Ephesus Baptist Church at Smith’s Cross Roads in South Hill, Virginia, is an offspring of Malone’s Baptist Church. Malone’s Baptist, constituted in 1771, was one of the earliest churches in Mecklenburg County. It was located four miles south of Lacrosse and was destroyed by fire in 1869.

After the fire, two Sunday Schools were organized. The one which met in Flat Creek School near Smith’s Cross Roads became Ephesus Baptist Church in 1876 under the organizational leadership of Rev. E. L. Baptist, who was appointed the first pastor.

Two acres of land were purchased in 1877. Soon afterward, the Ephesus Church building was built on the spot where it now stands.

In 1920, wings were added to each side of the church expanding the seating capacity. A front porch with columns was added in 1929. Rural electric lines were finally run and in 1938 the church was able to have electricity. Ten years later, Sunday school rooms were built along with the addition of a baptistery, a well, bathroom facilities and oil heat to replace the wood and coal burning stoves.

Extensive renovations were done in 1968. The front porch was converted into a vestibule, a bell was donated and installed in the steeple, stained glass windows were donated as memorials, a new baptistery was built, light fixtures were added and paid in part by memorial gifts, and the exterior was bricked. Electrical labor, painting, making draperies, cleaning are among the many jobs that were done by members of the church.

Ephesus celebrated its centennial birthday on June 13, 1976. Much work and preparation for this event was done by many of the members. A special worship service was conducted with eight former pastors returning to share in the celebration.

The Woman’s Missionary Union of Ephesus also had a very historical beginning. Mrs. Harriet Elam from Ephesus, known to most as “Aunt Harriet”, was among the 32 delegates present at the organizational meeting of The Woman’s Missionary Union, Auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention held in Richmond, Virginia, May 1888. The Ephesus WMU was begun later in that same year. Since that time, Ephesus has had a strong commitment to missions.

In 1996 Ephesus added a new fellowship hall. The church sanctuary underwent renovations in 1997. The pulpit was moved forward and the choir located behind, adding additional seating. In 2004 plans were begun to build a family life center to include Sunday school rooms and a gymnasium.

Ephesus has had many men and women who have given much of their time, talents, and leadership. We praise the Lord for pouring out His blessings on our church. May we always remember our heritage; a small beginning filled with the zeal of doing God’s work through witnessing and giving to mission work. May we make the past a part of our present by building on our foundations, and give to the future by laying down a legacy showing God’s love in our actions. Let us make Ephesus, “The Church at the Cross Roads,” a beacon of light to future generations, illuminating the pathway to salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

125th Anniversary

Ephesus Baptist Church celebrated its 125th anniversary beginning in January 2001 with events for each month of the year through June 10. On January 11th, the history for the first 100 years was presented by Mrs. Alice G. Ryland.

On February 2nd, a pictorial directory was developed for all members of the church. On February 11th, “Men’s Day” was held and the speaker, James N. Brooks, dressed for the occasion in clothing depicting the period of 1876, posed as our first pastor, Rev. E. L. Baptist.
On March 25th, “Old Fashioned Day,” Mr. Fred Anderson, executive director of the Virginia Historical Society was our guest speaker.

April 22nd was WMU day and Mary Evelyn Fredenburg, a former missionary and related to one of our earlier pastors, Rev. J. W. Davies, was our speaker.

May 13th was Mother’s Day and a Child-Parents Dedication was held. Mothers both past and present were recognized. Also, other leaders of Ephesus were recognized.

June 10th finalized our 125th Anniversary Celebration. The current pastor, the Reverend Marvin Wayne Clipp, was the speaker for our Homecoming-Anniversary Sermon. This was also “Old Fashioned Day.” It was an enjoyable and eventful occasion. People were dressed to depict 1876. Dinner was held outside on the church grounds. A large quantity of delicious food for all was prepared by the church members.

According to appointment June 10, 1876 the Presbytery composed of Rev. A. F. Davidson and E. L. Baptist met at Flat Creek School House and organized a Baptist Church with the following members: J. G. Elam, W. A. Elam, E. Belts, W. H. Elam, G. W. Jones, T. D. Elam, Mary J. Elam, H. J. Elam, Bettie A. Jones to be known as Ephesus Baptist Church.

The following was read and adopted as the Covenant of this church:

We the members of Ephesus Church do receive and adopt the following covenant namely that as baptized believers in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, and forming a Christian Church we agree solemnly to walk in love endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, striving together for the Faith once delivered to the saints, teaching and admonishing one another bearing each others burdens: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves regularly for the public worship, and the preaching of the gospel; contributing of our ability for the support of the gospel at home and abroad. Keeping the ordinances as they were delivered by Christ maintaining the right discipline and purity of the church and laboring for the salvation of the ungodly and may God grant us Grace to be faithful in the same for Christ’s sake. Amen. The following Articles of Faith were read and approved:

Articles of Faith

Article 1. We believe in one living and True God immutable eternal infinite in wisdom, power and Justice, truth and love, the Creator precursor and ruler of all things,

Article 2. We believe in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost three in one and one in three, the same in essence, in purpose, and in action,

Article 3.
We believe in the writings of the Old and New Testament to a revelation from God to man and that they are the sufficient and only rule of faith and duty in religion,

Article 4. We believe in the entire inspiration of the entire books of Scripture called the Bible, the holy men spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost and therefore the Bible is an infallible rule of truth,

Article 5. We believe that man was created Holy and with capacity to understand the will of God and his duty and therefore responsible for his disobedience,

Article 6.
We believe that man is by sin lost to all perfect holiness, totally depraved dead in trespasses and sin, incapable by nature of rendering acceptable service to God and incapable of rendering himself any better by his own works,

Article 7. We believe that salvation is by Grace through Faith, all the gift of God in Christ,

Article 8.
We believe that believers are saved or called through Sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth as it is in Jesus.

