The New Jacob’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 115th Anniversary on Sunday, September 17 at 11 am.

The church was organized in 1902 when a group of Christians felt it necessary to establish a Black Baptist Church in Clermont. Several families met and decided to undertake the great responsibility of building a church. This small body of members contacted the Rev. J.R. Brown who accepted the call to be the first Pastor. Services were held in a small building on Chestnut Street that was owned by G.W. Townsend. This building served as a meeting place for community events, church services, school, and other important community meetings.

This first Missionary Baptist Church began to grow and prosper. Pioneer members were John Trusdell, Elijah Bullard, J.W. Cooper, Joe and Amy Odum, John R. Jones, Sr., Jennie Byrel, The Hilton family, and J.R. Brown. The members decided it was time to purchase the property so a new edifice could one day be constructed. The property was purchased on the corner of Highway 50 and Fourth Street at a very low cost. Each of these pioneer families had responsibilities to fulfill if this vision of a new church was to become a reality. The ladies carried water from the lake, cooked and served the meals, while the men measured, sawed, and hammered until the one-room building was completed. The year was 1904. The name for the church was given to a member in a vision, “Jacob Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.”

As the congregation increased, a larger edifice was needed. Two additions were made to the single room building under the management of Rev. W.H. Bagley. It was suggested by Deacon J.W. Cooper to change the name of the church to New Jacob ’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. (The name has remained the same throughout the years.)

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Source: South Lake Tablet /  Lucressie McGriff