Since May 1896, Saint Philip Missionary Baptist Church has been blessing the lives of Emanuel County through their strong youth membership and congregation.
Larry Sherrod is Saint Philip’s youth pastor and is proud of the church’s deep roots in our community. “Our history is a record of the trials and perseverance of the early settlers of color in the community of Swainsboro,” said Sherrod. “The church had its beginning with the merger of two small congregations, Fishpond and Sawmill Quarter churches.” The merger of these two churches was in May 1896, and the name “Saint Philip” was chosen.
Their church is very unique as they follow the basic order of worship. “In that we are members of the 12th District Convention, General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc., and the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., we follow the basic order of worship. Musicians are permitted to work on their own as long as the work is in compliance with our conventions and agreement,” said Sherrod.
Saint Philip is now home to 132 church members, and they gathered to worship God four times a week before the pandemic. Currently, Saint Philip only hosts one service a week, but they try to cover as much as possible during that time to make up for the other three services missed.
Their church’s leadership is like no other. Pastor James E. Love has been a leader and mentor to the church congregation for the past 30 years. “He has exemplified these characteristics with whomever he comes in contact with,” said Sherrod.
For the community of Swainsboro, the church plays a huge role in individuals in needs lives within the food pantry ministry. They serve 125 persons per month on a drive-thru and deliver option. The church delivers 40 to 50 elderly and handicap persons a month, and before the pandemic would help those in need to get to and from the grocery store.
“I am committed to the life of the church. this is my family. Jesus entrusted this task to the church.”