Our History

New Beech Grove Baptist Church has a rich history in Virginia and in particular the Newport News, Virginia area. The name New Beech Grove came from the location of the first services held outside in a nearby beechnut grove. In fact, in 1925 Rev. A. B. Ellis. H. L. Blackwell and J. D. Farrow founded the church and held services outside before holding services in a building formerly known as Moses Chapel. In 1928, Rev. James Farmer became the pastor and enrolled the church in the Eastern Virginia Christian Conference. Pastor Farmer and Rev. B. C. Harrod later renamed the church New Beech Grove Christian Church.

In 1966, Pastor Farmer was forced to retire due to health issues at the age of 88. Rev. Fladger became the pastor after Pastor Farmer’s retirement. Even though Pastor Farmer had health issues he did not allow that to interfere with him staying connected with and supporting New Beech Grove until his death on December 28, 1971.

Rev. James W. Lawson became the pastor of New Beech Grove United Church of Christ on January 7, 1973. It is unclear when the decision to move from the Virginia Christian Conference to the United Church of Christ was made. However, in 1978 New Beech United Church of Christ became New Beech Grove Baptist Church. They soon joined the National Progressive Baptist Conference. Under the leadership of Pastor Lawson, the congregation moved from its old sanctuary on the corner of Warwick and Potters Lane to the sanctuary building on Tabbs Lane. On April 8, 1990 the church fellowship hall was dedicated and church members and members of the community have benefited from services and programs housed at the church and fellowship hall.

In 2005, the church family would experience a great loss to the New Beech Grove family when Pastor Lawson passed away on April 12, 2005. The church family and community mourned the loss of Pastor Lawson as Rev. Luke Pittman served as the Interim-Pastor from January 2006 to August 2006. On August 2, 2006, Rev. Dr. Keith Ivan Jones was selected as the new pastor. Rev. Dr. Jones served as pastor until he resigned in 2008. From July 2009 to October 2009, Rev. Jonathan Smith served as Interim-Pastor.

After a long search for a new pastor, New Beech Grove selected and announced Rev. Willard G. Maxwell, Jr. as the new Pastor of New Beech Grove Baptist Church on July 7, 2011. He preached his first sermon as pastor on Sunday, September 4, 2011. We are happy to welcome our new pastor to the New Beech Grove family and to the Virginia area and look forward to him adding abundantly to the impressive legacy of our rich church history.