The Lapsleys Run Baptist Church was organized in 1868, a few years after slavery ended.
A group of people met in a log structure, known as a tobacco barn, located on a small stream called the Lapsleys Run. They praised God in Prayer and song.
Word came to the people that a man from up north was helping the freed slaves organize churches. This man was Charles Shaeffer, sent from the Society of Friends of Philadelphia, or better known as Quakers. He met with Jack Marshall, Julius Kyle, Sr., Jasper Thompson, Lewis Richardson, and Charles Fairfax and organized the Lapsleys Run Baptist Church.
The congregation moved from the tobacco barn to a log structure on Charles Fairfax’s property. In the early 1890’s a tract of land where the present structure now stands, was deeded to the church by Martin McFerran.
The first church built on this site, was built by Rev. Kent Smith during his pastorate. In the early 1920’s, the building was replaced by a larger one to accommodate the congregation. Rev. S. A. Terry was the pastor and builder. In 1928, the building was destroyed by fire. The construction of the present building was started by Rev. S. A. Terry and completed by Rev. S. P. Jones.
Ministers who served as pastors of this church from 1868 until the 1900’s were: Revs. Jack Jones, Kent Smith, Samuel Poague and Lewis Girdy. After 1900, the pastors were: Revs. Matthew Fairfax, Jack Bowling, S. J. Jones, C. H. Gill, J. L. Pinkard, Roland Banner, Marion Hall and Ulas N. Broady.
Rev. Ulas N. Broady was pastor from 1982 until his retirement in 2015 after 33 years of service as pastor of Lapsleys Run Baptist Church. As Rev. Broady retired as pastor in 2015, he was awared the status of Pastor Emeritus.
Our past Deacon Board members were the late Mr. Henry Rucker, Mr. William Fore, Mr. Harry Kyle, Mr. James Rucker, Norwood Beverly, Mr. Daniel Willis, Mr. George Wesley Johnson, Mr. John Lewis Freeman, Mr. Julius Kyle and Mr. James Washington. Our present Deacon Board members are Mr. Van Rogers and Mr. Edgar Freeman.
Our past Deaconess Board members were the late Mrs. Ruby E. Johnson, late Mrs. Georgia R. Meadows, late Mrs. Zenobia Ferguson, late Mrs. Lillian Burrell Brown, and Mrs. Brenda Rogers. Our current Deaconess Board members are Mrs. Naomi Jones Freeman, and Mrs. Darleen Freeman Hutcheson.
Our former Trustee Board members were the late Mrs. George R. Johnson, late Mr. George W. Johnson, late Mrs. Georgia R. Meadows, late Mrs. Ruby E. Johnson, late Mrs. Zenobia Johnson Ferguson. Our present Trustee Board members are Mrs. Angela Freeman Hilton and Mr. George David Thompson.
Our former Treasurers were the late Mr. Blake Fairfax, his widower, the late Mrs. Elizabeth Fairfax, the late Mr. Julius Kyle and the late Mrs. Viola Anselette Merchant. Our present Treasurer is Mrs. Angela Freeman Hilton.
Our former Sunday School Superintendent was the late Mrs. Ruby E. Johnson. Our present Sunday School Superintendent is the Mrs. Darleen Freeman Hutcheson.
Our Church Clerks from the early 1940's were the late Mr. Hawthorne Rucker, Mrs. Geraldine J. Cary, late Mrs. Francis Willis, late Mrs. Gladys Rogers and late Mrs. Shirley Rogers Laws. Our present Church Clerk is Mrs. Gwen Freeman Ghee.
In the early 1920's, our first Choir Director was the late Mrs. Ruby E. Johnson, who organized the first choirs. From the 1950's to 2007 our Choir Director was the late Mrs. Viola Anselette Merchant who took over the choir and organized the first Male Chorus and Youth Choir. Our present Choir Director, since 2007, is Mrs. Kathleen Johnson Fitzgerald.
We have acquired more land to increase our parking. The Fellowship Hall has been expanded. A pastor’s study and a fully equipped kitchen was built. Air conditioning, dust-to-dawn lights, and the “Lapsleys Run Baptist Church” sign have been added.
The spirit of the Lord has been with us from 1868 to this day, over one hundred and forty-eight years. God was with our Great Great Grandparents when they walked. . .making their way to God’s house. Later, they came in automobiles. No matter how we traveled, our destination was this house of God.
The Lapsleys Run Baptist Church has outlived many of the rural churches in Botetourt County. Even though our members are scattered, we are bound together in Christian Love.
Zenobia Johnson Ferguson, Past Historian
Kathleen Johnson Fitzgerald, Current Historian