Ephesus Baptist Church at Smiths Cross Roads in South
Hill, Virginia, is an offspring of Malones Baptist Church.
Malones 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 Smiths Cross Roads
became Ephesus Baptist Church in 1876 under the organizational
leadership of Rev. E. L. Baptist, who was appointed the first
Two acres of land were purchased in 1877. Soon afterward,
the Ephesus Church building was built on the spot where it
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 Womans 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 Womans
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
Gods 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 Gods 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.
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, Mens
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 Mothers 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
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 Christs 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
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
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
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
Lords 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 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 Lords 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 its
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
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
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 Lords Day and as best they may keep up regular
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
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
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