History of Long Leaf Baptist Church


Long Leaf Baptist Church began as a mission of the
Sunset Park Baptist Church in January of 1944.
There were 90 people present for the first service,
and in October of that same year, the mission was
organized into the Maffit Village Baptist Church with
55 charter members.

In 1951, after continued growth under Pastor Dowd’s
leadership, a ground –breaking service was held for
a planned, two-story education building with a
temporary sanctuary.

Reverend Dowd resigned in September of 1953 and
the church then called Reverend W.E. Entrekin as
pastor. Maffit Village, the residential area after which
the church had taken its name, was sold in 1954,
and its name was changed to Long Leaf Park.
Following suit, the church voted to change its name
as well, and in November of 1954, Long Leaf Baptist
Church was adopted as the church name.

In 1956, the Cape Fear Presbyterian Church
property, which adjoined the Long Leaf Baptist
Church property, became available and the church
voted to make the purchase for a planned and
needed expansion. Pastor Entrekin resigned in
March of 1958, and two months later the church
called Reverend R.L. Wilson as pastor. Pastor
Wilson served faithfully for over six years before

In November of 1964. It would not be until five months later in April of 1965, that the church would call Reverend M.E. Gibson as pastor. Prior to this call the Lord had already given Reverend Gibson a great and exciting vision, for Long Leaf Baptist Church a vision which included tremendous growth and expansion. The final loan payment for the two-story educational building was made in September of 1966.  In 1967 plans were laid for a new building, and the vision was realized nearly eleven years later, when the new sanctuary was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1978. Pastor Gibson concluded his ministry in April of 1979 after fourteen years of faithful service.

Reverend Dennis Wilson served as pastor for nine months before the church called Reverend Johnny Hunt in April of 1981.  Pastor Hunt’s focus and passion for evangelism brought tremendous growth and with it a need for more added space.  The sanctuary expansion was completed in September of 1985 and was dedicated at the 41st Homecoming Service. Pastor Hunt resigned after a fruitful ministry of over 5 years.

January 11,1987 the church called Reverend Eugene Ridley, who served as Pastor 28 years.  Pastor Ridley instilled a strong love of fellowship and a deep commitment to minister to the spiritual needs of the congregation. He was committed to holding to traditional, conservative values, and to the spreading of the Gospel message.

In January of 2017 the church called Reverend Joshua Reilly.  Pastor Reilly has been instrumental in being used by the Lord to restore church unity during a time where much division existed. 

In addition, he has helped lead the church in revitalization.  During his time serving as Pastor the church has made much needed updates to modernize the church in areas such as the children’s area, lobbies, fellowship hall, new roof, painting projects, parking lot updates, tearing down of old parsonage and a new LED church sign. 

Pastor Reilly has also helped lead effort to modernize worship service by adding new speakers, soundboard, keyboard and screens in the worship center and shifting to a blended worship style.  In addition, he has led the effort to have a church website and active church Facebook page. 

Pastor Reilly has a focus on leading the church to be a people that are fulfilling the great Commission.  Specifically, the vision the Lord put on Pastor Joshua’s heart is for Long Leaf Baptist to see multitudes saved, multitudes baptized and multitudes growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ.  The strategy to do that is to be a church that is “Loving…Teaching…Reaching”

Pastor Reilly is committed to preaching the truth of the Word of God and leading the church in being a people that are growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.