WCBC History


Walnut Creek Baptist Church was established in 1850 as Walnut Creek Missionary Baptist Church of Christ. Both the Missionary Baptist and Church of Christ congregations used the building giving it the unusual name. Eventually, the name changed to Walnut Creek Baptist Church. The church, located on a hill near Walnut Creek, is still called Walnut Hill by some old-timers.

In 1856 seventeen and one-half acres was surveyed and purchased from Joel Holbert for twenty-five dollars, eighty-seven and one-half cents providing a place for the church and cemetery. Sale of timber funded construction of the first building, possibly made of logs.

During the years surrounding the Civil War, the church enjoyed an integrated congregation and church discipline was exercised without prejudice. The preceding information was borrowed from WCBC minutes, included in an article by D. T. Loyd, and printed in the Gilmer Mirror about 1970. Loyd also states that during the Civil War “there seemed to be peace and harmony in the church…”

In August 1867 WCBC entered into a contract with the lowest bidder and construction began. The construction consisted of a foundation made from hand-hewed sills and the facade of ten-inch shiplap siding. The church was ceiled in 1913 but never painted. 

Ben Wilson bought three acres in 1916 leaving fourteen and one-half acres.

Plans for a new building began in 1922, again selling timber to fund construction. The existing building was demolished in 1928 and lumber sold to offset the cost. The same hand-hewed sills were used and continue to support the Memorial Chapel. Building continued in 1945 with the addition of four classrooms. The auditorium is all that remains, Walnut Creek Memorial Chapel is often called the old church.

Hand made hardwood pews were bought in 1949. Mrs. Ruth Oliver and Alleene Jones provided a rostrum made by Hugh Oliver. The growing church added four rooms in 1954. Three rooms opened through folding doors into one large Junior Education room and hardwood floors added throughout. The completion of a well in 1955 made running water available for the first time and one classroom was converted into two restrooms.

The Tom Plummer heirs donated an acre of land and the church built a three bedroom brick parsonage with dedication and open house in 1956. Brenda Nicholson purchased the home in 2006, moved it, and cleaned the lot. The area now contains a bus barn approved in 2009.

A lifetime guarantee Cyclone fence enclosed the Cemetery in 1960.

A brick church constructed in 1978 consisted of a large auditorium, baptistery, pastor’s study, fellowship hall, kitchen, two restrooms, eight classrooms, and nursery. The first service in the new church was celebrated on Easter 1978 with dedication in June. Prior to completion of this building, WCBC celebrated baptismal services in sister churches or nearby ponds often using Otis Jones’ property. After completion of the newest Sanctuary, WCBC converted this auditorium into an activity center now called the Fellowship Hall and the original fellowship hall enlarged the existing kitchen in 2001. Most adult classes now meet in this building.

An additional education building, completed by volunteer labor, included one office, two restrooms, one conference room, and eight classrooms. The building was dedicated in 1981. Known as the children’s wing, it now houses four children’s classes, one large ladies class, and four offices including a private study for the Pastor and additional offices one shared by the Ministry Assistant and Sunday School Directors, one for the Church Treasurer and one for the Children’s Ministry. A note burning service recognized a debt-free building in 1985.

The Plummer heirs donated their parent’s home to the church in 1984. It was used as a parsonage for the Youth Director for many years and returned to the family in 2001.

In 1991, the church approved additional education space building a thirty-two by sixty-four-foot building containing four classrooms, two restrooms, and one large fellowship area. The space, known as the Youth Building, originally designed to accommodate WCBC Youth, continues serving that purpose under the direction of the WCBC Youth Minister.

In 1991, Children’s Church reported twenty-seven in attendance. Renee's vision of an age-appropriate worship service for children became reality continuing under the direction of the WCBC Children’s Ministry Team.

The Susie Smith Sunday School class, under the direction of Mrs. Nell, began a Food Pantry Ministry about 1992. Stocked with individual donations, the pantry sustains families in crisis providing groceries and personal hygiene products. Church funding began in 2008.

In 1995 a Historical Committee consisting of Chairman, James, Mrs. Lois, and Mrs. Nell began the process to obtain a historical marker for church property. The marker was unveiled Homecoming Day, June 1996. An afternoon song and recognition program in the Memorial Chapel commemorated the event with standing room only.

In 1998, the church approved a new sanctuary with a seating capacity of three hundred and fifty at a projected cost of $200,000. The rising cost of materials and the addition of 47,000 square feet paved parking lot forced a cost adjustment in 2001 bringing the total to $260,000. The church was under the direction of an interim pastor during much of the construction. Three years after approval, Easter 2001, members and guests worshipped with a capacity crowd in the new Sanctuary. The building was dedicated on Homecoming Day, 2001 and a note burning service celebrated a debt-free Sanctuary one year later.

