Watts Chapel Missionary Baptist Church History
God provided their needs when Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Watts were moved to give them a small tract of land with a framed house on it. The house became a sacred place of worship. Watts Chapel Baptist Church, named in honor of the donors, had a permanent physical home on Rhamkatte Road (Now Tryon Road) in the Swift Creek Township. And though the building has changed over the years, Watts Chapel Baptist Church continues to be a place of fervent worship and glorious praise to our Lord God.
Two years after organizing, Watts Chapel elected Reverend Essick Blake as its first pastor. The first Deacon Board was organized under the leadership of Reverend Blake, who served from 1878-1880. Since 1880, the church has been led by the following: 1880-1883, Reverend Morris; 1892-1896, Reverend Robert Jones; 1896-1902, Reverend Miller Jones; 1902-1908, Reverend W.M. Atwaters; 1908-1911, Reverend A.T. Price; 1911-1914, Reverend Hardy Pair; 1914-1936, Reverend Johnnie W. Jones; 1936-1940, Reverend Robert Crockett; 1940-1943, Reverend J.H. Peppers; 1943-1944, Reverend George Green; 1944-1946, Reverend J.H. Peppers; 1946-1965, Reverend Isaac Lee; 1965-1967, Reverend Stanley L. Ballentine, Interim Pastor; 1967-2001, Reverend Dr. Frank B. Weaver; 2002-2004, Reverend James E. Richardson; April 1, 2005-July 31, 2006, Reverend Dr. James D. Ballard, Interim Pastor; August 1, 2006 – present, Reverend Dr. Harry L. White, Jr.
During Reverend J.W. Jones’ leadership, the first Senior Choir, a Note Choir, and the Missionary Board were organized. Reverend Jones undertook the task of expanding the small meeting place and finally, in 1916, the rebuilding of Watts Chapel Baptist Church was complete. Members worshipped only one Sunday a month in those early years, but there was a service in the morning and another in the evening.
Under the leadership of Reverend Robert Crockett, the first instrumental choir was organized, with Mrs. Addie Logan as organist.
Reverend J. H. Peppers served two separate terms as pastor at Watts Chapel. He was first elected in 1940 and served for three years. During his first term in office, Reverend Peppers initiated the organization of the first Trustee Board, Deaconess Board, Usher Board and Junior Choir. After three years of service, Reverend Peppers left the Watts Chapel family. Reverend Peppers returned to Watts in 1944. It was during his second term as pastor that the written records of Watts Chapel Baptist Church were destroyed by fire.