Church History

The Gospel Light Baptist Church had its first meeting on Sunday morning, August 5th, 1979. The congregation consisted of 19 people; eight children and eleven adults, which met in the Ruritan Center in the community of Bonsack. On the third of November 1979 the founder, pastor Earl Clemons, was ordained by a committee of five local pastors.  In the evening service of November 3rd, 1979, the congregation adopted it’s constitution and officially became The Gospel Light Baptist Church.

Shortly after, the church bought eleven acres of property at 6307 Cloverdale. Road. The members cleared the property, and in 1984 and early 1985, they built the first of the three buildings on that property. It was a small building, 32 x 66 feet. Metal folding chairs were used for the first couple years until a dozen short 8′ pews were purchased. The first meeting in the new building took place in July of 1985.

By early 1990, the congregation had outgrown the first building. A building fund was established and plans were made to add a new sanctuary to the existing building. By late 1992, the church had sufficient funds to begin construction on it’s new addition. The new sanctuary, which was 40 x 66 feet, was completed by summer 1993. In November of 1994, the congregation moved into it’s new facility and used the old building for Sunday School rooms and Nursery.

By the year 2000, the congregation again began to outgrow the building. Once again, the church started a building fund. The congregation did most of the construction, and on June 26th, 2005, the congregation moved into it’s new sanctuary. The new sanctuary measures 75 x 130 feet, with a full basement used as a fellowship hall.

In March of 2012, pastor Clemons announced that he would be retiring as pastor, concluding his 33 year ministry at Gospel Light Baptist Church. The congregation immediately began it’s search for a new pastor. In September of 2012, the church called Dr. M. Brian Swafford as it’s new pastor. Pastor Swafford officially took over as pastor on October 17th, 2012.

It is our prayer, as we move forward as a church family, waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus, that we continue to serve as faithfully, friendly, and lovingly as we have these many years.