Beulah Baptist Church
In 1889, a group of members of the Mount Zion Second Baptist Church decided to exercise their Baptist rights to organize a church. They met in Rivers Hall on Marietta Street and with their founder and first pastor, Dr. W.L. Jones, organized the Beulah Baptist Church with 110 members. This small band of staunch Christians grew spiritually and physically, and in 1889 the Sunday School Department was organized with Brother Isom Henderson as the first superintendent.
The building program had its beginning under Dr. Jones, and the first edifice was erected in 1891 on the corner of Hunnicut and Williams Streets in a section known as “Tan Yard Bottom.” Dr. Jones served as pastor of Beulah for 19 1/2 years and led the church to amazing spiritual and physical heights. Dr. Jones resigned from the pastorate of Beulah in 1908 and accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Savannah where he served until his death.
Since 1908, the continuous growth of the Beulah Baptist Church has been nurtured by seven able-bodied, divinely-inspired spiritual giants – Rev. C.J. Hardy and Rev. W.M. Ferrell for a total of 5 years, Rev. H.H. Coleman for 5 years, Dr. L.A. Pinkston for 11 1/2 years, Rev. A.G. Davis for 8 years, Rev. L. Juan Burt for 15 years, and the current pastor, Rev. W.L. Cottrell, who is now into his 52nd year. The spiritual guidance, dedicated service, divine insight, and visionary ministries of these pastors formed the foundation of the Beulah Church, fostered its many accomplishments, and illuminated its future.
Uprooted by a federal urban renewal project, the growing membership of Beulah relocated on the corner of Griffin and Foundry Streets. This second edifice was erected in 1934 under the leadership of Rev. A.G. Davis. Since that time, the Beulah Baptist Church has served in this location as a Christian beacon to enrich the lives of many persons in search of religious uplifting.
In December, 1942, Rev. L. Juan Burt was called to serve the Beulah Church as its pastor. He provided 15 years of energetic and dynamic leadership. During the pastorate of Rev. Burt, the life of Beulah Church was revitalized both spiritually and physically. The membership grew and was reorganized; the church edifice and parsonage were remodeled; the Sunday School Department reached an all-time high; and a formal building fund was instituted, to name a few of the many accomplishments of the Burt years.
Rev. W.L. Cottrell answered the call of the pastorate of the Beulah Baptist Church in February 1958. Under the dynamic, sane, visionary, and deeply spiritual ministry of Rev. Cottrell, the Beulah Church has enjoyed an unexcelled period of growth and development. The Sunday School Department continued to grow. New ministries were organized; old ministries were revived and expanded to meet the needs of a growing congregation. In 1963, the first step in a master building plan was begun. On February 16, 1964, the present sanctuary was dedicated; on November 30, 1975, the Mortgage Burning Ceremony for this contemporary edifice was held; soon after, the building fund for Step Two was started.
This sanctuary of contemporary design, which maintains denominational distinction after 20 years, has been enhanced with the addition of a million-dollar Family Services Center dedicated August 21, 1983. Through this “dream-made-reality” complex Beulah Church will continue to fulfill its mission to make religion a meaningful and enlightening experience.
After 53 years of dedicated service to the Beulah Baptist Church, Rev. W. L. Cottrell, Sr. retired on June 26, 2011 during our annual Family and Friends Day.
On Sunday July 3, 2011 Interim pastor, Rev. Dr. Riggins Earl came to serve for one year with the Beulah Baptist Church.
On Sunday, November 18, 2012 the announcement was made that the Rev. Trina Denise Evans would serve as Sr. Pastor-Elect of the Beulah Baptist Church. On Monday, December 31, 2012, Pastor Evans preached the Watch Night Service and began full pastorship of the Beulah Baptist Church.