BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NORTHSIDE JOURNEY
Northside’s journey began in the late 1960’s, a time of upheaval and change in our state and nation. On July 20, 1969, Northside was formally constituted as a Southern Baptist Church with 63 charter members. Northside distinguished itself early in its history with the words, “any person regardless of economic, social, cultural, or racial background may offer himself as a candidate for membership.” This was a first step in Northside’s commitment to reflect God’s Kingdom on earth.
The seventies represented a time of significant growth in membership. A sanctuary was completed in 1970, and in 1971 James Porch became Northside’s first full-time pastor. The church adopted a four-fold ministry of “proclaiming, caring, sharing, and growing.” In 1975, members broke ground for a children’s building.
In 1980, after a year-long period of study and deliberation, Northside took another courageous step by amending the constitution to allow women to be elected as deacons. There was division over this issue which resulted in the loss of some members. The first women to serve in the Diaconate were elected in November of the following year. The church continued to flesh out the true meaning of its Baptist heritage: the priesthood of the believer and the autonomy of the local church. The church expanded its horizons even further by supporting other Baptist groups, including the Alliance of Baptists and, now we are affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
By 1998, long-range planning had led to the adoption of a design for a new, larger space for the church family to worship together. A generous gift from long-time and beloved member Nancy Bright, coupled with a successful capital funds campaign, resulted in the construction of a beautiful sanctuary constructed in the historical church design of a cross.
Another milestone is the life of the church was Susan Meador’s ordination to pastoral ministry in 2000. She served first as Minister of Youth, and later became the Associate Pastor, working with Stan Wilson who was called as pastor in July, 2002. Susan has dedicated almost 23 years of her ministry to Northside. Stan holds the record as longest-serving pastor, resigning after 14 years of service to join the staff of Camp Rockmont in North Carolina. Under their leadership, the church focused on both congregational and spiritual formation. Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, as well as mission trips to Macedonia and Pearlington on the Mississippi Coast have provided concrete ways to practice God’s love with those in need. Northside joined a partnership with Premeira Igreja Batista em Bultrins, a Baptist congregation in Olinda, Brazil. We began an After School Ministry, reignited our garden ministry, began a small recycling ministry, built a Youth Building and continued to address challenging issues.
In 2014 our church began discussions regarding human sexuality. In 2016, after study, prayer, and deliberation our church adopted our new statement that "The mission of Northside Baptist Church is to celebrate God's grace and follow the movement of the Holy Spirit, allowing any person, without exception, who professes Jesus as Lord, to participate in any capacity with this fellowship."
On March 18, 2018, Reverend Courtney Stamey was named Senior Pastor of Northside Baptist Church. Reverend Stamey began her service at Northside on June 3, 2018. Susan Meadors continues to serve as Associate Pastor.
Early on Northside adopted the symbol of the four crosses which you will find at the top of this page and displayed prominently in the baptistry stained glass window. Through the years, many have asked us what they mean. The crosses stand for our early ministry focus: caring, sharing, growing, and proclaiming. But as members, we also believe that the last cross represents the one that each of us takes up in order to follow Christ.
Join us on the journey!
Pastors of Northside Baptist Church
Bill Watson Called as interim pastor when church was formed, July 1969
James Porch February 1971 - April 1977
Bob Shurden (Interim) May 1977
Steve McNeely November 1977 - February 1981
Curtis Burge (Interim) March 1981
James Byrd August 1981 - July 1984
Buddy Wagner (Interim) September 1984
John Stanley June 1985 - July 1990
Buddy Wagner (Interim) September 1990
Tom Pearson August 1991 - February 1995
Edwin Broadhead (Interim) February 1995
John Hendrix January 1996 - January 2002
Michael Johnson (Interim) February 2002
Stan Wilson July 2002 - January 2017
Bob Newell (Intentional Interim) May 2017 - December 2017
Courtney Stamey June 2018 - Present