For more than 147 years Juniper Level continues its tradition as,
“A CHURCH THAT FOSTERS AN ENVIRONMENT OF GODLY FELLOWSHIP OF EVERY ETHNICITY, WHERE MEMBERS OF ALL AGES CAN FIND LOVE, ACCEPTANCE, HELP, HOPE, GUIDANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT MAKING DISCIPLES FOR CHRIST; TEACHING EACH ONE TO LOVE AND TO KNOW HIM THROUGH BIBLICAL STUDIES. “GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: AND, LO I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD.” (ST. MATTHEW 28: 19-20) ”
In the year 1870, after worshipping in the New Bethel Church near Garner, North Carolina nine members of the church decided that they wanted to venture out and organize a church of their own. These members wanted a place where they could worship God in their own way. It was June, 1870 when these nine members organized a church and named it Juniper Level Baptist Church.
The first building erected was a small log building where the members met to reverently worship God. Reverend S. D. Salter became the first pastor of the church. The Trustees were Reverend J. L. Walton, Brothers John Tomlinson, and T. B. Leach. Mr. Henry Turner became chairman of the Deacons. The other deacons were John Leach, Sr.; William Johnson, Furman Rand and John Tomlinson, Sr.
By faith and under the leadership of Reverend Salter, the church continued to show much progress and Reverend Salter faithfully served as pastor through 1879.
In 1880 Reverend Peter Mallory was elected pastor, and served through 1889. Under his leadership and through prayers and sacrifices, a new church was erected. It was a beautiful building and it was a very rewarding experience to the members who had sacrificed so much to enhance their place of worship.
In 1890 Reverend William Ellerbee was elected pastor and remained until the year 1904. Under his leadership construction was again considered and during this period a frame building was built. The church was continuously growing during this period.
Reverend A.T. Price was chosen as pastor in 1905 and served until the year 1920. During these 14 years the church was still growing immensely, both in spirit and in membership. It was decided that a new church was needed and it was then that the present building was built. Under the leadership of Reverend Price many new organizations were organized. He organized the first Sunday School, with Brother Joseph Leach serving as the first Sunday School Superintendent. A Choir and an Usher Board were also organized.
In 1920 Reverend Lee Johnson became pastor and served until 1926. Through faith church was continuously growing both in spirit and in membership. During the ministry of Reverend Johnson the cornerstone was laid.
Reverend H. D. Eton was elected pastor in 1926, he served until 1938. He organized the Baptist Training Union of which Deacon Robert Wilder served as the first teacher. Additionally the First Aid Group was organized.
In 1939 Reverend C. H. Heath was elected as pastor. As an impressively great leader, Reverend Heath served until the year 1956. Under his leadership the church was remodeled and brick veneered in 1948 with Mr. C. W. Penix, Trustee Chairman.
Reverend Issac Horton was elected pastor in 1957. He served the church well for one and one-half years and then resigned. Under his leadership the youth of the church were given an opportunity to actively participate in the activities of the church. During this time land across the street was purchased, consisting of two acres and a school building. Improvements were made to the church with hardwood floors, a furnace and light fixtures were installed.
Reverend George A. Jones, Sr., was elected pastor in 1959 serving faithfully until his retirement in 1995. During his leadership the church continued to grow spiritually and membership grew to 431. The Sunday School and B.T.U. were very active. Reverend Jones initiated Bible Study on Wednesday nights and Sunday School Teacher’s meetings every first Sunday. Early church officers under Reverend Jones were Deacons: W. R. Smith, Chairman, Robert Wilder, Willie Sapps, Walter Myatt, David Adams, Thomas Leach, Melvin Gill and Melvin Williams. With the continued growth of the church Deacons Willie Rowe and Furman Moore were ordained. In June, 1980 due to the spiritual and membership growth of the church, additional Deacons were needed. Deacons: Thomas Wilder, Jarvis Morgan, Mayo Moore, Billy Wade Manning, Wilford McClain and Oscar Johnson were ordained. During his tenure many improvements were made. Heating and air condition units were installed and a two-story education building was added. The facility included a kitchen, fellowship hall and classrooms upstairs along with the Pastor’s Study. The school building was remodeled to contain a kitchen and dining room.
Dr. Joseph P. Dempsey was then chosen as Interim Pastor and served from 1995 to 1996.
