Goodwill Baptist Church as a rich church history. More than one hundred and twelve (112) years ago our fore-fathers and mothers saw God as Lord and decided to unite in fellowship. One member, Mrs. Fannie Stuart, a dynamic, vibrant, and energetic woman, organized the church group and got permission from her friend, neighbor, and brother-in-law, John Flemming, to use the front porch of his home for the worship services.
The small group soon out grew the porch and the worship service was moved to a nearby bush harbor (vines and shade trees) on the land of John Flemming. This area is located to the right of the present church as you face the graveyard. John Flemming then donated this same land for the building of the first Goodwill Baptist Church.
The church was so named because the members had worked or lived on the nearby Goodwill Plantation.
The members of the church donated their time, labor, and even materials to the building of the new church. Finally, after much hard work and many long hours, the church was completed. It was small, but large enough for the Goodwill flock. However, membership increased and soon the members began to build another church adjacent to the old one. In 1939 the new church sanctuary, made of a white shingle like material, was completed and the old church building was torn down. Rev. R. B. Readen was the pastor at the time and the deacons were: John Nixon, Robert McKenzie, Eddie Thompson, and Joseph Nixon. Mary LaBrew Patterson served as the first church clerk.
As the membership grew, so did the church building. In 1963, a new church building was built in the spot where the first church had been. The new building was made of brick and remains the main sanctuary of the church.
The sanctuary was not enough for the precocious Barbara Flemming (Weston) the great granddaughter of land donor John Flemming, great granddaughter of the first church clerk, Mary Patterson, granddaughter of the second church clerk, Ruth Patterson James, daughter of the third church clerk, Lillie Mae James Flemming, and sister of the fourth church clerk Ruthie Flemming (Stearns). So, in 1969 her plea for Sunday school classrooms was answered. The additional rooms served as the educational facility until a newer one was completed in 1995. The new structure was planned and supervised by Trustees Willie Patterson (great-grandson of the first church clerk, Mary Patterson) and Charles Moye.
Rev. McClinton shepherded the flock for 18 years and brought the church into the 21st century. Many things were accomplished through God’s grace as the church got its first telephone, computer, printer, copier, vacuum cleaner, microphone and microphone system, cushioned the pews, purchased and installed carpet. Rev. Belt connected the church with the Goodwill Plantation new owners and organized the fellowship and visit to the plantation for the church family. The owners gave a generous donation and continue to fellowship with members occasionally.
Rev. David Jackson is now the shepherd and has been leading the flock for more than a decade. Meet our pastor!