Our History

New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville)

In the fall of 1903, a spirit filled group of people decided to have house to house prayer meetings. Estelle Riddick, a member of the community, was the first to open her home to the meetings of which Claude Clay, a deacon from another church was the leader. Individual homes soon became too small to accommodate the gatherings. The Rev. H.M. Austin began a mission on Seaboard Road which became the meeting place until 1904.

In 1905, a revivalist from Charles City County, Rev. Evans, organized the First Baptist Church Taylorsville and became its first pastor. The death of Rev. Evans, in February 1906, left the community and the church without a pastor.

The church was challenged through the pastorship of several ministers. Rev. A. Gummer succeeded Rev. Evans as the minister. He only served a short while. Rev. O.B. Morris was called to serve as pastor after Rev. A. Gummer's leadership and he served until the spring of 1906. Rev. Gibson accepted the call to pastor the church after the resignation of Rev. O. B. Morris. Under the pastorate of Rev. Gibson, the first ordination of church deacons was formed. The first ordained deacons were W. M. Minnis, Simon Williams, and Allen H. Dunn.

The Rev. W.H. Massenburg succeeded Rev. Gibson as, the pastor of FBCT and led the congregation for sixteen years. The membership grew under Rev. Massenburg’ s pastorate and it was under his guidance that the first church was built in 1920.

Rev. Massenburg’s resignation brought us to the era of Rev. W. H. Harris. He lifted the spirits for a period of nine years before he resigned. Norfolk/Portsmouth’s 1928 city register lists Rev. Harris as minister of FBCT located on 2729 County Street, Portsmouth, VA.

On July 1, 1934, the church called Rev. W. A. Roberts to lead the people of Taylorsville. His accomplishments were unprecedented and remained intact until the church was destroyed by fire on January 2, 1939. The members were lost without their meeting place. The pastor and the members looked for a building to hold service. An Italian Lodge Hall on Gibney Street was rented and used as the place of worship. Since the church had no property, the Hall served them well.

The church body began raising money to build a church of their own. The first contribution was donated by a church in Port Norfolk. Many neighboring churches, organizations, businessmen and personal gifts were received. Activities were held to help raise money for the building fund. When the sum of four thousand dollars was reached, plans were drawn for the new church.

Original plans to start building the edifice for the First Baptist Church Taylorsville were for the first bricks to be laid on April 20, 1943 on the same site. The original contract was accepted by Langsen Langston for five thousand dollars six hundred dollars. However, due to his indebtedness to Boyce Lumber Supply, Mr. Langsen defaulted on his loan. So, the contract held between him and FBCT was forfeited on May 9, 1944.

On June 29, 1944 an agreement was made between James Christian, Willis Southall, Leroy Southall, Peter Wadley and Alexander Christian, the trustees of the church, and Aubrey G. Sweet of Boyce Lumber Company for completion of the church for eight thousand dollars, including a supplementary agreement which had increased the costs. The church was completed in 1944. Payments of one hundred dollars per month were made, with the last being made on March 25, 1952. The church had pews installed on June 5, 1949 at a cost of two thousand-four hundred six dollars plus ninety dollars interest, the final payment being due June 1951.

Under Rev. W. A. Roberts’ leadership, the building and pews were free of debt and ours to enjoy. The church had come a long way from its humble beginning to making a dream a reality.

Following the 1954 death of Rev. Roberts, the search for a new pastor started. Many ministers were interested, but the call was extended to Rev. Thomas Melvin Steele from Troy, North Carolina.

A new era was born with the leadership of Pastor Steele for he was an energetic young preacher with a broad vision, who began his task at First Baptist Church Taylorsville in 1956. As the result of new motivation, the congregation's spirit rose to heights and tasks that had never been reached before. A revival spirit broke out among the membership which led to the church’s rapid growth. Because of this growth of parishioners, space became a problem. It was at this time the Early Morning “Dew Drops from Heaven" worship service was initiated at the 7:00 am  hour. Services were also being broadcast on a local radio station.

After a few years it became evident that a new edifice was needed to accommodate the new members. God blessed Pastor Steele with the foresight and ability to pursue the necessary support from his officers and congregation to get the job done. It had been a burning desire and a dream of the pastor and officers to have an educational building along with the new church. In the year of 1972, land was secured from members who wanted to sell and from the city of Portsmouth. Shortly, thereafter a new church was built directly across the street from the old site, with an Educational Building, Sunday School Rooms, a Banquet Room and Nursery following in later phases. All projects were paid for upfront. To implement these projects, the church also purchased two lots across the street from the old church in August 1966, purchased an additional lot in 1968, and three more lots in 1969. Through the prayers and support of the members, community friends and the untiring efforts of the organized groups in the church, the Lord blessed us to be able to witness the mortgage burning ceremony within five years of building.