The Ladies class, under the direction of Mrs. Lois, began the Homebound Ministry about 1999 making and delivering meals once a month to sick, disabled, and elderly residents. The growing ministry soon exceeded the class’s ability and the church added financial support followed by additional personnel making weekly deliveries possible. Directed by Mrs. Donna, the ministry provides up to fifty meals Wednesday evenings. Plans to expand the ministry giving delivery personnel more time to visit recipients and provide home repair began in 2010.

In 1999, WCBC determined the need for written by-laws and procedures for church operations available to members. Five members were chosen to produce the documents including John, Kirk, Mark, Scott, and James. The WCBC By-Laws, Constitution, and Policies Manual were approved in 2000.  Although secondary to God’s Word as well as amended periodically, the documents govern WCBC offering members equal service opportunities.

ActSix, a mobile worship ministry led by Senior Adult Minister Gary, began in 2007. The team takes informal corporate worship to individual homes and nursing facilities monthly, delivers fruit baskets for the holidays, and enjoys Christian concerts and rallies.

In 2008 WCBC voted to purchase a bus, a twenty-five foot Ford Allstar with a gas engine and twenty-five passenger capacity for a total cost of $54,500. In 2009 the church approved construction of a double capacity bus barn located in place of the now absent parsonage.

In 2010 WCBC met to discuss future building projects. Although not an official business meeting, the church family agreed to evaluate the existing building determining the cost of repair and/or renovation. Shifting foundation and electrical issues were noted areas for resolution. The possibility of renovating existing space to meet anticipated needs in a cost-effective way was also to be determined. The resulting decision referred evaluations to the Building and Grounds Committee reporting results to the church.

In 2010 informal discussions on Sunday evenings resulted in the formation of a new and different ministry. Directed by Mark, WCBC.com (Community Outreach Ministry) was born to minister to surrounding communities by operating concession stands for various sporting events in Diana and Ore City allowing parents precious time to watch their children perform athletically as they mature physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

In 2012, WCBC formed the Mission and OutReach Team led by Pastor Marvin. The team researches needs and plans mission trips internationally and locally. The first WCBC missionaries were sent out in 2013 and two trips in 2014 to the Village of Hope Orphanage for special needs children in Guatemala. Two more trips are planned for summer 2015 to the same orphanage and another to Kenya Africa.

The Children’s Ministry began the BackPack Program in 2014. This ministry provides backpacks filled with enough nutritional meals to feed a needy family through the weekend and is distributed each Friday through area schools. Children are recommended for the program through area schools as well.

In September of 2016 Doctor Guy McGraw, Senior Pastor, and wife Lynne joined the WCBC family.

Construction began again in 2018. The Youth Building is being converted into office space as growth continues at WCBC. New educational spaces will begin after completion of the office spaces.

The growth cycle continues in 2015. By order of the church, the Property Expansion Team reconvened charged with three tasks: deciding on a specific building, a specific financial plan and presenting the completed report for approval by church vote.

One hundred and sixty-five years ago a few people, committed to the Lord, saw the need for a refuge to worship and draw from His strength. A place of encouragement, support, and direction to accomplish God’s will. Construction, renovation, and expansion continue as the Lord adds Believers to the church that began so very long ago. As those Saints in 1850 could not predict the result of their labors, so we can not imagine how God will bless our efforts. God is able to do immeasurably, abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think, Ephesians 3:20-21. The purpose of this place continues: to worship God, provide saving knowledge of Jesus, and disciple Believers. Walnut Creek Baptist Church: It’s all about Jesus … living, loving, learning and passing it on to the next generation.

Today is a new beginning for WCBC in fields white unto harvest. We are excited about God’s continuing work. That certain excited expectation of God’s future activity is rewarded by something wonderfully impossible that He accomplishes in, through, around, and sometimes in spite of us.

The preceding information was taken from the original minutes of Walnut Creek Baptist Church and/or eye witness accounts and compiled by Mrs. Nell, Church Clerk, 1955-2002 and Becky, Ministry Assistant, 2003 to present. The original minutes from 1855 to present are filed with Walnut Creek Baptist Church. A deacon kept the minutes from 1850-1855 which were destroyed when his home burned.


W. H. Gorman was the first pastor recorded in 1855.
More recent pastors include:

Bro. Berkley Boyd

Bro. Isaac Chaffin

Bro. Ross Worley

Bro. Perry Crisp

Bro. John Vassar

Bro. Marvin Denison

Dr. Guy McGraw

















Deacons currently serving WCBC:

Garry Ormes

Kirk Krienke

Mark Oliver

Raymond Wright

Mo Lopez

Micky Kennedy

Greg Pope

















WCBC Staff:

Rhonda Chambers

Sheri Belew

Becky Strange

Rick Anderson

Allen Smith

Josh Lowery

Terry Hardan

Ginger Freeman

Wendy Cummings

Halle Pope

Kenley Garcia



Ministry Assistant

Praise Team Leader


Youth Coordinator

Sound Tech

Sound Tech



Children's Coordinator