HISTORY

In 1891, Mt Moriah Primitive Baptist Church (now Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church) was founded by Elder Wallace Torrance and a small group of residents, of the First Ward Community in Charlotte. These residents had previously been members of and worshipping nearly three miles away in the rural area of Sugar Creek Road at Zion Primitive Baptist Church, the mother church of progressive Primitive Baptist churches in this section of North Carolina.
 

EARLY HISTORY

The First Structure on 11th Street

 

Under the leadership of Reverend Harris Lockhart worship services were held in a small frame building located on the northeast corner of North Alexander and East Eleventh Streets. It was twelve years later in 1903 that the initial congregation made their final payment on this property and the land and wood building were then deeded to the Church. Mecklenburg County court records show the names of four trustees on this our first deed. They are C.P. White, John Cornwell, Samuel Harris and Harris Lockhart. It was only seven years later that the church purchased the adjacent lot on East Eleventh street. Once again, four trustees are recorded as having signed the deed. They were C.P. White, J.B. Cornwell, George Caldwell and John Alexander.

Worship continued in this frame building until 1920, when it was demolished and construction of our first masonry structure was begun. Construction was completed in 1921 and worship began in this new edifice under the leadership of Pastor J.J. Steele. He served until 1929 and was also a brick mason. Working with the deacons and other members of the church, Pastor Steele participated in the construction of the building.

 

In 1934, Reverend Joseph H. Kendrick accepted the call to become our eleventh pastor and the church began its first great period of growth. Reverend Kendrick was pastor for eighteen years. During his tenure, the eleventh street edifice was remodeled, numerous auxiliaries were established and hundreds of members were added. Also during his tenure the church hosted it’s second (1936) and third (1946)National Primitive Baptist convention’s. The first pastorium was purchased on North McDowell Street and served as a pastorium until the pastor purchased his own home on Myers Street. Reverend Kendrick served as pastor of Mt Moriah Primitive Baptist church from 1934 – 1953.

 

747 WEST TRADE STREET

1953 – 1973

 

In 1953, the multi talented Reverend Robert Herman Frazier was installed as the thirteenth pastor. He was licensed to preach in 1925 and ordained in 1930. Under the leadership of Pastor Frazier, the church acquired its second pastorium in 1953 and was located at 2319 Lucena Street. The church hosted its fourth National Primitive Baptist convention in 1955.

In 1963, the church was forced to relocate and the community was razed because of the Urban Renewal that occurred throughout America. The eleventh street edifice was acquired by the City of Charlotte for $50,000 and destroyed along with much of the First Ward community it served. The building located at 747 West Trade street was purchased for $90,000 and the congregation marched to the new edifice on January 19, 1964. The name also was changed to the Greater Mt Moriah Primitive Baptist church. This pilgrimage also signaled our loss of the community based support that had given birth to the churches seventy three years on a hill in First Ward. The new location also offered several challenges never before experienced by the church. For the first time in many years the congregation had to face a monthly mortgage note, no room for expansion and an inadequate physical facility not designed for Primitive Baptist worship services. In spite of these handicaps, the church hosted its fifth National Primitive Baptist convention in 1967.
The pastorium was relocated to 2536 Bancroft street and Reverend Frazier resided there and continued to serve as pastor at the new location until his death, in March 1973. Also in 1973, Elder Thomas W. Samuels answered the call and on September 16, 1973, he assumed pastoral duties.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Present Day Church

 

1973 – Present

 
 

Under the leadership of Pastor Samuels the fourth pastorium was purchased on Hidden Forest Drive. Plans were initiated to eliminate all indebtedness of the church and the Lucena street pastorium was eventually disposed of and additional property was purchased on both West Fourth street and South Cedar street.

During Elder Samuels tenure the mortgages were retired on the Church and the current pastorium. A mortgage burning ceremony was held on February 27, 1977. The church acquired a van and established a sound fiscal reputation in the downtown banking community of Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1985, the church hosted their sixth National Primitive Baptist Convention with the headquarters located at Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1990 the Church secured financing to acquire the adjacent West Trade street property for more than three quarters of a million dollars with the down payment more than one fourth of the purchase price. In addition to leading the Church to the position as one of the largest landholders along the West Trade Street corridor, currently referred to as the “Gateway Corridor” to downtown Charlotte, Elder Samuels served as National Secretary for the Primitive Baptist Convention of America for 18 years. He was also elected to the office of National Vice President in 1989.

In 2001, under the pastoral leadership of Elder Samuels in his 28th year of service, construction was initiated on a new sanctuary and family life center. The building was completed and Mt Moriah entered the new facility in December 2002. Dedication followed on January 12, 2003.

Elder Samuels retired after 32.5 years at which time the congregation voted Elder Samuels the title of Pastor Emeritus. Elder Keith Jonathan Shuler was selected and became the next pastor of Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church following the retirement of Elder Samuels. His installation and worship service was held September 24, 2006 and he served until 2008.

Elder Sidney Phillips was ordained March 12, 2008 and his installation was performed on April 13, 2008. Elder Phillips served from his installation until  July 2014.

On November 15, 2015, Elder Chester F. Brown III was installed as the 17th Pastor of Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church.