About Us

Who Are We ?

From its very beginning and through most of its life, Samaria Baptist Church has shared a common history with the Chickahominy Indian Tribe. The two entities have been intertwined.  This began to change in the mid-twentieth century and the church began taking in members with other heritages. Besides the obvious cultural diversity one sees on a typical Sunday morning at Samaria, perhaps the most concrete evidence of this shift was in 1987 when the church changed its name from Samaria Indian Baptist Church to Samaria Baptist Church. Another characteristic of the church is that most of its members grew up in Samaria Baptist Church. Nearly 30% of church members share the same last name, Adkins. Several other family names (Stewart, Canaday, Cannada, Bradby, Holmes, and Jones) account for another large percentage of the membership. This heavy family representation has created strong values, trust, and traditions among all church members. Support for strong Christian families is a major focus at Samaria.

Under the leadership of Pastor Jay, the current church vision is to "Reach Charles City County for Christ" (CCC4C). We have reviewed the demographics and recognize the huge ministry to "be Christ" in the community right on our doorstep. There are 2400 people, including about 400 under the age of 18, within a 3 mile radius of our front doors. We share that radius with 4 other churches, Samaria being the largest. If all five churches were filled to capacity on Sunday mornings we would not be serving much more than a quarter of that population. "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few".


What to Expect Sunday Mornings

Worship of God, the Creator of the universe and father of our Savior Jesus Christ is what we do in Sunday Morning Worship. Bible based preaching is at its core with worship through prayer, song, testimony, and offering rounding out our expression of love for and devotion to God. In between our 8:00 and 11:00 worship services we have Bible Study for every age. This "Sunday School" begins at 9:30 with refreshments and fellowship immediately preceding at 9:15. The two worship services differ slightly in worship style and musical accompaniment. The 8:00 service, held in the Fellowship Hall, uses CD and DVD accompaniment and the music is more contemporary. The 11:00 service, held in the Sanctuary, features an organist, pianist and choir with congregational singing from the Baptist Hymnal. Attire will be mixed in both services with more coats and ties in the 11:00 service trending to business casual and jeans at 8:00. A nursery is available for young children during all services. We celebrate communion on the first Sunday of each month in the 8:00 service and on the Sunday following the quarterly business meeting in the 11:00 service. The communion at 8:00 is done "family style". All to the glory of God.


Facility Map

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Welcome and Secure

In addition to teachers and other workers, we have greeters and ushers spread throughout the facility to ensure your welcome, comfort and safety while you worship, praise, celebrate and learn with us. All of our children and youth workers are required to pass a background check before they begin service and every five years of continued service. As to security, our facility is rather spread out from end to end and you may encounter a locked door as we attempt to reduce our security risk at the extremes of an activity. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.


Becoming A Member

Candidates for membership may present themselves in one of the following ways: by profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church, by receipt of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church, by statement of Christian experience, describing previous church membership, profession of faith and believer's baptism, by restoration (see bylaws for details). Before a membership vote, candidates for membership shall have completed the prospective member class (as led by pastoral staff) and fulfilled the requirements for Active Membership as described in te Membership Designation Policy.

We make a big deal of baptism at Samaria. When someone comes forward to make known to the world what has already taken place in their heart and mind, we celebrate. We set aside the 9:30 Sunday School hour to interview and vote on the candidate for baptism and membership. One of our church leaders will address the candidates for baptism to discuss baptism and the implications of following Christ. Following the baptism will come the presentation of the baptismal certificate, a Bible from the church, and other necessities of church membership. Finally we all celebrate communion with our new brother/sister in Christ.


Senior Pastor

Rev. Jay Hurley

Rev. Jay Hurley (or “Pastor Jay” as he prefers to be called) hails from Washington, D.C.  He is married to the love of his life, Kathy.  Pastor Jay worked in various professions and served in the U.S. Army before he came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He graduated from Florida Baptist Theological College with a Bachelor of Ministry in Biblical Studies Degree and holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Early in his ministry he served as Minister of Education and Minister of Youth. He then served as Pastor to Greenbrier Baptist Church in Boonsboro, MD. Immediately before coming to pastor Samaria Baptist Church, he served 17 years as Pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Smithfield, PA.

