THE HISTORY OF CHARLESTON COUNTY MISSIONARY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
The Charleston County Missionary Baptist Association (CCMBA) was founded in 1923 by ministers who pastored churches in the Charleston Area during that period. As a result, there were ten chartered churches. They were as follows: Morris Street Baptist Church, Rev. J. C. Dunbar; Calvary Baptist Church, Rev. B. B. Jones (also Principal of Burke High School); Salem Baptist Church, Rev. P. R. Lewis; Green Chapel Baptist Church, Rev. Bennett; St. Paul Baptist Church, Rev. R. G. Gibson; Memorial Baptist Church, Rev. J. C. White; Central Baptist Church, Rev. W. P. Jones; New Hope and Union Baptist Churches, Rev. N. B. Perry; Cannon Street Baptist Church, Rev. D. S. Fraiser.
The churches and ministers named in this document were affiliated with the New Ashley Baptist Association, which was comprised of many churches and often met many miles away from Charleston. Therefore, the pastors that were in attendance felt that an Association comprised of the churches of the Charleston area could be formed to offer convenience from the distance that they were traveling and still meet the same objectives. Consequently the Charleston County Missionary Baptist Association came into being in 1923.
The following persons have served as Moderators. Rev. W. P. Jones, Rev. N. B. Perry, Rev. Wesley Ravenell, Rev. J. T. Thomas, Rev. Dr. Benjamin J. Whipper, Rev. Dr. A. R. Blake and Rev. Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr., Rev. W. P. Jones and Rev. N. B. Perry served from 1923 to the early 1930’s Rev. Wesley Ravenell served from the 1930’s to 1944, Rev. J. T. Thomas, 1944-1948; Rev. Dr. B. J. Whipper, 1948-1993; Rev. Dr. A. R. Blake 1993-2003 and Reverend Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr., 2003 to 2012. Rev. Dr. William A. Salley served as Moderator 2012-2017.
When Rev. Ravenell died between sessions, there was some dilemma about the leadership. Therefore in 1944 at St. Matthew Baptist Church, when Rev. Thomas was elected moderator, the constitution was amended to provide for a Vice Moderator. Rev. Dr. Whipper was elected to that office In 1948 at Salem Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Whipper was elected Moderator and Rev. A. H. Clark was elected Vice Moderator.
In 1993, after serving forty-five years, Rev. Dr. Whipper retired as Moderator and the Association voted that he would become Moderator Emeritus. At that session, Rev. Dr. A. R. Blake was elected Moderator, Rev. Dr. W. E. Givens, Vice Moderator, Rev. Michael Pigg, Secretary, Rev. W. U. Frederick, Treasurer and Rev. Charles Green, Chairman of the Executive Board.
During the 80th Annual Session in October of 2003, Rev. Dr. A. R. Blake retired as Moderator. The Association made him Moderator Emeritus. The Association, under Dr. Givens leadership, sponsored an Appreciation Service honoring Reverend Dr. Alphonso R. Blake on the occasion of his retirement as Moderator of the Association on Sunday, February 29, 2004 at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. The Reverend John Gilmore, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church of Tarry town, New York was the messenger. The following officers were elected in the Annual Session in 2003: Rev. Dr. Willie E. Givens, Jr., Moderator; Rev. Dr. William A. Salley, Vice Moderator; Rev. James B. Lewis, Sr. General Secretary, Rev. William U. Frederick, Treasurer and Rev. Isaac Holt, Chairman of the Executive Board.
Under Moderator Givens, tenure of five years was introduced in 2005 for all officers of the Association and the final reading and adoption took place in 2007. The following changes in church registration and voting delegation was also introduced in 2005 and is follows: Churches with 1-100 members will register with $300 and have one voting delegate; Churches with 101-400 members will register with $500, which allows two voting delegates; Churches with 401 members and over will register with $700, which allows three voting delegates. The Association has begun the process to establish 501-C-3 status. The first reading of the Constitution was done in 2006.
Criteria for Ordained Ministers and Licentiate Ministers of the Charleston County Baptist Association was adopted at Midterm Session 2009. An increased level of training and preparation for the pastorate and ministry has been placed at the forefront of the Associational responsibilities. Under Dr. Givens leadership, increased focus on economic development and education has been raised to a heightened level within our Association. Participation and financial support to Morris and Benedict Colleges has increased steadily each year. Increased fellowship and involvement within the Association, State and National Convention has increased tremendously. Dr. Givens’ tenure ended October 2012. With the overwhelming support of all of the member churches, Dr. Givens was honored with the title Moderator Emeritus!
