Gilboa Christian Church is a family-oriented Bible-preaching country church, loving the Lord, developing disciples, serving Him in our community, and supporting missions worldwide.
Our active membership is diverse and vibrant, with a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Ministries include music, youth, and charity, with support for causes ranging from local to international.
Dr. Earnest L. Shannon serves as Gilboa’s full-time pastor. A native of Elizabeth City, NC, he earned his doctorate from Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University.
Gilboa was founded by Uriah Higgason, a devoted follower of Thomas and Alexander Campbell, in 1834. Tradition has it that services were first held in an outdoor arbor of trees and branches. Soon the believers had built a church (“a small neat frame house”) which they called Mount Gilboa. The land on which it stood was given by Colonel Edmund Pendleton.
The present brick church stands on the site of the original building. It was started in 1857 and completed in 1858. There is no record the builder, or the cost. It is said that a African-American brick mason, Jim Veeney, laid the bricks which had been made in a nearby pit.
For many years in rural areas there were no resident ministers. Ministers traveled around the countryside, holding revivals and inspiring local leadership. Thus at Gilboa, the local elders performed the Sunday services with emphasis on the Lord’s Supper and carried out the usual functions of our present ministers.
Few changes have been made to the exterior of the building, which retains the simplicity of lines found in the 1858 structure. In 1927, the present Sunday School annex of brick and frame with five classrooms on the first floor and a social hall in the basement was added. This annex was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Eugene Pendleton at Country Church Day services in 1927. The contractor was Chestine T. Sprouse, a member of the church.
Over the years, numerous interior changes have been made. In 1977-78 a general refurbishing of the interior improved the appearance. The old pews were refinished; brass chandeliers were installed in the sanctuary; and a handsome secretary desk, crafted by Willie Sprouse was dedicated to the memory of Ms. Anne P. Forrest, who had been a faithful member for life. Many other generous gifts have also been bestowed on the church. In 1989, the Thacker sisters contributed funds for the air conditioning system for the sanctuary in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Thacker. The family of Lavert A. Woolfolk gave the handsome brass candlesticks in his memory; the Christian Women’s Fellowship (CWF) funded the redecoration of the Kings’ Daughters classroom. In 1993, Mrs. Nora T. Bennette gave the attractive burgundy cushions for the pews in memory of her late husband, James Bennette. Also in 1993, a memorial plaque was installed in the main sanctuary testifying to the generous endowment of the D. Everette Bumpass family. A large addition in 1999 provided additional sunday school rooms as well as a more spacious fellowship hall.
Gilboa has a cemetery with perpetual care provided by volunteer donations. Land adjacent to the church was given by Miss Millie Gardner for the burying grounds. The first recorded burial was in 1905.