CHIPLEY - On Sunday, August 18 at 11 a.m. at the Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 816 Sunday Road, under the pastorate of Rev. Malcolm O. Nelson, will be celebrating 149 years of being a beacon light in the Orange Hill Community. The theme is "More Than Conquerors" (Romans 8:37). The preacher will be Rev. Richard O. Wilson, pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Gordon, Alabama and graduate of old Roulhac High School (Class of 1961).
Hurricane Michael came in on October 10, 2018 and transformed the Florida Panhandle. Michael smashed buildings to splinters, tore off roofs and sent trees careening through walls. Despite going through the effects of Michael the Church was also destroyed three times.The Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ however made it possible for our community of believers to remain in harmony. We as Christians and are "More Than Conquerors" because Christ our Lord is conqueror. We conquer not by evading the grasp of death, hardship, suffering and evil, but by facing such torments in the trust that God’s grasp is more certain and secure than any of those things, and that nothing can separate us from the love and the promise of God who holds us eternally.
The Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Washington County. It was founded in 1870 when President Ulysses S. Grant was U.S. president and in the year the 15th Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote, was added to the Constitution. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed just 7 years earlier. This historic Church was establish for the worship to our Almighty God and the fellowship of His people set forth in the New Testament. Out of Orange Hill sprung the Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church and from them the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.
Matthew 5:19 says "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee". Therefore, under the Pastorate of Rev. Adolphus McLaughlin 39 years ago, Thelma Bell Farmer and Flora Wilson McIntyre planned the very first homecoming. There have been 16 pastors serving the Church on the hill. "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jeremiah 3:15) The first Pastor of Orange Hill was Rev. James Cady from Jackson County. He was Deacon Jefferson Cady’s father. The following pastors have been. Rev. Webb, Rev. Benjamin, Rev. Green, Rev. Gipson, Rev. Linsay, Rev. B. A. Allen, Rev. Blount, Rev. Woods, Rev. Joseph Young, Rev. Jessie Ward, Rev. Jefferson, Rev. Sam Cherry, Rev. Adolphus McLaughlin, Rev. James Johns (longest serving pastor) and our current pastor Rev. Malcolm O. Nelson. The Associate Pastors have been Rev. Nesby Brown, Rev. Earl Cooke and Rev. George Davis.
At one point in its rich history in partnership with the Washington County School System the Church gave one of their 20 acres of land to build a public school for black children in the community. After the schools were consolidated in Washington County, the School Board gave the acre of land back.In commemoration of the 400-year legacy of the African American journey (1619-2019) the Honorable Judge Elijah Smiley was invited to speak on "No Dream Is Beyond Our Grasp" 4oo Years of Perseverance (1619 - 2019)for the Black History Service. All are invited to join in grand celebration at the Annual Homecoming Service on Sunday, August 18 at 11 a.m.