AMBC Ministries, 2016.  All Rights Reserved.

HISTORY


  1. 1 CORINTHIANS 3:11,  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST”


The year was 1942. The world was at war. The Japanese were bombing India, a 16 inch lawn mower could be bought for $8.69, a bar of soap for 7 cents, and a dust mop for 37 cents. A movie glamorizing adultery was showing at the Graham theater. At these troubled times God was calling out a people for his name. Out of this time of crisis a church was born. It was conceived by the spirit of God, and a few faithful Christians carried the vision in their hearts and travailed in prayer.


It was Easter Sunday, April 5, 1942. How fitting that on the day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a new torch was lit to shine in the darkness and spread the good news of eternal life. Into a store building on the corner of Market and Mill Streets, the people gathered. Rev. G.W. Swinney, pastor of the Glen Hope Baptist Church of Burlington, served as moderator for the meeting. By the will of God, fifteen charter members led by Rev. Eugene Hancock covenanted together to become a Missionary Baptist Church.


The new church was known as Missionary Baptist Church. But, in January, 1943, the name was changed to Andrews Memorial Baptist Church to honor Mr. Lee Andrews. His widow gave the two lots and the store building in which the church was organized. Not only did she donate the property, Mrs. Andrews aided in its organization. A short time later the church purchased an adjacent house and remodeled both church and house because of the need for a larger place to worship. Within two short years, the Sunday School had grown to over 300 members. However, a church cannot be measured by numbers alone but by lives transformed. Such results have been possible because the Church was built on the right foundation-Jesus Christ. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."


In September of 1947, a lot on Oneida Street was purchased for a new church building which is now known as the chapel. It was completed in 1949 and had a large air conditioned auditorium, 38 Sunday School rooms, Pastor's study and office, and two nurseries. In 1955 the corner lot joining the church property was purchased on which a new auditorium was to be erected.


In 1959, on the 17th anniversary of the church, the brochure published in honor of that anniversary reads: "The Church property now includes an auditorium and Sunday school an auditorium and Sunday school plant. Located behind the main auditorium is a new church hut, also air-conditioned. This building is used for children's services, and is also used by the Young Married People's Sunday School Class. In spite of this record of expansion, the present facilities are not adequate for such a growing congregation. More Sunday School space is needed, and quite often extra chairs must be brought in for the preaching services. Already, plans are underway to construct a new building. As a testimony to the people's faithfulness to give, it should be noted that all of the present Church property is debt free."


  1. PSALM 127:1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.


Today, the church has the auditorium dreamed about in 1959. It has an 145 acre camp with dorms, gym, chapel, commercial kitchen, 9 acre lake, and swimming pool. Hundreds of young people attend the camp every year and many accept the Lord as their Savior. The church property also includes a recently remodeled daycare building, a new Readiness School, and a new reception hall. The total value of all the church property is over 3 million dollars and as a testimony to the Lord is debt free.


Currently over 60 missionaries and missions organizations are supported in the US and abroad. Through the giving of God's people, an outreach Church was established in Romania named Andrews Memorial. The services of the Church are broadcast over four radio stations six times a week in the US and over two stations in the Marshall Islands. There are now special ministries devoted not only to the youth of our Church but to senior adults and home-bound individuals as well.


Who was this man of God who led the people in starting this church? Many people have heard of Rev. Eugene Hancock and may even recognize his picture. He received his education in the Graham schools, Elon College, and Piedmont Bible College of Winston Salem. He was married to the former Miss Billie Williams of Burlington. They had one daughter named Glenda. From the time he was called into the ministry, he faithfully and uncompromisingly preached the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He had a love and passion for souls, and preached and practiced a separated and consecrated Christian life. In addition to being a successful leader of Andrews Memorial, he was greatly used as an evangelist throughout North Carolina and Virginia.


Tommy Willis was associate pastor from 1955 to 1964. It was said of Reverend Willis by Pastor Hancock that "I don't know what I'd do without Tommy, who is such an asset in helping carry the heavy load here."


Tommy Willis was born in Floyd County Virginia. He was the oldest of 5 children. He was born again at age 18. He served as Pastor of Five Forks Baptist Church in Cedar Grove, NC from 1964-75. In 1975 he was called back to Andrews Memorial as the pastor.  Pastor Willis is graduate of Piedmont Bible College of Winston Salem. He received his honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Midwestern Baptist College of Pontiac, Michigan in 1980. He and his wife have 5 children and 10 grandchildren.

   

Many significant events happened during the early days of the church. One such example is a revival that was held on the court house steps in Graham. A revival broke out as a result of this meeting in which 75 people were saved. The revival lasted for 3 weeks. Also, during the 40's, numerous accounts of soldiers lives being spared and people being healed were published in the Church-School News published by Andrews. There is no question God was and still is moving among his people.

  

Andrews Memorial - What a great past. But what about the future? Where will this church be fifty years from now? What we do today, the stand we take today, the way we train our children today, how much we pray today, our dedication to the Lord today, will determine the future of this Church, this body of Christ tomorrow and forever.

AMBCDISTINCTIVES