God has used many people to build South Charlotte Baptist Church. One of those people, Walter Kirk, gave up a promising career as a major league baseball player to be a “major league player” for the Lord. (Click here to read an article, “Once a Dodger Always a Dodger,” which appeared in the Salisbury Post.) He was born June 20, 1927, in North Carolina. As a young boy his main interest was to be a professional baseball player. He played baseball throughout his school years. After joining the Marine Corps, he played with the Camp Lejeune team for a year. He was in Spring training with the Dodgers for two years (1948-49). It was during that time that he realized if he were to die, he would surely go to Hell. He asked God to help him and began reading the Bible and attending church but still did not have peace. After baseball season, Brother Kirk returned to his home in Washington, DC. It was during that time that he was invited to a meeting led by Jack Wyrtzen. That night in his bedroom, he got on his knees and asked Christ to come into his heart. There was a peace found by asking God to forgive him of his sins and to take control of his life. Brother Kirk became a new creation in Christ. His main interest was no longer baseball; Christ became the center of his life.
Brother Kirk married Virginia Wood in 1952 while attending Bob Jones University. Brother Kirk became a physical education teacher at Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Dancing was a part of the physical education program. Because of his convictions against dancing, he was dismissed from his teaching position. He lost his job; but God placed him in a better job. Over the next several years, God used him as a missionary, church planter, pastor, and most importantly as a soul winner.
On August 6, 1977, after much prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, God brought Pastor and Mrs. Kirk to Charlotte to begin an independent, fundamental, Bible-believing, Baptist Church in South Charlotte. On October 18, 1977, South Charlotte Baptist Church was founded in the home of the Kirks with the first service being attended by Pastor and Mrs. Kirk, and their children, Jenny, Donna and Dan.
The first public service of the new church was held on December 11, 1977. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bonds were the first visitors and became faithful members at South Charlotte Baptist Church. After the church was organized, God provided the cafeteria at Quail Hollow Junior High School for the services. Shortly afterward Ken and Helen Clarke became faithful members. Ken was the first deacon at South Charlotte Baptist Church.
In 1978 there was a membership of 24. The church’s first missionary support went to Ed and Doris Teal, church planters, and Bob Jones University. The first person baptized was Warren Kennedy . The first revival services were held on August 20-22 with Dr. Harold Kilpatrick of Atlanta, Georgia. Three souls were saved during those meetings.
The Church grew slowly in the early years, but God faithfully supplied the financial needs as well as the members to carry on the work.It was during that same time at the Junior High School that the Lord sent Bill Wilson.One of the earlier visits of Pastor Kirk led him to the door of Mrs. Frances Oliver and son, Mike. Mike began serving in the church but it was not until December of 1979 that Frances decided to visit the church. In May 1980, she joined SCBC and rededicated her life to the Lord for His use.
In January of 1981 the church purchased 7.5 acres of land at 12416 Lancaster Highway (the present location) for $35,000. The contract was signed with a payment made for $28,000 and the balance of $7,000 paid over the next few months. In March 1982 construction began on a 6,000 sq. ft. auditorium/classroom building.The first service in the new facility was on May 31, 1983. That was the beginning of revival services with Evangelist Bill Hall. The building Dedication Service was held on July 17, 1983, with Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. as the speaker.Also in 1983, Gary Lee Cofty was called as the first Assistant Pastor and Youth Director. Harry and Sandy Griffeth joined during that year.
The year 1984 brought many firsts to South Charlotte Baptist Church. On February 19, 1984, Bunnie Allamon was commissioned as a missionary to Nova Scotia. Bunnie is the daughter of Bob and Pat Allamon, who were faithful members for many years. The first Mother/Daughter Banquet was held in 1984. The first wedding was held on September 1, 1984, (Mark Hattrich and Cindy Brenneman).
In 1985, the first Vacation Bible School was held with 85 children enrolled. Ken and Beverly Abbott joined the church. After Gary Cofty resigned, Ken Abbott was appointed as Director of Youth and Reverend Clyde Ball (1985-1987) was called as Assistant Pastor in September.
During 1986, several improvements were made on the church building and grounds.The birth of Jonathan Griffeth, son of Harry and Sandy Griffeth, helped to increase the Cradle Roll enrollment. God blessed with 12 souls saved and 9 baptized that year.
In the 10th year of the church, 1987, 14 people were saved, 11 baptized, 32 joined by letter, adding a total of 38 people to the membership roll. The addition of Natalie Abbott, second daughter of Ken and Beverly, added to the Cradle Roll enrollment.
The first Faith Promise Missions Conference was held in 1988. Two new missionary families were added for monthly support: Pete and Isabell Knickerbocker and Perry and Linda Wright. Both of these families are still supported by the church.
