WILSON FIRST P. H. CHURCH
The Wilson First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Wilson, NC originated from a tent meeting conducted in May of 1923. This revival was led by Rev. J.G. Crocker and Rev. P.F. Robinson. On October 20, 1923, the church was organized with sixteen charter members. This organization took place in a private home under the leadership of Rev. J.W. Wellons, who served as the first pastor. The new group worshipped in homes for a while.
After much prayer and searching, the church found a building for sale on the corner of Pender and Academy Streets. The R.E. Townsend Realty Company had this property for sale at $2000.00 cash. The Lord intervened and they loaned the church the full amount to be paid back in one year. After one year, the group did not have the money to pay the loan. Another miracle took place, and Mrs. Victoria Lamm loaned the full amount, to be paid back as the church was able.
Under the leadership of Rev. John Berry, five Sunday School rooms were added, along with a heating plant. Rev. J. Floyd Williams served the church for four years. During his ministry, the church was brick veneered; new pews, an organ and piano were purchased. As time passed, the church began to show greater progress. The membership increased and the old facilities were not adequate. Therefore, in September of 1955, the church voted to purchase a parsonage on 116 Belmont Avenue. This would allow the old parsonage to be used as an educational building and for other activities.
Another forward step was taken under the leadership of Rev. H.E. Johnson. In July of 1960, the church purchased five lots on the corner of Ruann Drive and Walton Street. This decision to relocate came after much prayer and discussion of the future growth of the church.
Under the capable leadership of the Rev. B.C. Horrell a crisis was turned into a miracle. What appeared to be impossibility became a reality. Some had said, “It can’t be done” but inspired by Rev. Horrell’s positive leadership, church members and friends saw things differently. On a cold, cloudy Sunday afternoon, January 20, 1963, seventy members and friends gathered for the groundbreaking service for the church and educational building. The service was opened with prayer by Rev. William Riley Johnson. Rev. W. Eddie Morris, Conference Superintendent, read some scripture and gave a few remarks about a quilt donated to him twenty-five years earlier by some members of the same group. This quilt was made with squares purchased to raise money to pay off the indebtedness on the old church. He said he slept under the quilt the previous night. Rev. Horrell then turned the first shovel of dirt, followed by the Church Board. On May 19, 1963, the congregation moved into the new church on Ruann and Walton Streets. January 20, 1963 – groundbreaking – moving in May 19, 1963 – a miracle indeed!
During the ministry of Rev. R.H. Brafford, a building fund was started for the purpose of building a new parsonage. Under the leadership of Rev. Sam Whichard, the church voted unanimously on September 27, 1970 to purchase the property in front of the church. The Lord performs another miracle, and on October 6, 1970, 2 and 8/10 acres of property were purchased.
The new parsonage was started in October of 1970. It was completed and the Whichards moved in February 1971. Open house was held on Sunday, May 2, 1971.
Again in 1977, the church needed additional space. Under the direction of Rev. Roland Harrell, a large Fellowship Hall with a kitchen included was built. Five Sunday School rooms, two bathrooms, a Pastor’s Study, and a storage room were also added at this time.
The church’s multi-purpose Family Life Center was completed in 1996. It serves as a gymnasium for playing in and a gathering place for eating and fellowship. This building also has seven classrooms, two bathrooms, a commercial grade kitchen, storage rooms and an upstairs sound room to accommodate services and events that are held from time to time in this building.
The church has been served by twenty-three ministers now. The progress that has been made with the facilities, which are all currently paid for, reflects the dedication and hard work of the ministers and the congregation. This truly has been a blessing of God.