Thankful Baptist Church Today...
On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the members of the Thankful Missionary Baptist Church elected Minister Dwayne Thompson as our Interim Pastor. Minister Thompson provided excellent leadership for ten months while we waited on the Lord to send us the Pastor that He had chosen for us. On April 27, 2015, the members of this church elected Rev. Dr. Terrence Vandiver as our new Pastor. Rev. Vandiver has been serving diligently since the 3rd Sunday in May of this year. He was officially installed on July 12, 2015 as the 13th Pastor of this great church. Rev. Dr. Charles E. Goodman, Jr. and the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Augusta were our special guests for the Installation Service.
It is no doubt that those who went before us and founded this great church in 1882, had a vision that stretched far beyond their years spent on this earth. We invite you to explore and learn about our history and our accomplishments below.
Thankful BC Time Capsule:
Thankful Baptist Church History:
It is no doubt that those who went before us, the founders of this great church had a vision that stretched far beyond their years spent on this earth. The Thankful Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1882. The founders were: Dea. Ben Warren, Bro. York Mack; Sisters Mittie Byrd, Fannie Swann, Grace Allen, and Amanda Reed.
The first pastor of this church was Rev. John Allen. As time passed on, Rev. John Lacey became the successor to Rev. Allen. Others who served during our early years as Pastor were: Rev. John Williams, Rev. Jack Lawson, Rev. Fred Boggs, Rev. Josiah Carter, and Rev. C. S. West.
Between 1904 and 1917 many were converted and baptized. Among this number was Sis. Ruth Ann Harvey and Dea. John Henry Brooks. Dea. Brooks served as church clerk for 46 years. In 1918, another large group was baptized. Among this number were Dea. Fillmore Williams and Rev. J. B. Danforth. During this time one building was constructed. During these 132 years five buildings have been constructed. One of them was destroyed by fire.
In April 1922, Rev. D. E. Jennings was elected as our Pastor. Under his leadership, several Deacons were ordained and many souls were added to the church. Rev. Jennings served faithfully for 25 years and 7 months. On November 30, 1947, the Lord called him from labor to reward.
On August 6, 1948, the Rev. F. H. Hart was elected as our Pastor. Rev. Hart rendered faithful service for 13 years and 8 months. He ordained four Deacons, Dea. Peter Williams, Dea. Johnny L. Martin, Dea. Alfonso Williams, Sr., and Dea. Fred Brooks. Rev. Hart resigned in April 1962.
On February 2, 1963, we elected the Rev. Henry Ingram as successor to Rev. Hart. Rev. Ingram ordained two deacons, Dea. Willie A. Rolland and Dea. Johnny Lee. He organized The Faithful Few Club of Augusta, secured membership for the ushers with the ushers union of Georgia and organized the H. Ingram Junior Choir. Then he resigned.
Again we were in need of a shepherd to lead this flock. In June 1969, Rev. Walter Booker, Jr., was elected as our pastor. Under his leadership, many souls were converted and baptized. A Junior Choir, Deaconess Board, a Missionary Society, Trustee Board, Junior Deacon and Junior Deaconess Board were organized. Some of the improvements of the sanctuary under Rev. Booker’s leadership include: numerous improvements to the front of the church; new paneling, windows, and carpet; an indoor baptismal pool; two fellowship halls; classrooms; a complete kitchen; new pews for the sanctuary; communion furniture; microphones; speakers; organ; central heat and air; new ceiling lights; fire escape steps; railings; paved front’ sidewalk; handicap ramp; a new steeple; and rest rooms added at the front entrance, new Pastor’s study, choir stand extended and many more.
Rev. Booker ordained 13 Deacons: Dea. John Parker, Dea. Earl Harvey, Dea. Franklin Williams, Dea. Alfonso Williams, Jr., Dea. Peter Allen, Dea. Willie Battle, Dea. Peter Parker, Dea. Leonard Parker, Dea. Robert Long, Dea. Donald Long, Dea. James Parker, Dea. Karl Brown, and Dea. Thomas Parker.
On the first Sunday in January 1997, under the leadership of Rev. Booker, we began our full-time service, meeting every Sunday for worship. Due to failing health, Rev. Booker retired in December of that same year. He has gone from labor to reward and this flock truly misses him. The year 1998 was not without its sadness. During that year we lost our minister of music, Bro. Harold Strickland and faithful Deacon, Church Treasurer and Psalmist, Dea. Alfonso Williams. Dea. Williams had been a member of the gospel choir since its creation, for a total of fifty years.
We celebrated our anniversary in 1998 without a pastor, but not without great leadership. We were blessed to have Rev. Donald Long, Sr., who served God’s people diligently while we waited on the Lord to bless us with the Pastor that He had chosen for us.
On the first Tuesday night in February in 1999, the members of this church met for the purpose of electing a pastor. The candidate was the Rev. Martris Mims, an associate Minister of The Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia. God truly blessed us that night, and Rev. Mims became the 12th Pastor of this great church. Rev. Mims was installed on February 28, 1999 with the Rev. Dr. Johnny R. Hatney, Pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church delivering the message. Pastor Mims proved to be a great Pastor and spiritual leader. Under his leadership, many souls were saved, coming either by water baptism, Christian experience, or rededication. In addition, new lights, new wiring, and a new PA system have been installed, two computers, new digital copier, audio equipment, new printer, paved parking lot, new roof, and church van were also purchased. Workshops were also held for Church Leaders, Singles, and members of the Music, Education and Trustee Ministries. In addition, a Youth Ministry, Ministry of Spiritual Expression, Tape Ministry, Library Ministry, Drama Ministry, Publicity Ministry, and A Holy Temple/Healthy Temple Ministry were organized.
In October of 2001, women from various churches participated in Thankful’s first, “Women of Virtue” Women’s Conference.
In February of 2002, Pastor and First Lady Mims hosted our first “Focus on the Family” Agape Love Banquet. Both were a tremendous success. In April of 2003, Pastor Mims ordained two deacons: Dea. Arthur Griffin and Dea. Johnny Wright. In addition, in June of that same year, Pastor Mims started a scholarship program which is designed to assist our college students with the cost of books. Also in June of 2003, this church body went on its first cruise to the Bahamas. Prayer and Praise Service was held on The Fantasy Cruise Ship where Pastor Mims preached on the topic of “Taking the Load Off”. We were truly blessed that night through the Word of God. In his ministry, Pastor Mims taught us how to break strongholds and surrender all to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pastor Mims resigned as the Pastor of this great church on the 4th Sunday in June of 2014.