Church history

(FORMERLY APPALACHEE BAPTIST CHURCH)

It is because of God’s goodness and love we have once more been allowed to stop and give thanks to God for our 150 years of God’s work here at the Appalachee Baptist – Christ the King Baptist Church. As with most black churches that are over 100 years old, we had a hard struggle and a humble beginning.

Appalachee Baptist Church is believed to have been founded in 1864, but there were no records until 1887, after the slaves were freed in 1865. The records from 1887 are available to verify Appalachee’s existence until this present time. During the time Appalachee Baptist Church was being organized, the slaves were meeting under trees and in pastures near streams to exchange information about family and landlords. One of the landlords, a white minister by the name of Rev. Rainey thought it would be fitting to give the slaves a place to worship on Sundays, instead of gathering under oak trees or in pastures. Under his direction, the members built a Bush Arbor which sheltered them from the rain and sun. As the years passed the crowds grew. They soon realized that they needed a building. A house of worship in those times served many purposes such as a school, a town hall, and on Sunday, a place to worship. This little building was known in many communities. They soon realized they needed a name to identify the church building. They named it Appalachee Baptist Church because of the Appalachee River, and Rev. Rainey was called as their first pastor.

The first two Deacons were Deacon Sam Huey and Deacon Eli Porter. Rev. Rainey felt that they needed someone of their own race to lead them; someone who was able and filled with the Holy Spirit. Rev. A.J. Porter was subsequently called, followed by the Rev. Frank Wells, Rev. Lonnie Jones, Rev. Willie Moore, Rev. A.J. Tanner, Rev. W.A. Bell, Rev. A.J. Nichols, Rev. Jeff Maddox, Rev. A.L. Lowe, who was called twice, after that followed by Rev. Hezekiah Smith.

In 1944, the Church was rebuilt under the leadership of Rev. Ed Harris. After many years of worship, the building began to get worn and fragile, and they needed a better building to worship in. Land was bought from one of the churches oldest Deacons, Earnest Yarborough. Rev. Evans was pastor at this time followed by Rev. A. L. Jones, who was pastor for a short time in 1964.
We marched in this new sanctuary under the leadership of Rev. C.W. Thomas and our faithful members. He worked faithfully until his death in December 1991. Rev. Charles Hopkins became our next pastor until leaving in January 1995.

Dr. W. Ron Sailor, Sr was called and installed as the new pastor in November 1995. In November 2000, the church changed its name to Christ the King Baptist Church. Under Bishop Sailor’s leadership, we have added more than 3,000 members, modernized and equipped our buildings, expanded our ministries, set aside thirteen new deacons, published a monthly newsletter, baptized hundreds and in 1999, we dedicated a brand new 15,000 sq. ft. worship center. The worship and education facility seats 800 worshippers. The facility includes seven classrooms, an administration center, kitchen and dining area that seats 250. The balcony houses an audio-video center with remote cameras and state-of-the-art audio chain and TV facility. In addition, three new parking areas were added. The campus also includes a classroom building that is across the street from the main sanctuary, called Founders Hall. This facility includes a dozen classrooms, an administration center and family life center. Founders Hall honors the many men and women who with faith, sweat and tears toiled the soil, and petitioned God through prayer to bless and honor these grounds as a place of worship to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The church called Rev. W. Ron Sailor, Jr. in 2003 to serve alongside his father as Co-Pastor. His ministry produced great benefits to the church family. Rev. Sailor, Jr's service aided in the church's growth both numerically and spiritually. He was later called by another church and under the leading from the Holy Spirit, he resigned as Co-Pastor in 2007.

Pastor W. Ron Sailor, Sr. was consecrated to the office of Bishop in 2008 by Bishop Paul S. Morton, Jr. of the Full Gospel Baptist Association. Rev. Marion Sailor, in Dec 2008 was called as Co-Pastor. Rev. Marion Sailor served alongside her husband, Bishop Ron Sailor in overseeing many areas of the church, ranging from personal counseling, financial administration, program management, the Women of Favor and Arise Youth Ministries and many other external programs.

Bishop Sailor announced in December 2012, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, he was to focus on finding other mission fields to plant new churches. Bishop Sailor stepped aside from overseeing the daily operations of the church. Rev. Marion Sailor, in December 2012, was called as pastor. In February 2013, Rev. Marion Sailor was installed as Pastor of Christ the King Baptist Church. Furthermore, in 2013, the church launched a new seed ministry called “The Church at Chateau.” Bishop W. Ron Sailor, Sr. served as overseer and Elder Dwayne U. Barrs, Sr. was named as its first Pastor.

In October 2013, our beloved Bishop was called to his heavenly home but his love and labor for this church, and its members will never be forgotten.

Today Christ the King is led by Pastor Marion Sailor; Alongside her are 28 Deacon and Deaconess, 16 ministers, over 75 ministry servant leaders and 1500+ members who press on to please the Lord by fulfilling the mission of spreading the gospel, baptizing new believers and making disciples. We aim as a church family to love one another, striving daily to live holy, to give sacrificially to the work of the Lord and to make a difference in the community.

TO GOD IS THE GLORY!