In January 1989, Pastor Kirk resigned as Pastor. For more than 11 years, God used the Kirks to build a solid foundation for His work at SCBC. Much gratitude is extended to the Kirks for their labors for the Lord in Pineville and South Charlotte. Shortly after leaving Charlotte, they began a new work, University Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, where they are currently serving and are supported financially by SCBC.
On March 10, 1982, he gave a notice of resignation to Eckerd Drugs and in June 1982 relocated his family to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to prepare for the ministry at Tennessee Temple University. After graduation in 1986, he served as an assistant pastor at Church of the Open Door in Westminster, Maryland, from January 1987 to April 1989.
God began to use Pastor Scott in his new ministry.There were 8 salvations, 6 baptisms and 18 added to the church membership from April 23 to June 20, 1989.In July of 1989, church pews were purchased through donations from various members and Donna Scott began serving as Church Secretary. By the end of 1989, a new lighted church sign and an outside storage building had been erected. “Operation Go” Soul-Winning Training was organized as well as Wednesday night Bible clubs for children. Nurseries were renovated adding carpeting and paintings by Jo Ellen Totty (she and family were visiting SCBC the first time the Scotts arrived and are still members today). Marcel Cowan and her late husband, Gene joined that year as well.
Since SCBC had always had “a heart for missions,” Pastor Scott led the church in a completely new Faith Promise Missions Program in January 1990. That is missions support by faith promise giving separate from General Fund offerings and tithes.
Richard Krouse, Jr. was called to be Assistant Pastor on April 1, 1990, with responsibilities for the Youth and Music. He and his wife, Tami (daughter of the Scotts), and infant daughter, Rebekah, moved here from Indiana. Fourteen missionaries were being supported by that time. During the year Ed Teal (the first missionary supported) went home to be with the Lord. By the close of 1990, the Lord had blessed and the membership had grown to 104. Among those were Joe and Dianne White who are still faithfully serving the Lord through SCBC.
In 1991 the church recorded the following records: 101 souls saved, 432 first time visitors, 84 average in Sunday School attendance, and 92 new people enrolled in Sunday School or Bible clubs.The goal in each area was 91 and God blessed mightily. The first Neighborhood Bible Time Youth Crusade was held in August. Planning began in that year to construct a Multi-Purpose building. Ron Faulk joined the church (he had been attending since January 1989) and has faithfully served the Lord since that time.
By December 1992 there was $41,000 in the Building Fund and the Church voted to borrow $180,000 to complete the new building. Also in December 1992, Rich Krouse resigned as assistant pastor. Ken Abbott led the congregational singing; Ric Dotson (he and his wife Diana had joined that year) became the leader with the teens; Marshall Forrester, became Choir Director; and Tom Mumford led in the Children’s Church. Praise God for men who said, “With God’s help, I’ll lead in an area of ministry.Also joining that year were Louise Green and her late husband, Carl.
Construction began on the 5,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose building in January 1993.The new building contained a fellowship hall, 3 nursery rooms, 3 offices and a kitchen.In June 1993, Dr. Kirk was guest speaker for the Dedication Service. Finley and Rebekah Cutshaw joined the church in September of that year. The Cutshaws were students at Ambassador Baptist College while serving the church as leaders in the Bus Ministry and as Church Custodians.
The AWANA Bible Club Ministry also began in September with Brent Davis as the first Game Director.There was a 30% increase in offerings for Faith Promise Missions and 3 new families added to the missions program. Special one-time offerings were given to 9 different mission projects or missionaries.
In 1994, Finley Cutshaw began serving as Assistant Pastor. He and his wife, Rebekah, took leadership of the Teen Ministry. The Cutshaws moved on to full-time service at Bible Baptist Church in Matthews in 1995. With this loss, the search for a full-time music and teen director and assistant pastor began. Again, God raised up the needed leaders in these areas. Ken Abbott faithfully served again as Choir Director and Song Leader. Dan and Beth Kophazi took on the leadership of the teens (assisted by Brent and Brenda Davis), Children’s Church (grades 1-6) and Summer Youth Ministries. Dan worked as paid staff, part time during the summer and was Neighborhood Bible Time Director. The Youth Crusade was a great success with 197 enrolled and 65 saved. Dave and Gwen Maranto were the Directors in the AWANA program.
Charles Pritt was called in 1996 as Assistant Pastor with responsibilities for Music and Youth. Pastor Charles and wife, Shelley, began serving in May, the same week they received their graduate degrees from Bob Jones University. They had served at Landmark Baptist church in Easley, South Carolina prior to coming to SCBC. Faith Promise Missions giving had increased to over $40,000 in that year and Jim Cook and Sharon Eldridge served their first full year on the Missions Committee.Sharon (PeeWee) was elected as Church Historian.