Reverend Marchall Brunson was called to serve as pastor in 1996, he served two years. Under his leadership several ministries were initiated with Deacons as chairpersons. These ministries included Sick and Nursing Home Ministry, Food Ministry, Clothing Ministry and Prison Ministry. The first female Trustees were added. These Trustees were Sisters Carolyn Wall, Barbara Winston, Carolyn Davis and Cora Wilson. Children’s Church and Noon-day Bible Study were organized.
Dr. C. R. Edwards was then called to serve as Interim Pastor from 1998 to 1999. During his tenure renovations were made to the front of the church, adding a Conference Room, a Sound and Video Room with additional restrooms. A dedication service and the laying of the cornerstone took place in February, 1999.
Reverend Alexander B. Herring was elected pastor in 1999. On Sunday, September 12, 1999 Reverend Herring preached his first sermon as the eleventh pastor of Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership a Tutor-Mentor Program was initiated. Youth Sunday was designated as every Third Sunday with the youth presiding over the worship service. The Missionary Ministry grew stronger making visits to the Oxford Children’s Home, Feedings at the Homeless Shelters, distributing 40 to 50 food boxes per week, and the first Women’s Retreat was initiated. The Missionary partnered with Hayes Place, The Church In The Woods, Concerned Citizens for Children and Education, Interfaith Hospitality Network and Glory to Glory House. The Youth Missionary was also very active with the High School Seniors reading scripture at Nor-Glen Nursing Home. Monthly worship services are held a Nor-Glen Nursing Home. Bi-monthly leadership meetings and a Budget and Finance Committee were initiated. Under Reverend Herrings leadership and training three Ministers were licensed: Minister Janie Rowe, Minister Robert L. Jones and Minister Cindy Faison. Reverend Robert L. Jones was later ordained. Additionally, Minister Mike Adams and Minister Dustin Picket delivered their initial sermons. Church vans purchased in 1998 were paid off in full in 2000. Additionally, the five-year mortgage for renovations in 1998 was paid in full in December, 2000. In April of 2001 The Panther Branch (Juniper Level) Rosenwald School was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Later JLBC Community Alliance, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) Organization was formed for the restoration and preservation of the school. Pastor Herring’s tenure ended in 2012
Dr. C. R. Edwards was called to serve as Interim Pastor for a second term from 2012 to 2013. During his tenure five Deacons were ordained: Deacons William Johnson, Ervin Sanders, James McNeill, Gilbert Rivers and Kelton McLaurin.
Reverend Dr. Jeffrey B. Robinson (2013-Present). On February 13, 2013 the membership voted to have Reverend Dr. Jeffrey B. Robinson serve as the Pastor of Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church. Sunday, March 31, 2013 Reverend Robinson began his pastoral-ship by preaching his first sermon at Juniper Level. Since April 2013, Juniper Level’s membership has increased by approximately 175 new and returning disciples and there are 11 Deacons. Under Reverend Robinson’s leadership ChurchCast Communication Telephone Systems has been established, a new Security Alarm System with cameras has been installed. There are monthly training workshops for Leaders, Deacons, Deaconesses and Trustees. There has been the establishment of an Annual Laity Conference, sponsorship of the Pop Warner Football Youth, and the adoption of Rand Road Elementary School. Nine Associate Ministers have been assigned, 26 ministries have been established, 10 Trustees have been engaged, and a new Assistant Music Director was hired. JLMBC had its first Men’s Weekend Retreat and the establishment of the First Annual Community Day Health Fair. The Panther Branch (JL) Rosenwald School has been designated a historical landmark and Phase II renovations are nearly finished. A 25 passenger bus, two flat screen televisions, a remote video camera have been purchased, and the JLMBC Website has been redesigned and updated. To fulfill the needs of the disciples, an 8:00 a.m. Transformational Hour of Worship has been added to the Sunday worship services and Noonday Bible Study every Thursday has begun. On June 30, 2014 Juniper Level Missionary Baptist Church became a 501 (c)(3) corporation. In August, the church will move forward with establishing a Food Pantry and will be participating in the “Adopt-A-Highway Program” for Sauls Road (between Ten-Ten and Highway 42).
Juniper Level is “The Church Where God is Honored Through Service” and we are “Being Committed to the Real Purpose”.