Saturday and were paid by the hour. Also, the Rev. F. C. Lofton, along with the men of the church, worked in keeping the brick masons supplied with materials. Members of other church pitched in to help from time-to-time. Mr. Fred Hodo was the chief carpenter. After two years of hard, the present building was completed. IT IS NO SECRET WHAT GOD CAN DO.
The most recent organizations during this time were the Junior Choir and the Junior Usher Board. In 1975, another bus was purchased for the church. In June 1978, 16 acres of land was purchased for the MEMORY GARDEN CEMETERY. One tract of this land was paid off, paving the way for this development. Meanwhile, in August 1978, the Church mortgage was paid off, along with the indebtness of the bus. In 1878, a newsletter staff was organized by the pastor.
The staff consisted of Evone Taylor, Chairperson; Sis. Frankie C. Phillips and Bro. Carl Heard. The newsletter, named “THE ENUNCIATOR was published monthly as a religious, informative newsletter. “THE ENUNCIATOR” was provided free to its readers.
The Sunbeam was organized with Valeska Brown, President; Miranda Phillips, Secretary and Frankie Phillips, Carolyn Baldwin, Linda Peabody and Annie Pearl Phillips serving as counselors. In November 1979, a male chorus was organized with Dea. Farris O’Neal as President and the late Bro. Wilbur Menefee as pianist. Worship services were held each Sunday with Rev. Edward Dewayne Hood preaching on 2nd Sundays and Rev. Johnny Taylor preaching on the 4th Sundays. In January 1980, Pastor Flakes decided t allot the 3rd Saturdays of each month to Good Hope from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Pastor Flakes is here to meet with different auxiliaries of the Church.
In the Fall of 1980, Good Hope began renting a house in the McBride Community known as THE COMMUNITY HOUSE with Sis. Almurtha Heard serving as Chairperson. Sunday School, youth meetings, mission, prayer meetings and other activities were held weekly at the Community House. Later, the Trustee Board was reorganized with Dea. Amos C. Brown serving as Chairperson. Other serving were Dea. Farris O’Neal, the late Dea. Willie Pate Heard, Dea. William Baker, Sis. Virginia, Sis. Annie Pearl Phillips and Dea. Milton Taylor. In the summer of 1981, air conditioning was installed. The matrons were reorganized in 1982 with Sis. Barbara Loud serving as President and the late Sis. Gladys Harris as Vice-President; Sis. Emma Thomas as secretary; Sis. Eloise Baker as Assistant Secretary and Sis. Linda Peabody as Treasurer. Counselors were Sis. Virginia Williams and the late Sis. Mary France Williams Brown.
In the Spring of 1983, the COMMUNITY HOUSE CANTEEN was opened on a daily basis with members volunteering their time and service. These members were Sis. Almurtha Heard, Sis. Evone Taylor, Sis. Laura Heard and Sis. Annie Pearl Phillips.
On May 6, 1984, a Radio Ministry began entitled “THE GOOD HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH HOUR”, broadcasting over WOKS 1340 AM Radio each first and third Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Centennial Church Anniversary was celebrated in November 1985 with Sis. Linda Peabody serving as Chair.
During the year of 1985, the church purchased a freezer. In 1987, new windows were installed; the parking lot was paved and a marquee was installed in front of the church. In 1988, under the presidency of Sis. Sarah Heard, new robes were purchased for the choir. Gutters were added to outside of the Church. Also, the church was painted both inside and out. New tile was installed in both bathrooms, hallways and the choir room; wood siding was replaced by bricks on the outside of the Church and organ was purchased. On May 9, 1988, a new conventional stove was purchased for the Community House. A computer was purchased in August of 1988 and a Stewardship Loyalty Committee was organized.
In June 1988, Rev. Kenneth Evans replaced Rev. George Cofield preaching each 4th Sunday. In January 1989, we began holding satellite Sunday School at the Community House. Also, in January 1989, the Community House was reorganized under Sis. Evone Taylor and was opened each Friday night and Saturday with hotdogs and fish for sale and games for everyone.
Sis. Fannie Dixon Caldwell was hired as organist in February 1989. After she resigned, the late Mrs. Eva Williams was hired. In January 1992, Bro. Larry Gidron was hired as Choir Director. About a year later, Bro. Gidron resigned.
On August 5, 1992, a van was purchased for the Church. In January, 1995, Rev. Johnny Flakes, III was elected as co-pastor of Good Hope Baptist Church. Also, during the years of 1996 – 1997, an Evangelism Class was held at the Community House with classes taught by Sis. Evone Taylor and the late Sis. Mary F. Wms. Brown. On July 21, 1996, after 27 years of loyal service, Mrs. Mary Smith resigned as musician. In September, 1996, Bro. Earl Jordan was hired as musician for the choir. Bro. Jordan resigned in January, 1998. In April, 1997, Bro. Cedric J. Brown began playing bass guitar for the choir. On February 1, 1998, Sis. Fannie Dixon was again hired as musician for the choir and did a tremendous job with the junior, senior and male choirs. In 1999, Bro. Steve Jackson was hired as drummer for the choir. Choir rehearsals were held on a weekly basis.
In 1998, the Church Newsletter was reinstituted and distributed under the title LINE OF COMMUNICATION which was published on a quarterly basis.
