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The humble beginnings of Berea took place in the early 1920's when several Christian men and women from the Pembroke area began meeting to organize a church. It was in 1925 that this group approached the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association, an organization established in 1878 to "educate and Christianize the Indian people of Robeson and adjoining counties in North Carolina", for membership. Berea was extended the right hand of fellowship and was admitted as a member of the Association the same year.


In addition, that same year the forty-seventh annual session of the Association was held at Berea in Pembroke. The church's delegate for the session was Ashley Oxendine, a charter member of Berea Baptist. Other charter members included the following; Mr. J.C. "Sonny" Oxendine and Mrs. Dorcas Oxendine, Mr. E.B. Sampson and Mrs. Nora Sampson, Mr. and Mrs. Evander Hunt, Mr. Bennie Chavis, Mr. Jodie Oxendine, Mrs. Charity Oxendine, Miss Bessie Oxendine, Mrs. Annie Lizzie Locklear, and Rev. L.W. Jacobs.


The congregation called Rev. L.W. Jacobs to serve as the first pastor. He served on a quarter-time basis, and it was during his leadership that Berea grew and developed a three-phase program; Sunday School, Worship, and Training Union.  Mr. J.C. Oxendine was elected as the Sunday School Superintendent. According to the minutes of the Burnt Swamp Baptist Association, by 1926 Berea had a total enrollment of 121 in its Sunday School program.



From its beginnings, the members of Berea acknoledged the importance of its Church youth. The Church knew the youth were the future Church and religious leaders. Berea has always implemented a myriad of programs focusing on  ministering to the youth. The Church, located east of the campus of UNC-P, also recognized and opportunity to minister to the spiritual needs of the faculty, staff, and especially to the student body of UNCP. They developed a unique ministerial relationship with the University, and that relationship continues to flourish today.


Other new programs and ministry approaches are helping to tear down barriers and build stronger believers. The Church has continued to reach out and build on the firm foundations of its forefathers. Church members will never forget the vision of those original charter members as well as their vitality to erect the first walls of this church; Berea Baptist.

Following is a list of pastors at Berea in order of service;


  • Rev. L.W. Jacobs

  • Rev. P.M. Dorr

  • Rev. Richard Bailey

  • Rev. C.M. Cummings

  • Rev. James L. Bardin

  • Rev. Lawrence P. Hardy

  • Rev. Jimmy Fox

  • Rev. Sidney Oxendine

  • Rev. Lawrence P. Hardy (2nd term),

  • Rev. Ron Anderson

  • Rev. John Mullinax

  • Rev. Bruce Swett

  • Rev. Hector Miray (Assistant Pastor)

  • Rev. Chris Hunt.

  • Rev. Manny Bewry (Current)



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