Pastor Jay has a heart for God, a love for people, and a desire to see people everywhere come to know and serve Jesus.


Associate Pastor/Youth Minister

Rev. Darius O. Webster

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Reverend Darius Omar Webster serves as our Associate Pastor and Youth Minister.  He was licensed into the Gospel Ministry in 2001, and was Ordained in May of 2016.  He is married to Mrs. Tonia Rochelle Hampton-Webster, and they are the devoted parents of one son, Evan. 

Rev. Webster matriculated through the Richmond City and Henrico County public schools systems, graduating from Highland Springs High School in 1991. He completed undergraduate studies at Norfolk State University in 1998, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in English and Psychology.  He received his Master of Divinity degree from The Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in 2015, which includes a Christian Education concentration.  Rev. Webster is also a graduate of the Richmond Christian Leadership Institute (RCLI 2014), a member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, and a veteran of the United States Navy.

Rev. Webster has served in many different capacities in his years of Ministry to include time as the Richmond Area, Royal Ambassador, Church Basketball League Director; a Children’s Minister; and Church School Director.  Rev. Webster has also served a pastoral internship at the Faith Community Baptist Church, with the esteemed Pastor and Seminary Professor, Rev. Dr. Patricia A. Gould-Champ; as well as a separate internship at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

He is saved, called by God, and a faithful servant to the Gospel Ministry.  Rev. Webster is a Gospel Preacher, Bible Teacher, and a Lover of God’s People! A scriptural reference that he finds foundational to his Ministry is Proverbs 4:7 “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”


Church Governance

Samaria Baptist Church located in Charles City County, Virginia at the intersection of Lott Cary Road and Samaria Lane was organized in 1901, adopted its first Constitution and Bylaws April 11, 1987 with most recent updates being completed June 8, 2015. The Church Vision is "Growing Christian Families". Our "Beliefs" can be found under that tab here on the website. "The government of the this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it." "This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches." "The membership reserves the right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership." "Those members of Samaria Baptist Church who have met the Active Member requirements of the Samaria Baptist Church Membership Designation Policy are considered Active Members." "Becoming a Member" is described under another tab on this website. The church has officers including the Senior Pastor, other pastoral staff, the deacons, a moderator, an assistant moderator, a clerk, a treasurer, trustees, a Sunday School Director, an assistant Sunday School director, and others as required. There are committees such as nominating, personnel, finance, ushers, special programs and benevolence and program organizations such as Sunday School, The Baptist Women, The Brotherhood and The Music Organization. While most church business is conducted at quarterly business meetings of the body, there is a church council which meets between business meetings to conduct business within limits set out in the Constitution and Bylaws.


Church History

On May 26, 1901, Rev. P. E. Throckmorton, who served as pastor until 1921, organized the Samaria Indian Baptist Church.  The process actually began, on April 13, 1901, when 48 members withdrew from Cedar Grove Baptist Church. This newly organized church was received into membership of Dover Baptist Association at the annual meeting the same year.  The building used was the same one used by the original Samaria Baptist Church, which had been organized in 1876 and disbanded in 1888. The landowners, Robert and Benjamin Evans, leased the building to the Indians for use while they were getting together their meager gifts to build a new church. L. M. Nance, Commonwealth Attorney of Charles City County, deeded two acres of land, one mile east of Samaria, to the members for this purpose.  On this plot, the neat little edifice was completed, and was dedicated May 10, 1910. The dedicatory sermon was delivered by, Dr. R. H. Pitt, who was the editor of the Religious Herald.  By that time the membership had grown to ninety.  The Dover minutes of 1945 gave the membership as 210.  The membership as of January 2016 is 675.

           

The first Sunday in September 1945, following a revival, which had recently been held, 22 boys and girls ranging in ages from nine to fifteen years, were baptized into the membership of the church.  This was largely the result of personal work by the teacher of the Indian school, a Native American girl of the Chickahominy tribe, and the earnest efforts of the Sunday school teachers, the fathers and mothers, and Rev. Harvey Custalow, the pastor of the church. Rev. Custalow was the first Native American pastor to serve.

