Evergreen Baptist Church History
Prior to the year of 1920, the Black Baptists of Palmyra attended church services in Camden or East Riverton, New Jersey. Growing weary of the travel, Mrs. Lucy Larue consulted with Rev. Borman to organize the First Black Church for the town of Palmyra. A group of six people, Mrs. Larue, Mrs. Hammond, Mr. and Mrs. Brister, Mr. and Mrs. William Brown, met in the kitchen of Mrs. Hammond at 4th and Arch Streets to conduct services from the winter of 1918 to the spring of 1919. During the summer months, they purchased a tent to hold their services. With faith in God and hard work, three lots at 3rd and Market Streets were purchased. Mr. Albert McCombs was engaged to construct a 12’x10’ building on the property. Needing a letter from an organized church in order to organize their own, they joined St. John’s Baptist Church in Camden, New Jersey and received their letter. The church was formally organized in the spring of 1920 and Rev. Borman was called as Evergreen’s First Pastor.
Under Rev. Borman’s Pastorate, two Deacons were elected, Deacon William Brown and Deacon Alexander Brister; who also serves as the First Superintendent of Sunday School. Rev. Borman left Evergreen in the fall of 1921. In November of 1921, Samuel Austin became Evergreen’s eighth member, and since the church did not have a Pastor, he was not given the right hand of fellowship until January 1922 when Rev. J.R. Ingram was called as Pastor. In the spring of 1922, Mr. Richard Ruffin, Mr. Charles Brown and Mr. Samuel Austin were elected as the First Board of Trustees and the Senior Choir was organized. In July of 1923, ground was broken for the foundation of the second edifice. The edifice was completed in January of 1924 and the first service was held on the first Sunday of that month. Mr. Enoch Williams and Mr. Samuel Austin were ordained as Deacons in September of 1924 bringing the total number of Deacons to four.
In 1925, Rev. William Brew, from Norfolk, VA was called as Evergreen’s 3rd Pastor. In June of 1928, Rev. Moses Bowe was called as the 4th Pastor of Evergreen. During that time period, Mrs. Gladys Cook King was elected as the Jr. Choir Pianist. From the spring of 1935 until March of 1937, Rve. J.C. Richardson served as Evergreen’s 5th Pastor. In 1937, Rev. Arthur W. Jones of Philadelphia was called as Evergreen’s 6th Pastor. Rev. Jones was called to Virginia in 1939. From 1940-1941, Rev. Roscoe Deveraux served as Evergreen’s 7th Pastor.
In 1943, Rev. J. G. Washington became Evergreen’s 8th Pastor. In 1944, the church embarked upon building a larger edifice. The members worshiped in the new edifice on the first Sunday of May 1945.
January 1946, Rev. F.L. Patterson of Philadelphia was called as Evergreen’s 9th Pastor. He resigned in 1948 and in 1951 Rev. W.O. Merritt was called as Evergreen’s 10th Pastor. During his tenure, the church was remolded. From 1964-1967, Rev. E.C. Carson of Philadelphia became the 11th Pastor of Evergreen.
In April 1969, Rev. Guy Campbell, Jr. was called as the 12th Pastor of Evergreen Baptist church. Through his preaching and teachings, many souls have been led to Christ and the church has grown both spiritually and numerically. As the church has grown numerically, there has also been the development and growth of various ministries within the church. Some of the ministries that bountifully blessed the church include: The Board of Christian Education, The Sheepfold Ministries, Male Chorus, Men’s and Women’s Ministries, Male Usher Board, Youth Choir, Campbell’s Inspirational Choir, Spiritual Jubilees, Young Voices of Praise, Praise Dance Ministry, Mass Choir, Drama Ministry, Singles and Married Couples Ministries along with a numbers of others ministries. Through Pastor Campbell’s vision, Evergreen Baptist Church purchased nineteen lots and built two new edifices. On December 15, 2007, through Pastor Campbell’s relentless Faith in God, Evergreen Baptist Church became debt free as we celebrated the burning of our mortgage. Pastor Campbell has a place that “will stand as a reminder to the community and world at large that Evergreen has been blessed by the saving grace and guiding hand of our Savior.”
We look back in retrospect with humility and gratitude to our forefathers and the other pioneers of the rich heritage of the Evergreen Baptist Church. The fact that Evergreen stands today, as it did so many years ago, as a beacon of light to its community and to the world at large is a living testimony to the fact that through Christ all things are possible!
We thank God for the persons who accepted Christ and have been baptized into this fellowship. The new members who have united with our church are now helping this fellowship to be stronger in the Lord. We pray that God will continue to use us to his glory and honor of His Name. To God be the Glory…great things He has done.