THE POPLAR SPRING STORY
Poplar Spring Baptist Church, like most historically black churches, has a very rich and beautiful history.
Poplar Spring, as we know it today, was originally the New Light Baptist Church. New Light Baptist was founded in 1908 on the site that is now the upper cemetery. Constructed from slab lumber and utilizing tree stumps as pews, the early members of Poplar Spring worshiped God joyously from a church that had no floors, only the dirt of the earth. But, back then, as it is today, the spirit of Poplar Spring was strong.
In 1913, after being influenced by the beauty of nature, Mrs. Martha Boyd Jones convinced the membership to change the name from the New Light Baptist Church to the Poplar Spring Baptist Church. She made this request because of the beauty of the poplar trees that surrounded the spring that ran behind the church – a real sight to behold.
The spirit of good fellowship was originally established by several families. These families are often considered to be the founding families of our church. These families are; the Martha Boyd Jones family, the W. R. Jones family, the Walter Chiles family the F. Parker family and the Hattie Boyd family.
Through the years, Poplar Spring has been under the leadership of twelve different ministers, each contributing to its growth in his own God-sent way. However, the most noted of Poplar Spring’s ministers is probably its former minister, the Reverend Dr. A. B. Brown. Rev. Brown led the Poplar Spring family for almost 40 years. Under his leadership the church enjoyed enormous growth physically, but more importantly, the church experienced spiritual growth.
The first modern-day Poplar Spring Baptist Church was built in the early 1960’s under the leadership of Rev. Austin Brown. On the land that surrounds Poplar Spring is the church cemetery, a Masonic lodge building, and Flint Hill School. These landmarks, like the church, are also important parts of the community history.
The education building was built in 1985 and the Lord blessed us again in 1996 with a brand new sanctuary. We are truly grateful and proud and give Him all the glory!
In 1999 the Pastor ship of Rev. Brown ended and Rev. Vardry Freeman was called to carry on the work of the church.
I November 2000, Reverend Vardry A. Freeman was elected as pastor of Poplar Spring Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as the minister today. In 2008, under Rev. Freeman’s leadership, the church underwent major renovations and improvements.
The Lord blessed Poplar Spring once again in 2016 to go through another renovation project to renovate the fellowship hall, kitchen, chapel and education wing.
The Poplar Spring story is truly a story of love and devotion. However, we realize that the efforts of man cannot be fulfilled unless he has made the acceptance of God. At Poplar Spring, we give credit to its members, but we give thanks to God for never leaving us alone.