All churches have interesting and unique histories.  Some begin by divisions of other churches, some as outreach ministry of mother churches, some as results of community meetings, others as a result of the work by individuals or families.


Elrod Baptist has its own uniqueness.  In the early 1900’s a building was moved from the vicinity of White Hill Freewill Baptist Church to the community of Elrod and used by the Presbyterians as a place of worship for several years.   In the later 1800’s and early 1900’s Elrod was a very prosperous community primarily due to the railroad depot and mercantile industry.  With the closing of the railroad depot, businesses declined along with the general population.  Soon, the Presbyterian Church closed its doors.


However, many Native Americans remained in the area and traveled several miles to the nearest Indian church. This continued for several years until locals began to inquire of establishing a church in the community.  The idea reached the missions committee of the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association and Rev. C.S. Woriax, the committee chairman, was directed to investigate the potential.  His report was good.  Contacts were made to inquire of the availability of the abandoned Presbyterian facility.  A request was made to purchase the land and facility from that denomination.  They agreed.


Years had taken its toil on the once beautiful property.  However, Rev. Woriax and the association missionary met one day to clean up the place.  Briars had taken reign over the grounds, pigeons nestled in the loft, and honeybees claimed the entrance filling exterior walls with sweet honey.   However, with much work from interested parties the church was soon ready to occupy.


Needing a sponsoring church, Harpers Ferry Baptist Church agreed to provide leadership to the new mission.  An active member, Brother Earl Cummings and his wife along with their family volunteered to work.  The association sent a committee to assist in the constitution of the new church in 1972 with Rev. Tommy Hagans serving as the first pastor. 


Additional property was purchased including a vacant house across the road from the church.  It was dedicated as an education building in memory of Miss Anna Mae Locklear, long-time missionary worker with the association.  Later, with the great growth of Elrod, this house was demolished to make way for demand of more parking.  Rev. Hagans and Brother John Earl Cummings shared a vision for constructing a new sanctuary.  The Mitchell Brothers gave adjacent land to the old church.  A cemetery was started on the additional land in 1993.


With limited resources, in 1974 the small congregation of sixty members responded to their challenge and began construction of a very spacious facility that many considered much to elaborate for this small group, thinking they would never need such a building.  Members chose not to borrow funds but to raise financial resources as construction continued.  Persons purchased bricks, doors, windows and other particular building materials.  It is noted that Mrs. Magnolia Deese bought the first 1000 bricks.  Donations and plate sales were popular sources of funds.


Rev. Hagans, who had begun his ministry in 1970 as part-time was hired full-time in 1973 and served until 1984.  Rev. James A. Hunt served as part-time pastor from 1985-1987.  In 1988 the church called Rev. Gary Chavis as part-time and as full-time pastor in 1991.  He continues as pastor at the writing of this history.


In 1986 the church borrowed $60,000 to purchase and install carpet and pews for the new sanctuary.  After much labor and disaster (the back brick wall fell down twice during construction), the new sanctuary was completed.  Its current value is approximately $ 1 million.   


Since 1991 the church has grown to approximately 350 members and, with a loan of $100,000, added a new fellowship hall and additional classroom space in 1995.  Currently, the value of church properties exceeds $2 million.


Ordained deacons of the church have included Brothers Freddie M. Deese, John E. Cummings, Roy W. Locklear, Larry Barton, Tommy Locklear, Pet Hunt, Robert Locklear, and Donnie Locklear.  Two part-time custodians, Mr. Larry Barton and Mrs. Ilene Dial, have kept the facilities clean over a period of 20 years. 


The church provides many services and ministries to the community.  A van was purchased in 1992 and a full-time daycare program began in 1995.


Great work continues ahead as Elrod responds to the call of God through great faith. Future goals include a Christian School serving grades kindergarten through 12th grade. 

Elrod Baptist Church

538 MacRae Rd.

Rowland, NC 28383

Rev. Gary Chavis

Sunday School 9:45am / Worship 11:00am

Phone: 910-422-8201