Mt. Jackson Regular Baptist Church

On August 4, 1874, a meeting was held at the New Zion Regular Baptist Church (located on the Oakvale – Elgood Road) for the purpose of organizing a Regular Baptist Church at Concord, Mercer County, West Virginia.  The meeting was organized by choosing R. M. Ashworth as chairman and D. H. Thornton as secretary.

Attending this meeting were:  from the New Zion Church – Bluford W. Bird, Letha Ann (Hatcher) Bird, John S. H. Bird, Elizabeth S. (Vermillion) Bird, Rhoda A. (Bird) Vermillion, Cynthia J. (Bird) Bowling, Margaret G. “Maggie” Oxley, David H. Thornton and Mary (Jennings) Thornton;  from Honakers Chapel – R. M. Ashworth, Sara Etta (Honaker) Ashworth, Cora D. Bailey, R. J. Harman and Nellie Ashworth;  and from Jordans Chapel – Amanda A. (Oxley) Goode.

At this meeting, a Regular Baptist Church to be known as the Concord Regular Baptist Church was organized.  In a business session that followed, R. M. Ashworth was called as its pastor, D. H. Thornton was elected as clerk, and John S. H. Bird was chosen as a deacon.

During the early years of the Concord Regular Baptist Church, services were held in the Oxley Hollow school house.  On January 6, 1917, Dr. Samuel R. and Blanche A. Holroyd deeded to A Jackson Oxley, Lundy L. Nichols and E. Lee Oxley, trustees of what was then called the Athens Regular Baptist Church (name changed in 1909), a ½ - acre tract of land for the purpose of building a house of worship.  It is said that the building of this house of worship began in the fall of 1924 and was completed in the spring of 1925, and that when the first services were held in the new structure, the name of the church was changed to Mt. Jackson Regular Baptist Church, in honor of Andrew Jackson Oxley.  That area, immediately north of Athens, soon became known as Mt. Jackson.

As membership and work of the Church continued to grow, it became evident that more extensive facilities were needed.  On July 14, 1978, the Trustees of the Mt. Jackson Regular Baptist Church acquired from the Estate of Elbert H. Jennings 2+ acres of land located on North State Street in the Town of Athens.  Work on the new church building began in March of 1981 and was completed about one year later.  The first services in the new house of worship were conducted by Eugene Harmon on May 23, 1982, and there were 341 in attendance.

The first pastor was R. M. Ashworth, and he served until 1901.  J. M. Ashworth was called for pastor, and he served in 1910 and 1911.  Elder J. E. Lee was pastor in 1912, and in 1913, D. B. Seal was called as pastor.  When the erection of the Mt. Jackson Regular Baptist Church was completed in 1925, the pastor was Wesley McKinney, who served until 1936.  Everett R. Shafer, from Beckley, was then called for pastor and served until 1947.  Elder Donald Barnes was then called for pastor and served until August of 1949, at which time Fred Cook was called to pastor and, and he served until his resignation on March 1, 1953.  Hunter Morgan was then called to pastor, and Donald Barnes was assistant pastor.  Hunter Morgan resigned in November of 1954, and Donald Barnes became pastor and served until the fall of 1971.  In November of 1971, Eugene Harmon was called to pastor, and he has served the Church during the last fifteen years.

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