In 1950, Mr.
Jessie Locklear donated a half acre of land on which was to be constructed a
community building.  The building was
named Wilkerson Creek Community Clubhouse. 
It was used for holding monthly meetings and for special community activities such as parties and “quiltings.” 
When Mr. Locklear donated the land, he stipulated that if the building
were not used, it would revert back to his estate.  After Mr. Locklear passed away in 1960, his
heirs deeded the property and the building to the Gospel Tabernacle Church, and
it became a permanent part of the church.  
(This building now serves as the church’s fellowship hall.)


The Gospel
Tabernacle Church grew out of a disagreement between the members of Beulah
Baptist Church.  This disagreement
resulted in several families leaving Beulah Baptist Church to form a new church
in 1954.  Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Locklear
donated a one-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Wilkerson Creek Community
Clubhouse for the building of the church. 
Mr. Locklear gave the church its name – Gospel Tabernacle.  Members of the newly formed church raised
money for building materials and other church support through bar-be-que and
chicken plate sales.  Individuals donated
hogs and other items for these sales. 
Church members frequently donated their labor for constructing the
building.  Mr. Carl Hunt, Jr., a skilled
carpenter, gave many hours of labor to the building of the church.  With much hard work and many prayers, the
charter members of Gospel Tabernacle Church were able build a strong spiritual
body and construct a beautiful facility. 
The diligent prayers of the charter members resulted in their dream
becoming a reality.


The charter
members of Gospel Tabernacle Church included the following: Mr. & Mrs.
Jessie Locklear, Mrs. Lucy Oxendine, Mrs. Lizzie Hunt, Mr. & Mrs. Solomon
Locklear, Mr. Tommy Strickland, Mr. John W. Locklear, Mr. Wilbur Jacobs, Mr.
& Mrs. Benny Clark, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Strickland, Mrs. Rooney Strickland
and family, Mr. & Mrs. John Henry Strickland, Mrs. Stella Oxendine and
family, and Mr. & Mrs. John Clark.


The outer and
inner walls of the original church building were constructed of cinder
blocks.  The floors were sawdust.  Seats were made of 2”X4” boards supported by
cinder blocks. “Pot belly” wood heaters heated the church.  With no wall divisions for classrooms,
curtains were used to divide the church for Sunday School classes.  In 1961 classrooms with cement floors and gas
heaters were added to the back of the church. 
Later, more classrooms were added which connected the main building to
the fellowship hall.  Mr. Jessie Locklear
and Mr. Carl Hunt Jr. built the first benches to be used in the church.


Mr. James Osborn
Locklear and Mr. Horace Strickland provided the first music for the church. Mr.
Locklear played the tambourine, and Mr. Strickland played the guitar, and Mr.
Jessie Locklear purchased the first piano for the church.    It was paid for with installments of $10 a
month.  In 1960, Ms. Aldean Jacobs
organized a young people’s choir.  She
remained director of it until her death in 1973.


Several part-time pastors as
listed below have served the church:

1954-60           Rev.
Wade Locklear (deceased)/wife Helen

1961-63           Rev.
Winford Locklear/wife Dorothy

1964-69           Rev.
Wade Locklear (deceased)/wife Helen

1970-72           Rev.
Carl Hunt Jr. (deceased)/wife Nellie       

1973-86           Rev.
Prather Sampson/wife Juanita

1987-88           Rev.
Kenneth Revels/wife Harvelene

1988-97           Rev.
Glassie Locklear(deceased)/wife Emma Bell

1997-Present   Rev.
Kenneth Revels/wife Harvelene


Officers of Gospel
Tabernacle Church and their dates of service follows:


Sunday School Directors

Hunt Jr (1964-70)

Clark Sr. (1968)

Locklear (1969-72)

Clark (1972-84, 86)

Brewer (1985) 

Locklear (1987 - present)


Church Clerks

Revels 1960-62)

Hunt Jr. (1962-63)

Ruth Locklear (1964),

Strickland (1965-76, 86-)

Locklear (1977-78) 

Hunt (1979)

Oxendine (1980-83, 87-88)

Oxendine (1984-86)


Church Treasurers

Lee Oxendine (1960)

Hunt Jr. (1961)

Oxendine (1962)

Mae Strickland (1963-76)

Hunt (1977-86)

Dial (1986 - present)


Chairman Deacons

Jessie Locklear
(date of service unknown)

David Locklear

Willie Locklear
(1985 - present)


The church has also ordained
two ministers – Carl Hunt, Jr. and Horace Strickland.  The pastor and the custodian are the only
paid church staff members.  Members of
the church donate their time in helping to keep the ground groomed and to the
overall maintenance of the church.


In 1986, after the
resignation of the pastor, several families left the church.  This resulted in a large decrease in the
church’s membership.  However, during the
past years, membership has increased due to natural increase in family members
and the joining of new members.   The
church’s attendance averages from 100-150.


church is located approximately 15 miles west of Pembroke off Highway 74 on
Midway Road.  The church remained
independent until 1960 when it joined the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association.  Gospel Tabernacle has a modern facility with
stained glass windows, central heating and air, ceiling fans, carpeted floors,
cushioned benches, a piano, and microphones and speakers.  The front of the church was recently
renovated by adding eaves to beautify the building.  It also has a paved parking lot at a cost of
approximately $18,000.  

Gospel Tabernacle Gospel Church

234 Midway Rd.

Rowland, NC 28383

Rev. Chris Locklear

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

Phone: 910-521-1438