Article 9. We believe that all believers are predestinated elected Justified called Sanctified and Glorified in Christ and that they will be kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal life,

Article 10.
We believe that there will be a resurrection of the just and the unjust the one raised to life everlasting, the other to everlasting shame and contempt,

Article 11. We believe in the necessity and the appointment of the Final Judgment in which all men will be treated according to the deeds done in the body,

Article 12. We believe in a future state both of happiness and misery which state is eternal,

Article 13.
We believe that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made an atonement for sin which entirely satisfied the laws of God and that there is no salvation for man except through him,

Article 14. We believe in the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit through the knowledge of the truth in Christ in order to faith and justification,

Article 15. We believe that baptism is by immersion and that it is a positive command closely connected with faith, representing our death to sin and our new life in Christ,

Article 16. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a positive ordinance to be solemnized only by the Church of Christ,

Article 17.
We believe that the design of Christ and the great duty of the Church is to preach the gospel to all the world,
The Christian Church

Article 18.
We believe that the Christian Church is a Society of baptized believers united in obedience to the command of Christ by mutual and voluntary consent for promoting their own improvement and unitedly promoting the spread of the gospel and keeping the ordinances of Christ,

Article 19.
We believe the ordinance of the Gospel to be only two, namely Baptism and the Lord’s Supper,

Article 20. We believe the Officers of the Church are two, namely Ministry and Deaconry,

Article 21. We believe that the duty of the ministry is to feed the Flock of God, and Preach the Word of Truth, superintend the government of the Church, and watch for souls,

Article 22. We believe it’s the duty of the Church to put ministry in a situation to fulfill their proper calling,

Article 23. We believe all ministers are of equal rights in the Church,

Article 24. We believe that the Deacons are to attend to all the business matters of the Church,

Article 25.
We believe that the Church has no power except that delegated by Christ, and the Ministry has none except that delegated by the church under Christ,

Article 26
. We believe the church cannot delegate or resign her power to any party whatsoever whether it be another church or association of churches or committees of ministers called Presbytery.
Revised and Adopted January 21, 1990

Constitution of Ephesus Baptist Church
Article 1. This church shall be known as Ephesus Baptist Church of Mecklenburg County, Virginia,

Article 2. Those persons who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have taken his as the Savior and Lord of their lives and whose names now appear upon the roll of this Church shall constitute the membership thereof,
Article 2B. Other believers in Christ may become active members by a declaration of faith, vote of the Church, by baptism by immersion, or by letter from another Church so stating,
Article 2C. Members may, (for just cause), be dismissed by letter or dropped from the roll by a two-thirds majority of the membership present at any Church business meeting,

Article 3. The officers of this Church shall be a Pastor and so many Deacons as shall be elected by the Church body, and a Clerk and a Treasurer,

Article 4. The Pastor shall preach the Word, take the oversight of the Church for their spiritual growth, preside in all business meeting and administer the ordinances,

Article 5.
The Deacons shall superintend the collection and appropriation of all necessary arrangements for public worship and the administration of the ordinances,

Article 6. The Clerk shall keep a faithful record of all the proceedings of the church with a list of the members and he/she shall read the minutes of each meeting at the next succeeding meeting,

Article 7. The Treasurer shall hold all monies entrusted to him subject to the order of the Church and report when called on,

Article 8. It shall be the duty of the whole church to meet here at this place of worship every Lord’s Day and as best they may keep up regular services,

Article 9. It is the duty and it will be required that every member according to his or her ability to contribute regularly and promptly to the expenses of the church and not allow each other to be unequally burdened nor allow the church to suffer by being in debt.
The following Rules of Order were read and adopted:

The Rules of Order
Rule 1: The Deacon Body, which is charged with the responsibility of attending to spiritual and business matters of the church, shall meet as required, prior to the regular business meeting, They shall consider all matters from the pastor, committees, or members which require action by the Church Body, They shall prepare an agenda of matters for consideration by the church membership which shall be included in each church bulletin no less than two Sundays prior to the regular quarterly business meeting. However this does not preclude any matter being brought to the floor by any member of the church.
Rule 1B: Special called business meeting shall be for emergency purposes only.

Rule 2: All meetings may be decided by a majority of the members present provided that not less than three shall do business, provided also that the vote of all the members shall be necessary in receiving a member, provided that in calling a Pastor and electing Deacons two-thirds of all members present must be in favor of the election or choice.

Rule 3: Any member of this Church may become a member of another Church of the same faith and order by taking a letter of dismissal, but this letter is valid for only six months.

Rule 4:
This Church does not approve of all worldly pursuits and pleasure that tends to ungodliness and bring reproach on that Blessed Names which we love above pleasures and interest.

Rules for Business
Rule 1: The business meetings shall be held such days as shall be agreed upon.

Rule 2: All meetings of the Church shall be opened and closed with prayer.

Rule 3: Every business meeting to be presided over by the Pastor or in his absence by the Chairman of the Deacon Body.

Rule 4: The moderator shall not discuss questions without calling a substitute to the chair.

Rule 5: The moderator shall if he chooses, give the casting vote in a tied question.

Rule 6: Only one subject shall be discussed at the same time and all remarks must be on that subject and be addressed respectfully to the chair.

Rule 7: No member shall speak more than twice on the same question without special permission from the Church.

Rule 8: No question shall be considered without a motion and a second but a question may be explained without a second.

Rule 9: No unnecessary conversation or unchristian manners will be allowed in business meetings.

Proviso 1:
The Constitution and Rules of Order may be altered or
Proviso 2: All amendments or alterations must be offered in writing and lie over at least one month for consideration.