Our Church History

About Our Pastor and First Lady

Dr. Roy L. Dennis, Jr.

Roy L. Dennis, Jr. was born and raised in Rogersville, Tennessee. He is the son of the late Roy L. Dennis, Sr. and the late Mary C. Dennis. He attended Rogersville City School and is a graduate of Rogersville High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was commissioned into the U. S. Army as an officer. While serving in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm, he received the Bronze Star. He was ordained a Deacon in 1996 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Burlington, New Jersey and in 2001 at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC. After being called by God, Reverend Dennis was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 2001. He was ordained by the Rowan Baptist Association in July of 2003. He received his Master of Divinity degree in May of 2005 from the Shaw Divinity School in Raleigh, NC. Dr. Roy L. Dennis, Jr. received his Doctoral Degree from Drew University on May 12, 2012.

Pastor Dennis is affiliated with the General State Baptist Convention of North Carolina and serves on the General Board, the Lott Carey Foreign Missionary Convention, National Baptist Convention USA and the Rowan Baptist Association. He is the former Pastor of Bluestone Missionary Baptist Church of Pelham, NC and First Vice Moderator of the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Association. He is a guest columnist to the Baptist Informer, the publication of the General Baptist State Convention of NC. He is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Pastor Dennis is blessed, to have a loving and supportive family who are committed to the work of the Lord. He states that his gift from God is his wife, Delphine Taylor Dennis. They are the proud parents of two children, Bria Delphine and Roy L. Dennis, III (Tre'). He is firmly committed to enhancing the welfare and growth of Gethsemane's flock through worship and spiritual education. Pastor Dennis believes in taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and continues to win souls for the Lord.

First Lady— Delphine Taylor Dennis

Delphine Taylor Dennis was born and raised in Nathalie, Virginia. She is the daughter of Mildred Mabins Taylor and the late Anthony Taylor. She is the youngest of five girls. She is a graduate of Halifax County High School. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from Norfolk State University and was commissioned into the U. S. Army as an officer. She received her Master's Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University. She was consecrated a Deaconess in 1996 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Burlington, New Jersey and in 2001 at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC where she was a Sunday School t teacher and a choir member. Sister Dennis ,the former First Lady of Bluestone Missionary Baptist Church 2005-2019 where she served faithfully and has been a Sunday School teacher. She currently the First Lady of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church of Salisbury, North Carolina.

Lady Dennis is a Sr. Manager of Human Resources at Hanes brands and a former board member at the Hanesbrands Credit Union. She is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House (family room) located at Wake Forrest Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, Meals on Wheels, and has been a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank and The Children's Home. Lady Dennis also is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Soror-ity, where she is the Assistant Financial Secretary and former Risk Management chair-person. Lady Dennis is blessed, to have a loving and supportive family who are committed to the work of the Lord. She is married to Pastor Roy Dennis, Jr. They are the proud par-ents of two children, Bria Delphine and Roy L. Dennis, III (Tre'). She is a dedicated and committed servant for the Lord who lives her life helping others and sharing the Gospel of God's Word throughout her everyday walk.


The origin of Gethsemane Baptist Church began with a prayer band, praising God in a house on the corner of South Caldwell and Taylor Streets. In 1910, this same group of Christians purchased and moved a church from Chestnut Hill to its present site, and named it Graham Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church.

The Church was an outgrowth of First Calvary Baptist Church, Salisbury, North Carolina. Rev. J. W. Pennington was the first pastor of the church which was organized on November 28, 1926 with 35 members. Brother Howard Wood came forth with the name Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. The first deacons J. H. Hargrave, George Moore, James Jenkins, Brother Johnson, Richard Giles, S.D. Montgomery, Howard Woods, C.S. Butner, John Alexander and J.B. Richardson. During this organization the following officers were selected trustees, church clerk, chairman of usher board, Sunday School Superintendent, treasurer of missions and choir.

The church prospered between 1916 and 1934, while the membership worked diligently in organizing the effective Christian training, worship and witness. The church joined the Rowan Baptist Association October 4, 1929 and installed a Baptismal Pool May 6, 1930.

The following ministers served as Pastors of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church:

Gethsemane Children's ministry

During Reverend Bryant's pastorate, the church was renovated.

Under the leadership of Reverend W.T. Jackson, the church was completely renovated during 1964-1973. The church was brick veneered, an educational unit was added, and all new furniture was installed.

In 1974, the church was served by Reverend Michael McClain. With the coming of Reverend E. N. Young in 1975, there was a continuous growth in membership and the church's outreach in ministry attracted attention locally, state-wide and nationally. An organ and a public address system were added to make the services more effective.

Dr. A. O. Walker was officially called to Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church on March 19, 1978. Dr. Walker served as the motivator in helping the church to secure property for a new church, paved the church parking lot, and installed a new heating and air system. Reverend James L. Stowe, one of the sons of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, and was pastor 1984-2004. With the overwhelming growth in membership, Reverend Stowe led the church in a massive fund-raising which resulted in a new sanctuary in fewer than 2 years.

The new church was paid for in four years and eight months culminating in an Awards and Mortgage Burning Service July 26, 1992. Secondly, the construction of the new Education and Fellowship Building began April, 1992 and was completed December, 1992. The membership dedicated the edifice to God's service and named the building the James L. Stowe Educational Building.

In January 2005, Dr. Clary Phelps became the pastor of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church. He was installed as pastor in March 2005. Our church has really flourished under the leadership of Pastor Phelps.

Under Pastor Phelps leadership Gethsemane purchased a long awaited parcel of land adjacent to Gethsemane, Organized Westside Community Foundation, a non-profit organization under the auspices of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church and remodeled the former church parsonage into the Gethsemane Outreach House which serves the community at large.  Several new ministries have been organized:  The Visitation Ministry, The Public Relations Ministry and the College Ministry, to name a few.                                                     

While we are experiencing growing pains, with the help of God and with his continued leadership, we will continue to grow as God continues to bless.           


We Have Come This Far By Faith

Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church
719 South Caldwell Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
Telephone: 704-633-5057
Fax: 704-639-1975