Shortly after the Civil War, under the leadership of Reverend Joe James and Deacons Lewis Thomas, C.Y. Thomas and Los Rhinehart, a small log cabin on Eufola Road opened its doors as Thomas Baptist Church. The church was named after the Thomas brothers who, at the time, were the only African American landowners in the community.
In 1885, the church experienced a number of significant changes. Mr. Joe Sherrill, husband of the former Miss Maggie Thomas, was added to the deacon board, the church relocated a quarter of a mile to its present location, a small wooden plank building was erected, and renamed, Clark’s Chapel. The name was chosen to recognize the original owner, Mr. William Clark, a white friend of the Thomas and Sherrill families. A year later, the trustees’ attained a clear deed from Mr. Clark and the church was finally in a position to grow.
Upon the death of Reverend James, the members called Reverend Lee Ramseur to pastor Clark’s Chapel. Rev. Ramseur served faithfully for approximately eighteen years. During his tenure, Clark’s Chapel joined with several area Baptist churches to form the Mountain and Catawba Missionary Baptist Association, August 1904. Between 1920 and 1976, as America experienced tumultuous changes, Clark’s Chapel flourished under the guidance of Reverends J.W. Caldwell and J.C. Graham.
During Reverend Caldwell’s fourteen years of service, the Odd Fellows of the Eufola Lodge laid the first cornerstone. In 1935, Rev. J.C. Graham was called to pastor. For more than forty years, Rev. Graham navigated the flock through tremendous social changes and oversaw the renovation of the church.
In September 26, 1976, Rev. Vernon Thompson was called to pastor the flock. During his four years of administration, the churches programs were revised to reflect the needs of the community.
In November of 1980, after serving six months as interim pastor, Rev. Charles B. Mingo was elected as pastor of Clark’s Chapel. During Mingo’s 33-year tenure, the church grew spiritually and physically. Evidence of the church’s physical growth includes the dedication of two sanctuaries (1989 and 2008), purchase of 32 acres of land, expansion of ministry programs, and the renovation of the J.C. Graham Fellowship Hall. Rev. Mingo retired in November 2012. Rev. Mingo serves the church as pastor emeritus.
On February 15, 2014, Reverend Dr. Dietrich Morrison-Danner was elected as the 13th pastor of Clark’s Chapel. Dr. Danner assumed his new duties on March 23, 2014. Building upon its rich legacy, Clark’s Chapel is “Transforming Lives in the Heart of the Community.”
Charles Sharpe, Sr., Chair
Jay Grimes, Vice-Chair
William M. Jones, Jr.
Leon Ijames, Chair
William Morrison, Financial Officer
Paulette Morrison-Danner, Co- Chair
Bobby Etta Sharpe, Co-Chair
Minister Aleen Alexander
Reverend Jerome Byers
Minister Barbara Gray
Reverend Winford Griffin