Greater Vine City Baptist Church History
1946 – 2012
History is the mirror through which we reflect upon the past, gain an appreciation for the present, and become motivated to impact upon the future. For these reasons, it is significant that we pause to celebrate the 66 years of Greater Vine City Baptist Church existence.
The year was 1946, and the place was Walker Tabernacle Baptist Church located on West Fair Street. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon on the 3rd Sunday in October, a small band of Christian men and women joined hands and pledged themselves to God, in the purpose to constitute a church of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The newly organized church was named Vine City Baptist Church, and the pastor was Reverend Junior Harvey Daniel.
We worshipped there at Walker Tabernacle Baptist Church for 18 months. The first deacons were Henry Nixon, Ozzie Hayes, Coya Rogers, and Eddie Barnes. The next 12 years were challenging and exciting. Through faith, love, and prayers, we moved higher and higher spiritually, numerically, and most of all highlighted by the establishment of the true meaning of togetherness.
Our goal in sight-singing our inspiration song-“We’ve Come This Far By Faith.” As it was sung, we could reflect back. On March 27, 1961, the death angel was released from its quarters in heaven and reclaimed the life of our organizer and God’s servant, the Reverend J.H. Daniel. From 1961 o 1964, the Reverend C. J. Johnson served as pastor of Greater Vine City Baptist Church. The late Rev. C.J. Johnson was known as one of the greatest Gospel hymn singers.
In 1965, the congregation called Rev. J.W. Fielder as the new pastor of Greater Vine City Baptist Church.
Under his leadership new members were added to the church, including those by Christian experience, baptism, and some restored. Many auxiliaries were organized, namely the J.W. Fielder Mass Choir, Usher Board #2, Matron Circle, Courtesy Guild, Pastor’s Aid Club, and Nurses Guild.
Rev. Fielder has so much faith in the works of Greater Vine City Baptist Church that on his own, he secured more than $20,500 to pay off a church loan in full. We were moving onward, upward, and striving for new heights. Rev. Fielder enrolled the church in the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc and the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc.
We thank God for Rev. J.W. Fielder’s leadership of Greater Vine City Baptist Church as we continued to climb higher, the church mortgage was paid off, church pews were padded, and new carpet was installed.
On December 2, 2000 our beloved pastor Rev. J.W. Fielder went on to glory as God called his warrior home.The 4th Sunday in September 2001, the Lord blessed Greater Vine City Baptist Church with a new shepherd, the late Reverend Alvin C. King, Jr. His vision for the church was “Making a difference to unbelievers in an unbelieving world. In order to make a difference, we must be different ourselves.” He wanted each of the members to be a beacon of light to help lead others to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Under his leadership, the membership roll increased to over 200 members, food distribution and pantry was established for the needy, and the church became active in the Original Mother’s Board Association. Rev. King organized the Gospel Gents, was director of the Voices of Inspiration, re-established energetic Wednesday night Bible Study, established a Singles Ministry, and organized the Junior Deacon Board, New tables, chairs steam table, kitchen sink, A/C units, and a new roof were purchased from money that was raised through pledges from the congregation and fund raisers. Rev. King was passionate about making a difference in the Vine City community as well. He became a member of the Vine City Civic Lead and FAACA, which provided the commodities for the food distribution and church pantry, to increase our community involvement.
Early in the morning on November 1, 2010, the Lord walked in his garden to pluck one of his beautiful flowers by calling our blessed pastor home to rest with the Lord.
Although we had lost the shepherd of our flock, the congregation once again joined hands as our forefathers had done and prayed to God for another shepherd to keep us on the path of righteousness.
In April 2011, the congregation called Rev. Joseph A. McGuire to pastor Greater Vine City Baptist Church in his vision – “Making a difference for Jesus in our Church, Home, and Community.” In his time here, Rev. McGuire has worked tirelessly by having the church painted, new HVAC installed, and more members have been added. This year, bathrooms were added upstairs with Handicap accessibility. There are additional projects on the horizon as we move onward & upward. As the saying goes, “Every round goes higher and higher!”
Thanks to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Greater Vine City Baptist Church has been blessed with 66 years.
We are trusting in God that the years to come will be even more fruitful than those in our history as..
We’ve come this far by faith
Leaning on the Lord
Trusting in his Holy Word
He’s never failed me yet
Oh, can’t turn around
We’ve come this far by faith
Just the other day, I heard a man say
He did not believe in God’s word
But I can truly say, the Lord has made a way
He’s never failed me yet