80 years ago, the Jacob Chapel Baptist Church was organized
for the purpose of advancing and promoting the worship of God
through the reading and studying of the Holy Bible, to teach
and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our history tells an
incredible story of how God can keep his truth alive in a changing
world when there are willing people with a vision.
beginnings did not stop Jacob Chapel from becoming a great church.
The Church was organized in 1932, although the corner stone
indicates 1935 as the year that the church was established.
Further research among the founding families reveals that Jacob
Chapel was organized as a mission as early as 1932 but did not
reach church status until 1935. As a mission, services were
conducted in the house of the Reverend J.B. Brown, located on
Eugenia Street. The West Florida Annual Conference records indicate
that the District Union convened at Jacob Chapel, April 28,
1934. Reverend Gilbert E. Edwards enrolled as the founding pastor
and the following members were enrolled as founding officers:
Reverend James B. Brown, Deacons R.W. Washington, P.C. Cratic,
Albert B. Batts, Peter T. Kendrick, Mothers Annie Kendrick and
Nellie Batts. The records also show that the West Florida Annual
Conference convened at Jacob Chapel that same year, July 29,
the pastorage of the Reverend Gilbert E. Edwards, the church
had its humble beginning as a bushharbor with seven members.
Deacon R.W. Washington inspired the name of the church because
he was partial to the Scriptures describing Jacob’s encounter
with the Angel at Bethel (Genesis 23:16-22). The first site
of the church, according to the late Mother Annie Kendrick,
was in the Bond subdivision not far from where the Saxon Street
building later existed. The church was later moved to 1936 Saxon
Street and a permanent structure was built and dedicated in
the church’s inception, there have been nine (9) pastors.
The chronology of their pastorage is as follows: Reverends Gilbert
E. Edwards, Y.W. Tomblin, R.L. Adams, Leroy R. Williams, Lewis
C. Hines, Ned S. Sanders, David Henderson, Ricky L. Neal and
O. Jermaine Simmons.
1952, under the pastorage of the Reverend R.L, Adams, the church
structure was changed from wooden to a block structure. The
church records indicated that the cost to build the block structure
August 1972 under the pastorage of the Reverend Ned S. Sanders,
a small fellowship hall was added and the building was renovated
March 16, 1975, the Reverend David Henderson was called as the
seventh pastor of Jacob Chapel. On October 4, 1987, under the
pastorage of Reverend David Henderson, Jacob Chapel moved to
a new seven (7) acres site at 2333 Lake Bradford Road. A family
Life Center, which consisted of an educational facility and
a gymnasium, was constructed. Worship services were being held
in the gym until Phase II was completed which includes a sanctuary.
Dr. David Henderson served as pastor of Jacob Chapel until his
untimely passing in May 1998. Through his vision the Church
has grown from a one day a week operation to a full-time program.
March 31, 1999, Reverend Ricky L. Neal was called as the eighth
pastor of Jacob Chapel. Pastor Neal led the church through phase
II of the building project and the occupancy of the beautiful
and ornate Jacob Chapel sanctuary. Under the leadership of Pastor
Neal, the sanctuary was completed and occupied December 2001
with the official dedication in August of 2002.
the absence of a Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacon Board assumed
the responsibility of leadership in the church. With God’s
guidance and help, the church continued to prayerfully handle
the day-to-day operations and spiritual affairs.
PRESENT [ BACK
TO TOP ]
December of 2005, the Reverend O. Jermaine Simmons was called
as the ninth pastor of Jacob Chapel. Pastor Simmons continues
the legacy of Jacob Chapel as he preaches the Gospel with a
flare and sincerity that is reminiscent of the preachers of
old. Under his leadership, Jacob Chapel has welcomed numerous
souls to the body of Christ, and continues to be a beacon of
light in the community and throughout Tallahassee. Pastor Simmons
continues to challenge the members to be the Church that God
has called it to be. Various ministries and countless outreach
efforts have been established to meet the needs of "the
least of these". In January of 2009, the Jacob Chapel Community
Development Coorporation was established to further our possibilities
for outreach and ministry.