OUR HISTORY
A PLACE TO BELONG
"A CHURCH ALIVE IS WORTH THE DRIVE"

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The Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church was first organized and established in 1885 as the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in the Sand Hill Community.  The church site, located on Highway 165 was donated by the late Efrum Rump.

The membership of Mount Moriah was composed of immigrants from the State of Alabama.  The late Alfred Rump was the first Pastor, Rev. Rump served one year.  The deacons were the late Burl Boykin, Nick Evans, and Burl Jefferson.

In 1886, Mount Moriah burned.  After the resignation of Alfred Rump, the church elected Rev. Jason Hill as their Pastor.  Church services were held in a Brush Arbor on the Henry Mason Place.  In 1887, the Brush Arbor was moved to the Alfred Place.

In 1888, services were held in the Old Shelly House on the Burl Jefferson Plantation.  Mr. Jefferson later donated one-half acre of land so that a new church could be constructed.   The Rev. John Benton was the Pastor at that time.  During the same year the name of the church changed from Mt. Moriah to Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church.
After the resignation of Rev. John Benton in 1890, Rev. Ben Moore became the Pastor.  Deacons serving under Rev. Moore were Jake Haymond, William Franklin, Jermiah Body, Jim Swilly, and Walter Austin.  The church’s cornerstone was laid in June 1894.  An additional acre of land was purchased to be used as the community cemetery.  The ministers who served as Pastor of Center Ridge from 1894 until 1934 were Reverends T.H.  Brown, C.C. Blothes, P.K. Scott,  Rev. Helms, E. Chandler, Rev. Lewis and Rev. Sam Gates.

In 1939, Rev. S.J. Jefferson was elected Pastor.  He pastored Center Ridge for 25 years.  The deacons who ​served under his leadership were Tennessee McDowell, Frank Scroggins, Roosevelt Franklin, Sr., Melvin McTyer, and Roosevelt Franklin, Jr.  During his pastorate, Melvin McTyer was ordained and licensed to preach.  Rev. Melvin McTyer was elected Pastor in 1964.  Plans for a new church were made in April 1970.   A month later the new church was under construction.  The official opening service was held on October 11. 1970.  Deacons serving under Rev. McTyer were Tennessee McDowell, Walter Kendricks, Roosevelt Franklin, Jr., Johnny E. McTyer, and Andrew Bowen.

Rev. McTyer resigned April 1974 and Rev. Lonnie Franklin was elected in August 1974.  Rev. Franklin worked hard to make Center Ridge a great church.  Under his leadership, the church prospered financially and organized a scholarship fund to aid young people in obtaining an education.

​With God’s help Rev. Franklin and the members, working as a team was able to make changes on the exterior and the interior of the sanctuary, install a Baptismal Pool, and redecorate the kitchen and dining area.  Rev. Franklin served faithful until death in October 1983.  Rev. Herbert Deadmon was elected interim Pastor in November 1984 and served until April 1985.

Rev. Kirbit S. Cole was elected Pastor in April 1985.  When Rev. Cole was elected Pastor, Rev. Deadmon remained faithful and served willingly until his death in June 1987.

From 1986 to 1988, God blessed the church with central heating, air conditioning, 15 passenger van, refinished pews and benches in the sanctuary and the dining area.  In addition, Christian activities were sponsored in the body and community.  Deacons serving under Rev. Cole were Tennessee McDowell, Roosevelt Franklin, Jr., Johnny E. McTyer, Michael Flowers, David Franklin, and James E. ​Martin.

During 1989, the church was blessed with several accomplishments:  Obtained a 43 passenger bus, carpeted the sanctuary, the vestibule, the Pastor’s study, renovated the pulpit and choir stand area, paved the parking lot, installed a new church sign and purchased an organ.

Rev. Cole served as Pastor until July 1992.  Rev. Michael Flowers was elected interim Pastor in July 1992 and served until February 1993.

