Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church - Period IV

Rev. K. Edward Popleon Expanding Capacity for Service Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church Period IV

Expanding Capacity for Service

The fourth period has been labeled a period of "Expanding Capacity for Service" and commenced on April 16, 1972 when the call to the pastorate was extended to the Reverend K. Edward Popleon.  He was installed on June 4, 1972 at 3:00 p.m., with the Reverends J.H. Freeman and Charles T. Smith officiating. In the first four years (1972-1976), the record shows that 76 people were baptized, 29 were added through Christian Experience, and 12 were restored to membership. In that same period, the mortgage of $11,000 was liquidated, four lots were purchased at a cost of $35,000 and plans were underway for a Fellowship building. Meanwhile, the Board of Deacons was expanded to 25 members. New Deacons added were Emmitt Muse, Leroy Travis, Clarence Beverly, Leroy Davis, Charles West, James Dixon, Sr., Herman Snowden, Dennis Brown, Conway Knighton, Willie Keyes and Rutherford Chapman. Later, other names were added to the Board of Deacons which included Gus Plummer, Thomas Woods, Arthur Jack, Nathaniel Davis, Joseph Brown, Edna Crockett, Aldrich Davis, Martha Oates, Oscar Pea, Thonius Robinson, Robert Johnson, Chauncey Slack, Jesse Smith, Cleophus Wallace, Percy Wilson, Frederick Wallace, Frederick Jones and Lonnie Wilkinson. 

During this period the Church became affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of the South and through this relationship, capacity for service has indeed expanded as the Church contributed to relief funds for Africa and Haiti, through participating in the "One Great Hour of Sharing," "America For Christ," and the "World Fellowship Offering." Local benevolence giving rose by almost 100 percent. 

On Sunday, May 16, 1982, Dr. Popleon and the Officers of the Church led the congregation into a new annex, identified as the Educational Wing of  Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church.  The new facility provided four offices, three restrooms, five classrooms, one Fellowship Hall with a kitchen that accommodates groups of 50, 100 or 200, three spacious foyers, ample storage areas with furnishings, and a choir room with robe storage.

Other additions to the main building include a new baptistry, a hallway enlargement, a Lord's Supper preparation area, and an area for Ushers. Furniture and furnishings for the new facility cost $16,000. Raymond Honore of Down South Construction was the general contractor and Lonnie Wilkinson was the architect.

Additional property was purchased on February 18, 1986. The property on Rosenwald Street comprising some 43,520 square feet was purchased at a cost of $7,500.