Our History

our-history

In October of 1908, a group of approximately forty people under the leadership of the late Reverend Stewart of High Point, North Carolina organized and began worship services in a spare room in the rear of Shepherd's Store, located in the 300 block of Dowd Street and adjacent to what was known as the Charles Dunham Establishment. This became Mount Gilead Baptist Church.

In 1910, under the leadership of Reverend Russell, the church moved to its first permanent building located at Lee Street and Lynchburgh Street, which is now Gurley Street.

Between 1911 and 1918, Reverends Wortham, Eli Thompson, Suber, George Long, and Plummer Eaton served as pastors. In October 1918, under Reverend David Jones' leadership, the congregation proudly moved to its new building on Dowd Street, which is now a portion of the present structure.

The Reverend Sanders became the Pastor in 1921 and served until 1923. After a few months providing pastoral leadership The Reverend John Tilley became the pastor and served until 1925, when he was granted a leave of absence. In 1926 Reverend Henry L. Davenport became the Pastor. After his death in 1927, Reverend Clanton served as the pastor for a few months until Reverend John Tilley returned to Mount Gilead and improved the organization of the church.

In 1930 Reverend H. Albert Smith, became the Pastor and served until the spring of 1932.

In 1932, Reverend Elias Wimberly became the Pastor. In the 1940's, a financial drive was initiated to build a new church building.

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In May 1948, Reverend Harold Roland became the Pastor. Under his leadership, Mount Gilead continued to grow.

In the spring of 1956, the construction of the current church building began. During this period of construction, worship services were held at the E. D. Mickle Recreation Center on North Alston Avenue. In December, 1956 the first worship service was held in the new church edifice.


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In August of 1961, Reverend Alexander Dumas Moseley was called to pastor.  The development and education of Mount Gilead’s membership was cultivated: more deacons and ministers were ordained; there was more giving of tithes and offerings; and church administration became more organized. The debt incurred for the church building was paid off. 

The church licensed and ordained the following ministers: Reverend C. R. Stone, Reverend Glenn M. Pettiford, Reverend Earl E. Thorpe, Reverend A. Bernard Morrison, and Reverend Wadell C. Tapp.


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In 1982 The Reverend Leroy Elijah Davis became the Pastor. Under his leadership, Mount Gilead continued to grow. Reverend Davis worked closely with city agencies and community representatives such as Mrs. Callina Shaw Smith, a church member and President of the East End Community Council. They were instrumental in obtaining over $1.2 million of government funds for the revitalization of the East End community. This stabilized the church and the community.  Mt. Gilead continues to purchase rental houses for this revitalization project.

In 1990, Mount Gilead organized Mount Gilead, Inc. a non-profit corporation. Through it, the church with a loan allocation of up to $178,777 from the City of Durham completed the rehabilitation of seven rental properties.

In March, 2007, after the retirement of Rev. Leroy Davis, Rev. Norman Davis served as Interim Pastor.

In October, 2008, Mt. Gilead celebrated its centennial. The theme was "Honoring the Past, Celebrating our Present, Designing our Future".


holding-logoThe Rev. Dr. David D. Mitchell became the Senior Pastor of Mount Gilead Baptist Church in July 2009.