Beulah Baptist Church, Cherry Ridge Community, was organized in 1884, with 26 charter members:
Frances Abbott, P. H. Gray, Rosanna Wade, J.P. Abbott, Eliza Killgore, Elijah Welsh, Joseph Abbott, Estella Killgore, Jemima Welsh, Helen Cobb Davis, George A. Killgore, Lafayette Welsh, William Davis, Mattie Murphy, Lydia Welsh, J.J. Futch, Martha Jane Tatum, Martha Welsh, Sallie Futch, R.M. Tatum, Sallie Welsh, Elias George, Jr., Eliza Terral, Shepard Welsh, Nettie George, Samuel Terral
Some records have been lost, however, information published in the July 30, 1886 issue of The Home Advocate, a local newspaper published at that time, indicated a church building was under construction and nearing completion. The opening service in the new building was celebrated on the third Sunday in August, 1886 with S.T. Cobb as Pastor. Since then, we have honored the 1886 opening of Beulah’s first church building by observing our Homecoming Celebrations on the third Sunday in August. A quarterly report of Beulah’s Sunday School indicated 175 names of enrolled members with an average attendance of about 130 in the last quarter of that year.
A deed dated November 17, 1888, records the official donation of the church property to Beulah Baptist Church from Elias George, Jr. and Nettie Killgore George. In the following year (1889), Mr. and Mrs. George donated additional land for use as a church cemetery.
Disaster struck in 1891, as the original building, barely 5 years old, was destroyed by fire. In 1892, a new building was completed. New church pews and a pulpit were hand-carved from virgin pine by Elias George, Jr.
The 1892 pulpit and the remaining pews are now in church members’ tender care.
In 1939, the second church building was torn down and the building that now houses the Fellowship Hall and kitchen was constructed on the same site. The structure was originally white frame and included a sanctuary (today’s larger dining room), and 4 Sunday School rooms. In 1962, an activities room, kitchen, storage areas, and restrooms were added. Until 2005, this north wing housed the church office, and several Sunday School rooms. Renovation of the interior of the older building began in 1963, and renovations to the entire building were almost continuous for 26 years. The renovations of the older buildings were completed with the bricking of the exterior of the entire building in 1978.
As ministry to families has always been important at Beulah, a softball field and picnic area were added on land donated by Percy Wade, grandson of Elias George, Jr., in 1981. The donation effectively doubled the size of Beulah’s campus and opened another opportunity to reach future generations. The ball field has seen much activity over the years, hosting many tournaments and special events, including Beulah’s annual FallFest, drawing hundreds of people.
In January, 1987, construction began on a new Sanctuary, located immediately to the south of, and parallel to, the 1939 building. The building would comfortably seat 160 worshipers, and the construction added a choir loft, baptistry, vestibule, music facilities and additional restrooms. The first service held in the new sanctuary was on May 24, 1987 with Danny Hall as pastor. The following Friday, the first wedding held in the new sanctuary occurred as Renee’ Kinnison and Casey Halley were united on May 29. In 1993, the 30-year-old “Activities” room was remodeled to house additional Sunday School rooms. It was remodeled again in 2006 and now includes a second dining room, kitchen and restroom facilities.
In October, 1994, the church voted to purchase and install a steeple on the Sanctuary, the white steeple was relocated in 2010 to grace the top of our current Worship Center. In 1995, descendants of the Samuel and Eliza Terral family donated land just south of the cemetery and across Beulah Church Road for the purpose of building a parsonage. The century-old Terral house, long vacant and beyond ability to renovate, was torn down. A new 3-bedroom, bricked home was constructed on the same site.
In June 1996, the cemetery was enlarged and a new fence was installed around the entire property. A gravel road was added to aid in the access of the newly expanded cemetery.
In October 2000, the church voted to build a multi-purpose, open air pavilion. The church’s young adult ministry began the design, coordination, and fund-raising effort in support of the new facility. Ground was broken in the early summer of 2001 on land adjacent to the ball field. Brother J.J. Johnson headed up the team of men from the church in the construction of the facility, which was dedicated Homecoming Sunday, August 19, 2001.
The church grew steadily through the early 2000’s, as Beulah reached more souls than ever before. In 2005, Beulah led the entire Concord Union Association in the number of Baptisms with over 60 new converts. Beulah’s physical plant was at capacity almost overnight, with the greatest need coming in the form of Sunday School space. In the early spring of 2005, the church voted to build a new 4000 square foot Education building, to be located on the south side of the Sanctuary. The Education Building was dedicated on Homecoming Sunday, August 14, 2005. It has capacity for 200 weekly attendees, and houses our Pastor’s office. In 2006, Beulah’s Upper Room…our special room dedicated for Prayer and Meditation, was built on the southwest corner of our church property, and today is located near the Pavilion on the north side of Beulah Church Road.
In late 2009, the call to increased space led to construction of today’s Worship Center. After almost 1 full year of construction, our new 300-seat Worship Center opened. It was built directly in front of the 1987 sanctuary and Education Building, and its construction tied all 3 buildings together, under a one roof. Beautiful and spacious, the new Worship Center includes a multimedia booth, new state of the art mixing board, recording facilities and computer equipment, along with a sound-proof Prayer room, new baptistery, and additional restroom facilities. The multi-length pews are configured in a “fan” shape in front of the platform, allowing all 300 worshipers to be no further than 25 feet from the alter. Perhaps one of the greatest blessings of the new Worship Center is not what we currently see, but rather what we don’t see. During the latter part of construction of the building, just prior to carpet being laid, Pastor Jeff Hurst invited all church members and their families to bring concrete chalk or markers and write prayers, favorite scripture passages, and messages from the families of 2010 to the future generations of Beulah Baptist Church. As the platform in front was being finished, a Bible was placed in the floor directly behind the pulpit. As a result, anytime someone preaches, speaks or sings behind the pulpit, they are literally standing on the Word of God. The carpet was laid, and our special “time capsule” has been established as part of the foundation of this building.
What’s next for Beulah? It’s simple: Whatever God has for us to do. Amen, and Amen.
We proudly honor the generations who came before us, embrace the precious vision they had, and pass on their heritage of faith and service to future generations.