New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church (WS, NC) was founded February 3, 1946 by Rev. J. R. Chandler. Services were held in private homes until the members were able to purchase land at the corner of 12 ½ Street and Dunleith Avenue, and build their first church, which is now known as "Chandler’s Chapel”. God continued to bless the church and many auxiliaries were organized under the leadership of Rev. Chandler. After the death of Rev. Chandler, Rev. H. J. Holiday was selected to serve as pastor and he served in this capacity for two terms. Then, on April 10, 1964, Rev. I.C. Mullins was elected pastor. He served God and the church faithfully for 14 years.
God continued to smile on NJMBC and on February 4, 1979, Rev. Samuel J. Cornelius became pastor and spiritual leader of this great church. He was a dynamic preacher, a true believer and a great man of vision. Under his leadership, NJMBC became a church of tithers and God blessed us abundantly. During Rev. Cornelius’ tenure, more ministries were added and several programs were developed. Some of the ministries and programs included:
Deacons Ministry; Trustees Ministry; Deaconess Ministry; several choirs (senior, spiritual, mass, male chorus, and youth mass choir); Wednesday morning and Wednesday night prayer services; Transportation Ministry; Missionary Department; Senior Citizens Ministry; Pastor’s Aid Ministry; Ushers Ministry (Youth and Adult); Nurses Ministry (Youth and Adult); Greeters Ministry; Health Ministry; Women of Vision Ministry; Children’s Church; College Scholarship Program; Hospitality Ministry; Security Ministry; Tape Ministry; TV ministry. Additionally, a Christian Education Department was established. The Christian Education Department included new members classes, educational workshops, a week-long learning institute in October, and spiritual enrichment activities for the entire month of August.
Our vision for a new sanctuary became a reality on January 26, 1992, as members marched from Chandler’s Chapel to the new sanctuary. Then, in 2002, God blessed us to add a new wing to the sanctuary as well as several offices, five classrooms, and a conference room to the church building. NJMBC also adopted a church in Ghana, Africa (Rhema Christian Center). Two years later, in 2004, we opened the “New Jerusalem Food Pantry”, which was located across the street from Chandler’s Chapel.
After 35 years as pastor of NJMBC, Rev. Samuel J. Cornelius retired on February 16, 2014. In appreciation of his dedication and commitment to the church, Rev. Cornelius was voted as ‘Pastor Emeritus’ on March 30, 2014. Subsequently, Rev. Ronald E. Speas was elected as the fifth pastor of NJMBC on November 23, 2014 and was installed on March 8, 2015. Rev. Speas is a spirit-filled pastor and leader who ministers with power and purpose, with conviction and confidence. Under his leadership, NJMBC has purchased additional vehicles for the church, formed a vocal choir, built a new Food Pantry, provided online worship services and electronic giving opportunities, re-established the Intercessory Prayer Ministry, among other ministry accomplishments. Through prayer, faith and trust in God, NJMBC continues to grow in numbers, grace, and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.