When the new church was built, the congregation shed the old name of First Baptist Church Taylorsville and became “New First Baptist Church Taylorsville”. Under the continued leadership of Rev. Steele, the new facility of First Baptist Church Taylorsville also was modified to add an elevator and paved parking. Additional initiatives carried out under Rev. Steele’s pastorship included a church bus and Van that transports parishioners to and from service anytime the church is in session and the giving away of Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to the needy, the sick, and shut-ins in our church and community. Pastor Steele led his sheep faithfully for 45 years until he retired in 2001.

Reverend Dr. Melvin R. Boone, Pastor Emeritus of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Suffolk, VA, was selected as interim pastor and to guide the church in the selection of a new pastor.

Reverend Marcus Brown, a native of El Reno, Oklahoma, and a graduate of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of VA Union University in Richmond VA, was voted to succeed Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Steele in November 2002 and Rev. Dr. T. M. Steele was named Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Brown began serving as full time pastor on January 4, 2003. An installation service was held for him on March 30, 2003, with his father, the Rev. Jolly Brown, as installation speaker. Rev. Brown initiated several innovative ministries such as the Prayer Team, the Health Ministry, the Cancer Support Ministry, the Resurrection Ministry, and a formalized Street ministry as well as the completion of church renovations. In March 2007, Pastor Brown was relieved of his pastoral duties at NFBCT and has since started his own church.

God called his faithful servant Rev. Dr. T. M. Steele home on February 4, 2005 in Roanoke, VA after a lengthy illness. His remains were brought home to NFBCT for home going celebrations.

In 2007, Rev. James Wynn began serving as Interim pastor. He previously was the Interim Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church for five years from 2001-2006. Through his leadership the road was set to begin selection of a new pastor.

On October, 25, 2010, through God’s divine providence, the official board met with the congregation to propose that the position of pastor be extended to the Reverend William J. Smith, Jr, formerly of First Baptist Church, Pulaski, VA who accepted the offer on November 27, 2010. Reverend Smith preached his first NFBCT Sunday sermon on January 2, 2011 and was officially installed as NFBCT's pastor on March 27, 2011.

On June 30, 2015, Rev. Dr. William J. Smith, Jr. officially resigned as Pastor of New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville) after four years of service. Pastor Smith and his wife, First Lady Dennine Smith had come to a decision that God was moving them into their next season of ministry.


During this period of transition, Rev. Antonio Q. Revell was asked to assist in the pulpit by preaching and teaching the Word of God. On September 6, 2015, Rev. Revell accepted the position of Supply Pastor for New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville). 


Our church continued to move forward as the Lord guided us along this new path, He has chosen for us; "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven", Ecclesiastes 3:1. We thanked the Lord for Rev. Revell and the sharing of his love for the Lord with this branch of Zion. Rev. Revell continued to preach and teach the word of God at New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville) until June 29, 2016.


In June of 2016, a Pastoral Search Committee was selected and charged with nominating three candidates. In July of 2016, Elder A. Paul Paige accepted the call to minister to the church family through the preaching and teaching of the Word along with assisting with funerals, visiting the sick and bereaved families. From July 10, 2016 through January 1, 2017, New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville) was blessed by his love for the Lord, his willingness to share that love with the church family and his humble spirit. On January 22, 2017, Elder A. Paul Paige accepted the position of Supply Pastor for New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville). 


After much prayer and dedication, the process was narrowed to three candidates, who were presented to the church in June 2017 and later by the majority vote of the congregation, Elder A. Paul Paige’s name was added to the list of candidates. 


In December 8, 2017, the Pastoral Candidate Election was held and the position of pastor was extended to Elder A. Paul Paige. Elder Paige accepted and officially became the Pastor-Elect of New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville). On Sunday, April 15, 2018, Elder A. Paul Paige was officially installed as the Pastor of New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville). We welcomed Pastor Paige, First Lady Nicole Paige and their six children to the New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville) family. “But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32b


The “History of New First Baptist Church (Taylorsville)” is still being recorded; let us labor together with God in order that our Church will be a Beacon of Hope. As we take inventory of the past and the present, there is no reason to doubt the future, for Jesus Christ is LORD.


For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:5-6