In the late 1800’s, according to oral tradition, the Raeford Brewington family worshiped with a congregation at Piney Grove Church in Salemburg, NC.  For unknown reasons, the Brewingtons left that body of worshipers.  Other Indians living in the New Bethel community did not have an established meeting place to experience free and desired worship.  They began to assemble at various locations to hold their meetings.  It is acknowledged that open-air services were held under the oak trees, known as “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity,” located on property owned by the Raeford Brewington family.  On that same property was “Old Fellows Lodge for Indians”.  Night services and services during inclement weather were held at the Lodge. 


Another accepted tradition was that services were conducted in the front yard of Isam Ammons, a tenant farmer.  It is believed this meeting place was only a short distance from the present church site.


It could have been that both traditions are correct with earlier meetings occurring in both areas.  Whatever the case may be, it is known that by 1910 worshippers developed awareness for an established place.  In November 1910, Charlie Dixon Brewington, along with co-believers Hardie A. Brewington, James Arthur Brewington, Matthew Lee Brewington, and William Bud Brewington, organized and established a permanent worship place for Indians in the New Bethel community.  Hardie A. Brewington and wife, Frances E. Brewington, sold the group approximately one-fourth (1/4) acre of land for one dollar ($1.00) with the stipulation that this property be used as a site for a Missionary Baptist Church for the Indian people.  This original land remains the site of the existing New Bethel Baptist Church in Herring Township, approximately eight miles north of Clinton on Route 1, Clinton.  Recently this address has been changed to Mount Moriah Church Road, Clinton.  The deed to this property was issued August 21, 1911.  The first church facility was built along side a two-room log cabin school for Native Americans in Sampson County.  Services were held there until 1961.  Sunday School classes for children and youth were held in the adjacent school


James Arthur Brewington, George Bertis Brewington, Hardy Jones, Ernest J. Simmons, Harley E. Goodman, and George W. McLean comprised the first Deacon Board.  The first pastor of the newly originated church was the Reverend Gilbert A. Locklear, who began his ministry as pastor in 1910 and served until 1919.  He lived in Robeson County, as did several other pastoral leaders who followed, and commuted to Sampson County each fourth Sunday of the month.  Other devoted men of God who served as pastors with varied tenure until 1935 included the Reverend English Archie Locklear, 1921; the Reverend Neil P. Sanderson, 1927; the Reverend Steve A. Hammonds, 1928; and the Reverend Neil P. Sanderson, 1927; the Reverend Steve A. Hammonds, 1928, and the Reverend June Sampson, 1931.


The Reverend Clarence E. Locklear was called in 1935 to lead the church congregation.  During his tenure as pastor, the church initiated a new schedule of worship to be held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.  He continued to lead the church for thirteen years during which time the membership grew steadily.


The Reverend Coolidge Cummings was called and served 1948-1950.  As early as 1948, church leaders began to vision a need for larger and improved facilities, and in May of that year, the deacons made a recommendation to build a new church building.  This vision did not materialize until several years later, however.  In October 1950, the church called the Reverend Welton Lowery as pastor.  He was an inspirational and spiritual leader.  He encouraged the congregation to move forward with the vision of building a new church facility.  In an effort to raise funds for the building project, the church had a harvest day on which community families gave and/or pledged financial support to this project.  That year, nine hundred dollars ($900) was raised.  The harvest day activities became an annual event for some years to follow.


In 1951, the Reverend Roy W. Maynor began his work as pastor and served fourteen years until September 1965.  Under his leadership the Baptist Young People’s Union was organized.  In March 1957, a ground breaking ceremony for the long awaited new church building was held, and in 1959 construction of the new modern sanctuary and Sunday school facilities began just a few yards from the existing building.  Contractors and community workers completed the new church building in 1961.  A dedication of the new sanctuary was held during a worship celebration on March 12, 1967.


In 1965, the church called the Reverend Harvey E. Brewington, one of its own to serve as pastor.  He served the church until September 1968 when the church called the Reverend David R. Brewington, whose grandfather was one of the co-founders of New Bethel, to serve as pastor.  He served as pastor from October 1968 to September 1970.


In 1970, a young pastor, the Reverend Michael Cummings from Pembroke just beginning a preaching ministry, was elected to serve as pastor.  His election gave New Bethel its first full-time pastorate.  Under his spiritual and committed leadership, the church continued to grow in all areas.  In 1971, the Church organized the Woman’s Missionary Union with Mrs. Alice S. Locklear assuming the responsibility as its director until her death in 1989.  Mary E. Raines was then elected WMU Director in November 1989 and remains in that position.  In 1972, some men of the church saw a need to greater support of missions.  They organized the Brotherhood, with Mr. Tom N. Carter as the director.  He served from 1972-1979.  Other Brotherhood directors have included Mr. Romie G. Simmons, 1979-1985, Mr. Kent N. Jacobs, 1985-1998, and Mr. Philip D. Bell from September 1998 to the present.


Several building projects have taken place to accommodate the growth of the church.  In 1972, a new fellowship hall was constructed beside the existing church.  The church trustees also purchased one-half (1/2) acre tract behind the church from Mr. Allen Jones for five hundred dollars ($500) to provide need additional parking spaces.  The need and desire for a parsonage was being considered and on November 12, 1975, the church purchased approximately 0.78 acres of land from Mr. Romie G. Simmons and wife, Dorothy E. Simmons, for ten dollars ($10) as a site for the proposed parsonage.  This property is located about one half mile from the site of the church.  The parsonage was completed in 1976 at which time Rev. Cummings and his family moved in and made it their home for several years. During Reverend Cummings pastoral leadership, the Church began worship services each Sunday of the month. 


The Reverend Charles P. Locklear served as pastor from 1979 to 1983, and the Reverend Titus Locklear served as pastor from 1983 to 1985.  During this period of time, the church sanctuary was remodeled with new carpet and padded pews as a result of a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Troy Bell.  A new steeple was placed atop the sanctuary.  After the sudden tragic and accidental death of Rev. Locklear, the Reverend Charles W. Maynor served as interim pastor.


In 1986, the Reverend Hubbard Lowery was called as part-time pastor for the church and served until November 1998.  During his tenure, the church experienced physical changes.  In 1992, the church sanctuary was remodeled and extensive improvements were made.  Four additional classrooms were added to an upstairs area on the back of the church. The Church began a visitation program as a part of the outreach program.  Projecting further growth, the church trustees purchased land and a house adjacent to the existing church property from Max Allen Sampson in 1996.  In March 1997, New Bethel became a non-profit corporation. 


The Church currently has a membership of 240 and a Sunday School enrollment of 203.

New Bethel looks with assurance to the future and looks to the past with humble thanks for its growth both spiritually and physically.


New Bethel Baptist Church

1165 Mt. Moriah Church Rd.

Clinton, NC 28328

Rev. Terry Cummings

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

Phone: 910-564-4977