The Church History, Newly Revised in Nov. 2011

Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lawrenceville, formerly known as Broughton Tabernacle Baptist Church, was organized in 1874 in Gloster, Georgia, under the leadership of the late Rev. J.B. Broughton.  After staying in Gloster for a time, church leaders began looking for a larger and better site.  They chose Lawrenceville, Ga. on December 2, 1919.  At that time there were three deacons, the late Deacon Jerry Phillips, Green Williams and Uncle Blindnee.  After the new church was built, Rev. Broughton was called home to be with the Lord.

The Rev. Guy Banks was then called to serve until the Lord also called him to his heavenly rest.  The Rev. Harrison Vincent was then called and he served 25 years until his service time ended with his home going.  Then the Rev. D.C. Morton was called to serve and under his leadership, the church continued to grow.  The late Jessie Patillo Sr., Lon Stafford, Willie Wilburn, D.G. Wilburn, Clyde Wilburn, Leroy McNair, James Burson, John Hemphill, Matthew Mahaffey, John Brown, Alex Vines and John Vines were some of the Deacons during that period of time.

After Rev. Morton resigned, Rev. J.E. Hightower was called as under-shepherd.  He began his pastorate the 2nd Saturday in January, 1955.  The late 1950’s and early 1960’s was a time of urban renewal in the area where our church was located.  The church building at that time was not in good condition and would be too costly to repair, so under Rev. Hightower’s leadership, the church sold that property to the city of Lawrenceville with the goal that the city would build the church another building at our current location on Neal Boulevard.  In the interim, Broughton Tabernacle held services at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

Pleasant Hill held the distinction of being the only church to be unaffected by the renewal of the area.  For a while during urban renewal, Zion A.M.E., Mt Calvary UMC and Broughton Tabernacle all held their services at Pleasant Hill because each church only offered one worship service per month.  Pleasant Hill held their services on the 1st Sunday, Broughton Tabernacle on the 2nd Sunday, Mt. Calvary on the 3rd Sunday and Zion A.M.E. on the 4th Sunday.

In February 1961, we marched from Pleasant Hill to our present site at 55 Neal Boulevard.  Shortly after moving, in fact, in October 1962, we regretted to receive the resignation of Rev. Hightower who was lead to other phases of his ministry.  The Rev. W.H. Thornton was then called to serve as pastor and he served faithfully for 25 years.  Due to illness however, Rev. Thornton was forced to retire and the Rev. Burnell Williams was then called as pastor and he stayed for about a year.

It was at that time in September 1988, and under the recommendation of Rev. J.E. Hightower, that our current and beloved Pastor, Dr. Robert L. Montgomery, was called to lead us.  Under his leadership, the church began to receive added members and after about a year and a half, we began to hold worship services every Sunday and Bible study every Wednesday.  We purchased our first church van, added a new phone system and computers, as well as other upgrades throughout the church.  In 2004, because the Broughton family was no longer present in our church, the members voted to change the name to Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lawrenceville and continued in the addition of new members.  In 2007, because of the need of more space, the church voted for and moved forward with the addition of new office space, a combination of classroom and added fellowship hall space, a new foyer, men’s and women’s restrooms, a handicap ramp and the renovation of its current space.  Under Dr. Montgomery’s leadership, the church continues to grow, thrive and lead new souls to Christ.

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