By Rev. Rick Hayden
Whitepine United Baptist Church was a dream in the hearts of some mission-minded people long before the sod was turned and the new building erected.
Members of the Riverview United Baptist Church saw the need to reach people for Christ and decided that the need could best be met by beginning a new work. Licentiate Jim Alley was hired to contact those in the area who might be interested in the new church, and so began a work which was to blossom and flourish.
In the fall of 1973 a group of believers organized, and (after beginning in homes) moved to the Claude D. Taylor School for Sunday Services. A close knit fellowship continued to meet in members' homes for mid-week prayer service, sing songs, and choir practice.
An extensive visitation program was carried out. As numbers grew, the fellowship moved from the school to the Dobson Construction building.
On August 1, 1974 Rev. John (Jack) O. Salmon became the Pastor and on October 17, of the same year, the official Chartering Service was held at the Riverview United Baptist Church. After dinner speaker was Rev. William O'Grady, Administrator of the Home Mission Board of the Atlantic United Baptist Convention. Rev. Ernest Sperring, Pastor at Large: Rev. David Garner, pastor for Riverview United Baptist Church when the work at White Pine began; Rev. Victor Rice, Alma United Baptist Church; and Rev. Hugh McNally, pastor or Riverview United Baptist Church; all spoke words of encouragements. A framed list of Charter Members were presented as a gift from the Riverview United Baptist Church.
Land for the new Church was donated by Byron Dobson, and plans to build were made. The Sod turning Ceremony took place October 17, 1975, followed by a fellowship supper. The following year, on June 20, 1976 the new church building was dedicated. Rev. Laurie Fenerty, President of the Atlantic United Baptist Convention was the guest speaker and Rev. Ernest Sperring offered the prayer of dedication. There were 5 members at the time of the dedication of the building.
In the summer of 1983 Rev. Jack Salmon left Whitepine after being called to another church. During his years of service the work grew and prospered at Whitepine and he was greatly missed by the people of the church.
The following summer in July 1984, Rev. Rick Hayden became the new pastor of the Whitepine Untied Baptist Church. That same summer the church had taken on the building of a new parsonage, and Rev. Hayden and his family were able to move into a beautiful new home on the church property.
Over the years the Whitepine United Baptist Church has coninued to grow and prosper, and today there are approximately 140 members. The future is bright for the new church, and its people continue to serve their Lord, and to be of service within the Town of Riverview.