On August 15, 1999, in observance of Church Anniversary, Bro. Moses Phillips, Jr., and Dea. Amos C. Brown donated 100 hymnals to the church.
Sis. Fannie Dixon Caldwell resigned as musician and Bro. Steve Jackson resigned as drummer. Since their resignations, the following individuals have provided music as pianist: Bro. Chappel Williams, Bro. Joseph Haynes, Rev. Craig King, Bro. Michael Jackson and Bro. Randy Duncan; Sis. Lawanda Robinson as drummer and Bro. Cedrick Brown as guitarist.
In 2001, the church was renovated.
On Sunday, July 28, 2002, Good Hope’s Co-pastor, Rev. Johnny Flakes, III resigned his position to accept the position of full-time pastor at Little Mt. Gilead Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2003, the church purchased a new copier.
In 2006, the land purchased for the new memory garden cemetery was named “Charnel Garden of Rest” with a committee working to develop the cemetery for burial spaces.
In 2008, iron rails were installed around the air conditioning units and another church van was purchased.
In 2010, the church started the process to computerized financial and membership records and purchased a site license for computer software, ACS Technologies OnDemand. Also, In 2010, Bro. Lamar Phillips resigned as janitor and Dea. David Heard was hired as janitor.
The year 2011 was “A New Beginning” for Good Hope with a new order of worship format and time. The church worship service was changed from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. each Sunday with Church School remaining the same at 11:00 a.m. Also, in 2011 Bro. Moses Phillips and Dea. David Heard purchased iron rails that were installed at the front entrance and back entrance of the building to aid members and visitors when entering and exiting. They also installed iron rails in the choir stand to aid members and visitors when entering and exiting the choir loft.
In the year of 2012, the Good Hope Church Family continued on the milestones of service. As we pause here to count the milestones of service that has been rendered by Pastor Flakes and this Church Family, we are stronger and more courageous because of the training and fellowship exemplified and shared, it is no wonder our hearts give out a loud bead of joyfulness as our lips utter thanks to God.
After 53 long years of laboring on the battle field for the Lord; After 53 years of love and fellowship, sharing and caring; After 53 years of serving God and leading this flock of God, God called our Beloved Pastor, Rev. Dr. J. H. Flakes, Jr., home on Monday, November 12, 2012. Pastor Flakes’ Homegoing Celebration was Friday, November 16, 2013 at Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church with the Entombment at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church.
As we mourned the passing of this Great Man of God, it left a void and much pain in the Church Family. This act of God slowed the movement of the church family as we mourned, prayed, grouped and regrouped to wait and hear a Word from the Lord.
This atmosphere lasted for a brief period. Thank God for members who listened and heard the teaching and preaching of Pastor Flakes. Thank God for praying members who knew what to do and how to do it in order to keep the Church Family together. We pause here to thank God for our late pastor, Rev. Dr. J. H. Flakes, Jr. We thank God for his legacy, his teaching, preaching, disciplinary methods, sacrifices, love and support for this Church Family and all mankind. His memoriess memories will always
In January 2013, Rev. Carlos Snead was called to pastor the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church; Reginald Jasper was hired as musician. In July 2015, Rev. Carlos Snead resigned as pastor.
In August 2015, Rev. E. Merle Brown, was asked to serve as interim pastor. Rev. Brown served faithfully and assisted the church family in the process of receiving the pastor in whom God gave them.
In June 2016, Rev. KeAnthony Brooks was received as pastor of the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Under Pastor Brooks leadership, we continue the vision and plans put in place by the late Dr. J. H. Flakes, Jr. Also, in 2016, Mrs. Jessie Pearl Jackson was hired as musician and Tyler Moore as drummer. Pastor Brooks has also lead the church in purchasing a WatchFire electronic/computerized sign. In 2018, Rev. Brooks resigned as pastor. After Rev. Brooks resignation, Good Hope voted Rev. Charles Kelley in as interim pastor; Tyler Moore resigned as drummer.
In August of 2019, God gave Rev. Pryce J. Battle to Good Hope as pastor. Shortly after, in early 2020, the pandemic (COVID 19) hit , all activities were ceased – there was no in person worship, Bible study, etc. Worship service was virtual on Face Book and Bible study was by teleconference calls. Worship service was streamed live on Facebook. After about a year, in-person worship resumed along with other activities. With in-person worship resuming, some members did not return including the musician. Mr. Tracey McKinney was hired as musician. In 2022, Tracey McKinney resigned as musician. In December 2022, Mrs. Jessie Pearl Jackson returned as musician. Under the leadership of Pastor Battle, Good Hope purchased a portable baptistry pool, resurfaced the parking lot, installed energy efficient windows, replaced the wood work around the church building and purchased a sanitizing machine to sanitize the church frequently due to Covid. Also, with the purchase of media ministry equipment in 2022, the nursery room was turned in to a media ministry room with the placement of TV monitors in the sanctuary. We are live each Sunday morning on Facebook and YouTube.
Even though we were in a pandemic, God continued to bless us spiritually and financially. Gradually, more and more members are returning for in-person worship. As we entered in the year of our Lord, 2023, God continues to add to the flock…new members joining with baptism being done inside the sanctuary in the portable baptistry pool. Good Hope’s continued faith is in God to continue to lead Pastor Battle as the pastor lead the church. We can all things through Christ who strengthens us.
This is the record of the GOOD HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH. Information may be added to the record to keep it current as time deems necessary.