Rev. Paul Rodgers was elected Pastor in February 1993.  The church grew spiritually and numerically.  During Rev. Rogers’s pastorate the following ministries were set up:  The Homeless Ministry, Food Bank Ministry, and the Reach Out and Touch Ministry.  Deacons who served during Rev. Rodgers tenure were Johnny E. McTyer, Roosevelt Franklin Jr., James E. Martin, Tennessee McDowell, David Franklin, Earnest Franklin, Charles Franklin, and Frank Williams.  Rev. Rodgers resigned in 1997.

From November 1997 until January 1998, Rev. Melvin McTyer and Rev. Darnell Jordan served as Acting Pastors of Center Ridge.  Rev. Roosevelt Bowman was elected in May ​1998.

Rev. Bowman started the Baptist Training Union (BTU) for youth and adults plus a Testimonial Service on the 3rd Sunday night of each month.   The church was blessed with several accomplishments:  Carpeted and enlarged the sanctuary, remodeled the exterior,   expanded the fellowship area,    added a new sign, pews, Pastor Study, kitchen, foyer, bathrooms, and Finance room.   Deacons serving under Rev. Bowman were Johnny E McTyer, Roosevelt Franklin Jr., James E. Martin, Earnest Franklin, and Charles Franklin.  Deacons who were ordained under Rev. Bowman’s pastorate were Gerald Gay, Regonald Franklin, Derrick Harris, Harvey Sims, and James Wright.

At the end of 2006, Pastor Roosevelt Bowman resigned and we began our quest for a new Pastor.   In October 2008 the Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church family elected ​Randy S. Maxwell as Pastor.

In 2008, the choir was able to be restructured under the leadership of the Pastor’s Wife, Sis. Loretha Maxwell; which has grown to be spirit filled voices anointed by God.

Pastor Maxwell’s experience in foreign mission has created opportunities for members to travel abroad to spread the “Word of God”.

Under his administration Wednesday night Bible study has grown tremendously with the “Pure Word” of God teaching.  In addition, there have been Financial and Marriage workshops conducted to help the body learn to remove the bondage of debt and nurture powerful marriages.   Cultivating each member to be “Word filled”, have strong marriages, and be financially sound.

The faithfulness of the youth has enabled us to foster new ministries such as the young adult choir, junior deacons, youth ushers, and praise dance team.  Other ministries that have been established are Pray With Me For One Hour, Sistahs At Work Ministry, Men At Work, and The Pastoral ​Aid Ministry.   To build strong leaders to work for God, Pastor Maxwell has implemented a mandatory monthly Leadership Meeting for each leader to equip us with the foundation of becoming great leaders.

To give back to the community, a couple of annual projects have been established Give Away, Thanksgiving Dinners, and the Annual Fall Festival to name a few.
Under Pastor Maxwell pastorate the following transformations have occurred:    The fleet of vehicles have increased from one to now three vans traveling to areas within and outside Pulaski County; purchased a new advertising sign, updated the sanctuary, foyer, bathrooms, offices, choir stand, pulpit, with a new modern look; purchased computers, printers, and other office equipment/software for the offices to stay abreast of changes in technology, purchased new drums and sound system to amplify the angelic voices of the Center Ridge Choir.

The current vision the Lord has given to Pastor Maxwell, is to erect a new sanctuary to accommodate the growing body of Center Ridge Missionary Baptist Church.  We know that this project will cause us to step out on faith, but as Pastor Maxwell says:  ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DO - IF HE SAID IT, HE WILL PERFORM IT!  Therefore, We Believe God!
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Deacons serving under Pastor Maxwell are:  Roosevelt Franklin, Jr., Reginald Franklin, Sr., Harvey Sims, Earnest Franklin,  Bernard Washington.   Today, Center Ridge continues to grow spiritually, numerically, and financially as we strive to serve God in our community.  We pray that God continues to bless us in our endeavors to win souls for Christ!!!​​