The early history of New Era Missionary Baptist District Association has been chronicled in the document below, The Story of the New Era Missionary Baptist District Association & Departments (The Path Over Which We’ve Come),
by Cornealious Socrates Scott, Sr., 1981). Reverend Scott, Sr., served New Era as a Pastor and Moderator in his season. As the writing is under copyright, we can only offer highlights here and direct you to particular areas of interest in the text file.
The actual birth of the New Era Missionary Baptist District Association is not known for certain, although records indicate a time between 1907 and 1910. A detailed historical perspective is offered in Chapter 1 of the writing.
In Chapter 2, interested persons can learn something about who the District Moderators were in her early inception and through the years, and their terms of service. Regarding the Moderators who served, Rev. Scott gives us great insight as to who the men were (with photos) and the caliber of service they rendered to make New Era the district association she is today. Among the first district churches mentioned were Friendship, Pleasant Green and “The Mission Church”, now known as Morning Star. It is believed Reverend James Monroe Booker, pastor of Pleasant Green, was the first District Moderator.
Regarding the Woman’s Auxiliary, Reverend Scott has written extensively about the beginning and work of the WMU (Chapter 3). We learn who the early presidents were (with photos) and their important contributions to building a vibrant WMU ministry that we enjoy today. He comments that most of the association’s leaders and workers were trained by the Woman’s Auxiliary. The first president elected to lead the Woman’s Auxiliary was Mrs. Susie Pendelton in 1908.
The Baptist Ministers’ Wives Fellowship auxiliary was organized in either 1944 or 1947, as the specific date is uncertain. The ministry was organized to be a support group for the wives, to share in fellowship, relate experiences to help one another grow stronger in the faith, and their ministry of supporting their pastor/minister husband. Rev. Scott has recorded that the women and the work they contributed was indeed significant in the building of New Era. Officers of the auxiliary with photos are featured in hs Chapter 4. It is unclear who served as the first president.
The history of the Congress of Christian Education can be found in Chapter 5, where Rev. Scott shares in detail how the Congress sessions were started and introduce key people who helped develop the ministry in New Era. Here you will find mention of the Baptist Young People Union, Sunday School Training Union, Baptist Training Union Congress, and more.
There were three departments organized under the leadership of Rev. Scott when he served as Moderator. The Ushers and Health Conference, born in July 1958, is introduced in Chapter 6, where Mr. Lawrence A. Jones was named the first president. Each year, our Ushers today set aside the first Saturday in May to celebrate in honor of Mrs. Bessie Tivis, who succeeded Mr. Jones as the president, and led the auxiliary on a productive course to becoming the very excellent ministry they are today. Included in the writing are also many others who led the auxiliary and contributed to its success.
In Chapter 7, we learn about the Brotherhood Conference, also born in July 1958, adding the Early Morning Service and Breakfast in 1962. Now known as the District Laymen auxiliary, the first president was Mr. L.W. Johnson. With many other fine men giving leadership to the ministry, the Layman auxiliary developed to become instrumental on several fronts in District work, which includes support for the District Camp, Western Baptist Bible College and Scholarship Funds. In his writing, Rev. Scott has also included names of the Presidents and photos, as much as were available to share.
The Singing Conference, now known as the New Era District Choir, is the third department to organize under the leadership of Rev. Scott when he served as District Moderator. The date of organization is also July 1958. In Chapter 8, Rev. Scott shares how the music unit developed by inviting various choirs from District churches to work with the appointed leaders to provide music for the District meetings. First to serve as Pianist and Director of Music was Mrs. Lora Frazier. Along with many others, including Mr. Louis Parker and Mrs. Viola Howard, these early leaders laid the groundwork for the New Era District Choir, as we know it today.
Of additional interest, Rev. Scott also included rosters of the churches and pastors who participated in the early years of the District Association, helping to build New Era into a strong and vibrant ministry association.
You may click the PDF link below to read the very interesting complete writing of “The Story of The New Era Missionary Baptist District Association & Departments”. And remember to check back often, as the great history of New Era continues to develop!