History of SSBC

Shepherd Street Baptist Church History

In November 1962, a group of believers separated from Barker Heights Baptist Church to form a new church that would remain Independent Baptist in practice and doctrine. Washington Street Baptist Church was formed with 85 charter members and Clarence E. Haynes as pastor.  A building was purchased for  $10,000.  The first service was held on November 25, 1962.   

As the church grew, it was evident that larger facilities were needed.  On May 5, 1968, the membership voted to purchase the Nazarene property at 400 1st Avenue, West for $32,500.  The name was changed to Friendship Baptist Church and Rev. Haynes continued as pastor until 1992.  Over the years, improvements were made to meet the needs of the work.  On July 13, 1986 the congregation voted to purchase land for a future church on Shepherd Street.

During the 1990s several men served as interim pastor, including Clarence Porter who accepted the pastorate in October 1998.  On December 10, 1998, the Friendship Baptist Church property was sold for $215,000.   The church family met in several locations during the building process:  Calvary Baptist Church (December 1998), Barker Heights Community Building (January 1999), and Faith Christian School (January-September 1999). 

The new building on Shepard Street was constructed for $203,201. The first service was held at the new Shepherd Street Baptist Church on October 4, 1999.  Rev. Ralph Sexton, Sr., preached the dedication service on April 30, 2000.  Buddy and Anne Mullinax along with Harold and Nelda Pace provided special music.  Clarence Porter continued as pastor until 2002. Herb Putnam began as interim pastor in March 2003 and was elected pastor on June 25, 2003.

In 2005 the auditorium was reconfigured to add pews and enlarge the platform.  An addition ($113,760) was built to house a fellowship area, kitchen, restrooms, and baptistry.  The new facilities were dedicated on Sept. 18, 2005--Rev. Buddy Mullinax preached, Clarence Porter attended, and the Mullinaxes provided special music.

On August 2, 2009 the Shepherd Street Baptist Church congregation voted to merge with Grace Baptist Church of East Flat Rock. Pastor Putnam preached a message on “Memories”, based on Psalm 145.

Shepherd Street Baptist Church Pastors

Rev. Clarence Haynes served as the first pastor of Washington Street Baptist Church, beginning in November 1962.  He continued to lead the congregation as they moved to Friendship Baptist Church facilities, leaving in 1992. 

Rev. Clarence Porter became pastor of Friendship Baptist Church on March 4, 1997.  Under his leadership, the congregation contracted with Riddle Construction Company to build the new church on Shepherd Street.  Pastor Porter worked for RCC at the time, so he physically worked on the building.  He resigned as pastor of Shepherd Street Baptist Church on March 3, 2002 and preached his final sermon there on March 31, 2002.

Herb Putnam continues to serve the Lord—he leads the “Senior Saints” group at GBC, ministers as a chaplain for the Henderson County Sheriff Dept., and conducts vesper services at Spring Haven Retirement Community.