 

In 1953, a motion was carried to build a new church where the old one stood.   There were several fund drives formed to raise the necessary funds to build this church. A special drive was held the 4th Sunday in May of that year where each member pledged within himself to give a certain amount.  Newspapers, magazines and other recyclable items were also collected and sold.  In 1955, it was decided that each member would set aside a little money each week, and one week between March 12th, and the 4th Sunday in May each member would give one tenth of a weeks earnings toward the building fund. 

 

In 1961 it was decided that the offering would go to the building fund on the 4th Sundays of March, June, September and December until the building was completed, and the debt paid. The present church was built in 1962, replacing the first church built in 1909. In both buildings, many have come to the saving knowledge of the Lord: with two of the members serving as missionaries and two others being ordained to preach the gospel. The mortgage was paid off and the building fund offering was discontinued in 1967.

 

Sisters of the church were not permitted to attend quarterly church business meetings until 1954.  Before 1956, male members would have to ask for forgiveness for not attending a meeting.  In 1960 compulsory attendance and the taxation of males at the business meetings were discontinued.

 

On October 1 1987, the day that the church’s new constitution became effective, the name was officially changed from Samaria Indian Baptist Church to Samaria Baptist Church.  It was the desire of the members to open the church to all who would come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.  This was a difficult decision for many of the membership but they knew that as Christians there is no exclusion in the Kingdom of God and God’s Church should be open to all peoples.

 

The former Samaria Indian School building and land, adjacent to the church, was purchased from the County in 1995. Members pledged to give money each week toward the renovation of the building for Sunday school classes and the construction of a new Fellowship Hall.  Ground was broken on December 6, 1998 for a major expansion/renovation.  This construction joined the old school building and the church into one unit. Homecoming dinner was served in the new fellowship hall on Homecoming Sunday, August 13, 2000. On Sunday, September 10, 2000 Sunday school classes were held in the new facility for the first time.  The Dedication service for the new church facility was held October 28, 2000 with Steven Allsbrook Executive Director of Dover Baptist Association as the guest speaker.

 

We have been fortunate to have only had five pastors in our first 100 years. The Rev. P. E. Throckmorton was called as Samaria’s first pastor, and served from 1901 to 1921. The Rev. Thomas E. Whitlow, served from 1922 to 1924. The Rev. Charles D. Danzy served from 1925 to 1927. The Rev. Harvey N. Custalow served from 1938 to 1976. The Rev. Claude L. Evans served from 1976 to 2010. It was during Pastor Evans term, January 1, 2001, that the church moved to make the senior pastor position full-time versus part-time. On March 1, 2011, Rev. Ernest (Ed) Johnson was called as the Intentional Interim Pastor for the church until a senior pastor could be called. The Rev. Jay P. Hurley was began service as Senior Pastor of Samaria Baptist Church on October 6, 2013.

 

Rev. Susan Morris, our first Youth Minister served from 1996 to 1998 and returned as Assistant Pastor from 2005 – 2009. It was during Rev. Morris’ time with us that we added an 8:00 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship Service and the Carnival for Christ on the first Saturday on June each year. Other Children’s and Youth Ministers have been the Rev. Jennifer N. Peterson who served from 1998 – 2001 and the Rev. Sandy J. Rogers-Lathan who served from 2002 – 2005 and the Rev. Kevin Brown, Jr. served from 2010 – 2015.

 

The Deacon body has grown from the original six male members when the church was first organized to about 20 male and female deacons today. The first female deacons were elected in 1989 and the last deacons elected to a lifetime term were elected in 1973. Deacons are elected to a four-year term today.

 

The Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) was organized in Samaria Baptist Church on May 26, 1927.  Through the years the WMU has seen many changes.  It continues to be a vital part of our church work.

 

Members of Samaria have served as missionaries and others have been ordained to preach the Gospel. These include: the Rev. Lewis Baber who currently pastors a church in Garner, NC; the Rev. Kevin Brown, Jr. who is an Associate Pastor at a church in Barlow KY; and Peter and Angela Adkins who have heeded God’s call to develop a Christian Elementary School on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Cannon Ball, ND. Samaria also contributed to the sponsorship of two Virginia churches, Kentwood Heights Baptist Church in Quinton, and Atlee Community Church in Hanover.

 

Samaria has grown both spiritually and financially over the years.  We pray for the church’s continuous growth as our Lord and Savior grew “in wisdom and knowledge, and in favor with both God and Man.”


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