Dr. William A. Salley, Pastor of Jerusalem MBC, Charleston, SC was elevated from Vice Moderator by a strong vote of confidence from the delegates to serve a five-year tenure as Moderator. The Rev. Isaac J. Holt, Jr., Pastor of Royal MBC, was elected Vice Moderator. The Rev. Leonard O. Griffin, Pastor of Morris Street BC, was elected General Secretary. The Rev. Charles K. Cuthbert, Pastor Emeritus, Bethlehem BC, was elected Treasurer. The Rev. James B. Lewis, Sr., Pastor of Covenant MBC, was elected Chairman of the Executive Board.
Dr. Salley ushered in the official recognition of women in ministry by ordaining the first female to the Gospel Ministry in the history of the CCMBA. Rev. Angela Brooks became the first Ordained woman Minister on March 16, 2014. During Dr. Salley’s tenure eleven (11) ministers have been ordained, and nine (9) Pastors have been installed! Dr. Salley also instituted an Annual Prayer Breakfast among Pastors and Deacons. He enlisted the ideas and support of the Pastors of the member churches through meetings and fellowship opportunities. Increased opportunities to preach were afforded the women ministers from member churches. Dr. Salley created a Fee Schedule for the processes of Ordination Examinations, Ordination Worship Services, and Pastoral Installations. The Educational Scholarship Fund drive continued to garner strong prayerful, financial, and physical support under his leadership.
Reverend Doctor Issac J. Holt, Jr., the Pastor of Royal Missionary BC and Vice Moderator took the leadership of CCMBA as Moderator. The Rev. Leonard O Griffin, Pastor of Morris Street MBC, was elected Vice Moderator. The Reverend Larry W. Whaley, Pastor of Saint Paul MBC, was elected General Secretary. The Reverend Curtis J. Dayson, Jr., Pastor, Lovely Mountain MBC, was elected Treasurer. The Reverend Mack A. Gadsden, Sr., Pastor of New Hope MBC, was elected Chairman of the Executive Board. While eight of its member churches were without Pastors, the new leadership was sought out by congregations for advice and counsel and with prayer, spiritual guidance and following the dictates of the holy spirit led church to elect Pastors after God’s heart. Under Reverend Holt’s leadership the Annual Meeting and the Mid-Term Session of the association were for revamp to include a Recognition Luncheon to honor long serving Association workers. The Association has maintained top level giving to Morris and Benedict Colleges, and incorporated technology to enhance the work of the association.
Reverend P. R. Lewis 1923-1936
Reverend D. S. Frasier 1936-1953
Deacon C. W. McPherson 1953-1962
Reverend S. T. Simmons 1962-1981
Reverend Dr. J. E. Cowen 1981-1985
Reverend Henry S. Capers 1985-1986
Reverend Charles A. Green 1986-1993
Reverend Michael Pigg 1993-1999
Reverend Charles K. Cuthbert 1999-2003
Reverend James B. Lewis, Sr. 2003-2012
Reverend Leonard O. Griffin 2012-2017
Reverend Larry W. Whaley 2017-present
Executive Board Chairmen
Reverend R. G. S. Gibson 1923-1935
Reverend J. F. Sutton 1936-1950
Reverend E. L. Bowens 1951-1959
Reverend J. T. Thomas 1960-1969
Reverend A. R. Blake 1969-1983
Reverend W. J. Davenport 1984-1985
Reverend Dr. W. E. Givens 1985-1993
Reverend Charles A. Green 1993-2003
Reverend Isaac J. Holt, Jr. 2003-2012
Reverend James B. Lewis, Sr. 2012-2017
Reverend Mack A. Gadsden, Sr. 2017-present
Reverend J. White 1923-1943
Reverend W.G. Kinard 1943-1946
Reverend E. I. Bowens 1946-1948
Bro. A. Hunt 1948-1949
Reverend H. H. Dayson 1949-1967
Reverend R. M. Pitts, Jr. 1967-1985
Reverend Dr. W. A. Salley 1985-1993
Reverend W. U. Frederick, Jr. 1993-2012
Reverend Charles K. Cuthbert 2012-2017
Reverend Curtis J. Dayson, Jr. 2017–-present