The Rev. W.S. Taylor organized the Mount Hebron Baptist Church in the spring of 1898. The organically membership consisted of two men and five women. The men were Virgil Davis and Cain Rhodes. The women were Mandy Davis, Lula Rhodes, Millie Davis, Katie Davis, and Maryl Davis. All of the families making up the first congregation have passed on, but many of their relatives along with many other members are carrying on in Jesus Name.
During the Pastorate of the Rev. Taylor, the membership increased to fifty. After his death, four other pastors guided the church through the early period. These pastors lead the church during many of lean years. The church did not have an excess amount of money for the convenient we have today, but during their leadership, the church was the center of consecrated religious service for the community.
The sixth pastor was Rev. W.M. Fitzgerald. Under his leadership the first Corner Stone was laid. Servicing, as deacons were, Cain Rhodes, Alex Malone, Moses Henderson, Roy Davis, Lewis Moore and Toby Davis.
Following Rev. Fitzgerald, six other pastors guided the church through the period of the early 1920’s – the early 1950’s. They were L.L. Lemons, Whiteside, J.S. McDonald, J.H. Hendrix, J.S. Sutton and O. Holiday. Again there were more lean years.
As Charles Dickens tales stated in his book “The tales of two city” “These were the best of time and these were the worst of times.” Many member’s relatives and friends had gone to war. Many things were rationed, even gasoline. The church encountered some days of conflict. But these were the best of time because there were strong community ties. Everyone knew their neighbors and helped each other. They weren’t afraid of the GOOD SAMARITAN. Even though gasoline was rationed, they walked to church and were there on time. The tried to used practice conflicts as stepping stones and building blocks instead of stumbling blocks. The leaders emphasized love and concerned for each other.
These appeared to be the worst of times, but there were also the best of times because what was missing in monetary value was made up in Christian fellowship and relationship. Others Deacons served during this period were, Emmit Davis, Ealy Malone, Sandy Lewis, Jessie Taylor, Judge Dean, Orzie Bryant, Russell Roberson, General Dabney, Clarence Malone and Turner Henderson.
In 1953, the church was torn down and rebuilt under the Pastorate of the Rev. W.G. Sheppard. The second Corner Stone was laid. In 1963, a kitchen and dining hall was added.
On April 25, 1965, Rev. O. Witherspoon began his pastorate of the church. The text of his first sermon was Psalms 8:3, “ Have you considered God?” Under his pastorate, the sanctuary and other rooms were redecorated and the church bricked. The third Corner Stone was laid. Other Deacons was added, Charles Ray Davis, Charles Henderson, Herbert Fason, Curly Malone, Artis Malone, and Frank Frazier.
In 1990, Rev. T.L. Franklin became pastor. Under his pastorate, ceil fans, pastors study air-conditioned, more lightening added to the dining hall and an organ was purchased. Other Deacons added, Joe Wright and Kenneth Henderson.
Mt. Hebron is humbly proud of the physical improvement of the church and its surroundings. But most of all the Spiritual valves the church exemplifies.
In 1993, Rev. Robert McElroy accepted the torch and under his leadership the pastor study was remodel, new carpenter, and a computer room was added to the church. David Griggs was added to the Deacon board. As fellow church members we look on one another with love and compassion, while continuing to do all that we con to promote and support the kingdom work on the earth.
Rev. Robert McElroy passed the leadership torch to Rev. Tim Kennedy who served as pastor for a short period during January 2004. The torch was then passed to Rev. Jonathon L. Preston in June 2004.
The Mt. Hebron congregation has begun to grow with the addition of several new and returning members. Church improvements include new audio system and the addition of the drums, which enhance the sounds of our outstanding choir. We remodeled the women’s restroom, updated the sanctuary, and the dining hall walls, new paint. The Youth also placed third overall in the Zion Rest District. In addition to staring the Annual Back -2- School Fair, were the church give out school supplies to the children of Terrell Independent School District that are in need. A Radio Broadcast has been added to reach home bound members and others.
In June of 2009, the leadership torch was passed to our current Pastor, General Overseer Samuel K. Hawkins, Sr. Under his leadership Mt. Hebron Baptist Church is expected to look ahead to visions for our church and church family by the words of Habakkuk 2:1-4. May God continue to bless the Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in its spiritual endeavors.
The more than 116-year history of Mount Hebron Baptist Church (MHBC) of Terrell, Texas is one of joy, strength, victory and community through the darkest and finest hours of our nation’s last century. Through every turbulent storm and tranquil calm, God has been faithful to His people, whom He always leads to triumph. His faithfulness to those on whose shoulders we now stand is a monument to His steadfast love and mercy. With this enduring and broad foundation undergirding us his people of MHBC, the strength of this fellowship lies not only behind us, but also before us. Our undeniable heaven-imparted vision beckons us to embrace the future in unity of purpose and uncompromising fervor, with Pastor Samuel K. Hawkins, Sr. at the helm.
MHBC is currently experiencing the excitement of growth. While adding numbers to our ranks is energizing, it is also the richness of diversity in our scope and reach which motivates our purpose. Our body currently consists of a variety of ministries designed to both encourage and challenge every member, from the youngest to the oldest, to embrace all that Christ has done for us and has given us, while following the leading of His Spirit in all things. Among these ministries, realizing the importance of developing every member of this body, our ministries for children and youth include a variety of activities and Christian education. Our young adult program, for example, includes “Real Talk,” a ministry that addresses real life issues and presents solutions for real life problems. With the unique challenges that face our young people today, we strive to guide them in the way they should go for a confident and sure tomorrow. Our marriage enrichment program focuses on the importance of a stable marriage and family with Christ at its center. Knowing that a stable Christ-centered family is the strength of our church body and community as a whole makes this program an integral part of MHBC ministries.
While we continue to reach heavenward in our growth and development, both spiritually and physically, we also reach outward toward those around us who are in need. As an established community of believers within a larger community, our vision is far from looking inward only. Our desire is to share with those all around us the hope we have found in Him, that so many others are seeking. It is for this reason we are engaged in various outreaches and evangelistic activities, such as providing food for approximately 30 families through our food bank ministry, with the actual need being even greater than our current limitations. MHBC also provides clothing to our senior members and friends in these challenging times, as well as many other activities. To responsibly increase the effectiveness of our efforts in other areas of our community, we are partnering with local specialized ministries that are meeting needs that require a wider effort, such as “Ashes to Beauty” and “Granny’s Place.” These ministries provide material help, as well as spiritual guidance to young women and unwed mothers who otherwise have nowhere else to turn in their time of need. We also set our gaze beyond ourselves and our community, seeking to make a difference in the lives of those who are a world away, by partnering with international benevolent Christian ministries that work in the foreign field.
We at MHBC pray that we have been found ever faithful with what we have been so graciously given. Even when our physical facilities seem to be used and stretched beyond what should be possible, God has been faithful to multiply our efforts in spite of our physical limitations. Now after prayerful consideration, in spite of the economic challenges around us, our consensus is that now is the time for increase. We have already taken steps of faith by sowing financial seeds and completing plans for new larger facilities that we believe will meet our needs now and for the foreseeable future. We have put works to these steps of faith and have broken ground to begin what we believe to be His will for MHBC. This will be the first building project in our history that will be from the ground up, which is a milestone of great significance to us. Because our confidence is in Him and not in ourselves, we are assured that He will be faithful to bring to pass the vision He has given us.