On October 12, 1997, the church celebrated its 20th Anniversary/Homecoming. Over 8,000 invitations were given out and a 50×90 tent was set up in the parking lot. Dr. Walter Kirk and his wife, Virginia, were special honored guests. Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor of the Sword of the Lord, was the guest speaker.Over 100 former members and friends came with a total of 414 people in attendance.There were seven people saved and two baptized in the three church services on that wonderful day.
In the 20th year of ministry, record attendance averages were set.The averages were 122 in Sunday school, 149 in the Morning Service, and 25 bus riders. There were 103 salvation decisions recorded. Brenda, Justin and Brittany Davis and Russ and Elizabeth Lee began serving in the Bus Ministry that year. Also, in 1997, there were 45 missionaries or mission organizations receiving support through the Faith Promise Missions Ministry. Brent Davis became the Director of “Operation Go Soul Winning” and many souls have been saved through the outreach program.
In 1998, the debt was paid in full on the multi-purpose building and grounds improvement (the benefit of a $100,000 anonymous gift to the church).
At that point planning for an expansion of the church facilities began. It was made a matter of prayer to purchase property from Charles Kimbrell (two-acres on Sam Meeks Road) and from John Miller (two-acres of adjoining property on Dorman Road), due to subdividing and listing for sale five acres of church property along Lancaster Highway.
The theme for 1999 was “Believing the Promises” and that we did! Plans were finalized for the new 13,680 sq. ft. auditorium (400+ seats), educational and office building. A major Capital Fund Raising Campaign was conducted. On August 1, Charles and Shelley Pritt left the church to minister in Michigan. Again, the faithful members picked up the yoke and continued in the music and youth departments.
The new millennium began with a contract for the Kimbrell property signed and the $250,000 purchase finalized. The Miller property was purchased for $75,000.The five acres of land on Lancaster Highway was sold to Cambridge Partners for $1,000,000. In April 2000 construction began on the new building, which consists of a new auditorium, nurseries, classrooms, choir room, library and offices. The total building construction and grounds improvements project cost over $1,270,000. The church acquired a debt of only $350,000 with assets of over $2,000,000.
In June of 2000, the Lord led Joseph Campbell and his family (wife Stephenie, children, Jeremiah and Mollie) to SCBC. He began his ministry as Assistant Pastor with responsibilities of Music and Youth. Prior to coming to SCBC, he had served five years at Pineland Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. He is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College and traveled as a college representative for two years prior to his ministry in Savannah. Pastor Campbell grew up in a Christian home and attended Christian schools, but it was not until he went to college that he accepted Christ as his personal Savior.
In December of 2012, Pastor Charlie Scott, after 24 years of serving as the senior pastor of SCBC, announced his retirement. Pastor Scott and the deacons of SCBC led the church family to consider and eventually vote to extend the call to pastor SCBC to Pastor Campbell who, up to that point, had been serving as the youth and music pastor.
Through these 30+ years, SCBC has had a heart for evangelism both locally and foreign. The church has continued to reach its Jerusalem through the Bus Ministry, Soul Winning/Door-to-Door Visitation Ministry and weekly Sunday School, Church Services and Bible Clubs ministries.The church is reaching the foreign fields through Faith Promise Missions, giving well over $500,000 to support missions plus sending families and individuals out in ministry. Praise God for willing church members and servants.
For 30+ years this fellowship has been a multi-ministry church. There is no way to capture all the names in print of all who have served the Lord in ministries such as music/choir, nursery, Sunday school, children’s and youth ministries, deacons, trustees, bus, maintenance, kitchen, ushers, and certainly others forgotten. Most members named are of those who have been members ten years or more.Surely it has been the desire of all the faithful laborers to give any glory for what has been accomplished to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The members of SCBC (past and present) through these years of local church ministry have stood fast on the Word of God and have boldly proclaimed it. They have continually taken God at His promises and He has never faltered or failed. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3) As South Charlotte Baptist Church looks to the future may she be as Abraham when… “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” (Romans 4:20).
This history of SCBC is dedicated to the memory of those who are “gone but not forgotten.” They have gone home to the heavenly Father and their Savior, Jesus Christ: Arline Baker, Paul Banks, Judy Birmingham, Jean Blair, Logan Campbell (infant son of Joseph and Stephenie), Helen Clarke, Rufus and Dovie Combs, Gene Cowan, Mary DeRusso, Jason Elkins, Carl Green, Grace Kinney, Charlene Maggard, Gerald Medlin, Morris and Elizabeth Pressley, Lorraine Warlick, Geraldine Zachary, and any other former members not found in church records.
A special thank you to those who helped to compile these years of history at SCBC: Pastor Campbell, Sharon Eldridge, Judy Hale, Donna Scott, and Pastor Scott.
If a name has been inadvertently omitted, that you thought should have been included, please be forgiving. The editors diligently searched records and sought others knowledge to get all information correct.