April 4, 1898 marked the beginning of an era that would change Dozier’s Corner forever when Jane and John Munden deeded a parcel of land with a small house for the purpose of glorifying the Lord. This parcel of land became the home of Galilee Christian Church. The small house was initially used for worship services; however, in 1906, the first church building was constructed.
The white, woodframe structure, heated by a pot-belly stove, with only out five plumbing, and distinguished by a tall steeple and a large bell, which was used to summon members to worship, was physically built by its founding pastor, the Reverend Willis Lynn.
The Reverend Lynn’s tenure as pastor ended in 1932 and God sent the Reverend James W. Washington to continue to lead His flock. The torch was passed on to the Reverend John Arthur Ferebee in 1944. Under the Reverend Ferebee’s ministry, the church’s membership continued to flourish. A builder by trade and a pastor by God’s divine calling, and the Reverend Ferebee made many physical changes to the appearance of the wooden structure, and the congregation agreed to change the name to Galilee Baptist Church.
Reverend Ferebee retired in 1980 after 36 years of devoted service, and the Reverend C. L. Felton was chosen as pastor-elect for you like and was installed as Pastor on January 4, 1981. With continued increase in membership, more improvements were made for the church structure-the addition of a fellowship hall, and other changes and the name was changed to New Galilee Baptist Church. Reverend C. L. Felton resigned in 1984.
On August 29, 1985, the members elected Reverend Anderson O. Foreman, Jr. He became pastor-elect on September 2, 1985 and was installed as pastor December 8, 1985. Mrs. Rosa Alexander sold the adjacent property at the corner of Great Bridge Boulevard and Route 464 to the church in 1986 and the members began fundraising to construct a new home on that property.
In 1997, construction of the new church began and through God’s blessings was completed and dedicated on Sunday, May 2, 1999. The last service at this location was held on Sunday, June 27, 2013 due to the City of Chesapeake purchasing the location for the expansion of Dominion Boulevard.
The new location was a former car dealership and had to be transformed into a worship center. While waiting for the renovation of the permanent sanctuary to be completed, we held temporary services in the what is now our fellowship hall. With all the favor that God has shown us, we realized that He had a mission for us. Therefore, we are now known as New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.
Our church mission encompasses “…The ability and opportunity to build the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ…” as well as teachings of Galatians 6:9 as we provide “Service Above Self.” To this end, our pastor has planned and continues to plan workshops and conferences to assure an understanding and implementation of this mission.
New Galilee has always served as a beacon in the community, and we believe that God has given us yet another location to let that light shine and praise Him as written in Psalm 100.
This commemorative note is a collection of New Galilee Baptist Church’s history which was compiled from Circuit Court documents, State Library records and the recollection of former and current members.
As with many African-American congregations, church minutes, photographs, newspaper, clippings and other church records are not always filed with courts that are responsible for officially documenting history.
Sometimes information is missing and inevitably some information will be incorrect. This information is meant to correct and supplement the history contained in this commemorative booklet.
The changes are as followed:
- Under Rev. John Arthur Ferebee the church was named Galilee Baptist Church. It was not renamed New Galilee Baptist Church until after 1981 during Rev. C.L. Felton’s tenure as Pastor.
- The installation of the Baptismal Pool and purchase of the adjacent land at the corner of Great Bridge Boulevard and Route 464 occurred during Rev. Anderson O. Foreman Jr’s tenure after 1987 vs. 1981
- The church began construction of the present edifice in the early 90’s vs. 1997.
The 100th Anniversary Committee would like to again thank the History Committee for their dedicated work and a special thanks to Sister Elaine D. Lewis, Rev. Anderson O. Foreman Jr. for authenticating our history.