In the fall of 1876, the Baptist Church of Haddonfield, under the leadership of Pastor R.F. Young, organized a Sunday School to be held in the town hall of the village of Mount Ephraim.
In 1886, the Mission Chapel of Mt. Ephraim was erected as the first house of worship in that village. It was a chapel for mission purposes. Preaching services began in 1888 with students from Crozier Seminary.
A meeting was held on December 15, 1895, and a committee of one member from each Baptist family met in the parlor of W.F. Ogden (of the Black Hose Pike) to consider the feasibility of organizing a Baptist Church.
The Mission Chapel was organized into a regular church on Sunday, March 1, 1896, with 23 constituent members. Reverend A. E. Flinn was called its first Pastor. Then on March 14, 1896, the Paper of Incorporation was read, and five believers who related their Christian experiences were baptized and received membership. The Camden Association recognized Mount Ephraim Baptist Church as an independent Baptist Church.
Brother D.E. Little of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, became the Pastor in 1897 at a salary of $6.00 a week.
By 1889, morning worship averaged 25 people. From 1904 through 1917, the church experienced a new pastor each year.
During the 1920s, the church continued to grow and expand. A two-story parsonage was built, the church changed its name to “Community Baptist” and installed a new pipe organ. The Sunday School had grown to 146 members.
In the 1940s, the church continued to thrive as the buildings underwent renovation and a Wurlitzer organ was installed. Horace Taylor, a graduate of PCB and a third-year student at Eastern Baptist College and Seminary, was called to the pastorate. The church ordained Pastor Horace Taylor in 1951 and plans for a new addition were formalized. By the ’60s, the church reached out to the community with “Doorstep Evangel,” purchased a church bus, and approved plans for a new sanctuary. The cornerstone was laid on June 28, and the building was dedicated on October 1, 1964. The church remained stable during the 1970s under the guidance of Pastor Taylor and continued to promote unity with the fellowship of believers through various activities. The church continued its outreach to the community and its support of numerous missionaries. An extraordinary era ended as Pastor Taylor resigned in 1980 after 33 years of service to Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church.
Mt. Ephraim Baptist called Pastor Randall Yager to lead the church into the ’80s. Continued outreach to the community led to a full AWANA program, the bus ministry was restarted, and a Youth Pastor was welcomed position. Prayer meetings, Sunday School picnics, Hymn sings, and the dedication of the two buildings all contributed to the meaningful development of the congregation.
The early ’90’s proved to support the church’s beliefs as nine members traveled to Brazil for a two-week mission trip. Christmas and Easter Cantatas reached out to the community, and a leadership study was conducted with the Pastor to guide the ministry of Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church. In early 1996, Pastor Yager resigned after fourteen years of faithful service to Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church.
Under Pastor Stephen Eckardt’s leadership since 2002, the church strives to bring glory to God. Youth Pastor Mike Bowen and his wife Lisa joined Mt. Ephraim Baptist in 2013, and through their efforts, a new youth ministry has developed and grown. As the Lord continues to bless Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church, we eagerly await future blessings. We continue striving to reflect Jesus Christ’s character through our worship, fellowship, and ministries.
(*taken from Mt. Ephraim Baptist 100th Anniversary Book)
|1899-01||John F. Anderson|
|1904-05||Ben S. Baker|
|1905-06||John E. Hunsberger|
|1911||William J. Morgan|
|1911-12||John W. Helson|
|1915-15||H. Lloyd Chance|
|1915-16||William H. Friday|
|1918-22||Harvey L. Jacoby|
|1922||Charles A. Bechter|
|1929-34||Enoch E. Hardwick|
|1937-38||William A. Anderson|