Word of Truth Christian Fellowship was birthed out of Eastern Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, which was founded and established by Reverend Thomas Parker in 1879. Serving as its first pastor, Reverend Parker started out with only fifteen members.
Records indicate that he was born around 1837. he was a member of the Caucasian American’s First Baptist Church of Wilmington, North Carolina and was ordained as a minister by the same church. In addition to Eastern Chapel, he founded several churches in North Carolina to include: First Baptist Church of Kenansville; First Baptist of Magnolia; First Baptist at Six Runs, Hills Chapel of Faison, and Mt. Gilead of Mount Olive. Reverend Parker was the founder and served as the first Moderator of the Kenansville Eastern Missionary Baptist Association until his death in 1924.
On June 8, 1899, Reverend Thomas Parker and his wife Mariah Parker were deeded property along with Trustees Samuel Sheffield and Fred Hill from Isaac McLamb for three hundred and fifty dollars. Church documents do not show where the first church was established, but is known that an assembly of born-again believers did congregate to worship God. Eastern Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is one of several African American churches in the City of Goldsboro that was established before the nineteen hundreds that is still subsistent.
Because of its architectural design, the second structure is one of the two African American churches that is featured in the Architectural Inventory of Goldsboro, North Carolina.
After the completion of the second structure, Reverend Parker relocated to establish another church, and Reverend J. T. Deans became pastor of Eastern Chapel.
Late one night, of unknown origin, a fire partially destroyed the sanctuary in early 1942. The members were saddened by this act of destruction, but it did not discourage them. In the latter part of 1944, the church was rebuilt and the members once again occupied the sanctuary to sing praises unto a merciful God.
Since its beginning in 1879, Reverend Thomas Parker, Reverend J. M. Grimes, Reverend J. T. Deans, Reverend Claro Dickens, Reverend David Howell and our present pastor, Elder Timothy L. Dortch, have tenure in leading the flock of born-again believers. It is well established that Eastern Chapel is famous for the duration of its pastors.
During the sovereignty of each pastor; strong men believing in God and having a vision for the future, much needed renovations have taken place at the church, including, but not limited to, adding a fellowship hall, a porch with a ramp, purchasing additional properties, enlarging parking capacity, revamping the women’s bathroom, giving the sanctuary a face-lift, and purchasing 21 acres of land to build a new facility.
On May 14, 2009 Eastern Chapel was honored to have a ground-breaking service for its new 13, 491 sq. ft. church facility. Approximately two months later, on June 10, construction began, and on January 24, 2010 the pastor, officers, members, and friends worshipped in the new sanctuary.
With God’s help, the wisdom of the Finance Ministry, and the cooperation of the Executive Board and church body, the land was paid off in two and a half years. A few years later, on May 14, 2009, we were honored to have a ground-breaking ceremony for a new 13, 491 sq. ft. church facility. One month later, on June 10, 2009, construction began, and on January 24, 2010, the pastor, officers, members, and friends were honored to worship in the new facility.
The church has undergone many changes to accommodate the visions that have been laid before it down through the years. Two major changes include coming out of the Kenansville Missionary Baptist Association on December 31, 2014, and changing the church’s name to Word of Truth Christian Fellowship in April of 2016. Word of Truth is a strong institution of believers following the vision that each pastor has instilled as shepherds.