Randolph Memorial Baptist Church was born out of the missionary impulse of Southern Baptists. In 1955 the Lynchburg Council of Baptist Churches, Rev. J. J. Bowman, President, saw the need for a Baptist church in this area of the county; began survey work and a search for a suitable location for a new church. A committee selected by the Council chose a site called “The Oaks”, a house and thirty-five acres of land, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Moody Campbell. The house, built in 1810, would become our parsonage.
Dr. Herman Stevens, a retired pastor, was sent by the Virginia Baptist General Association to lead in developing the church. His tireless efforts and visitation in the community resulted in a well-attended organizational meeting at “The Oaks” on December 18, 1955. Amherst Road Baptist Church was well under way. The first worship service was held under Dr. Stevens’ leadership the first Sunday in January of 1956.
Plans were made in the spring to officially constitute the church. At that time Rev. Robert Randolph, Superintendent of Evangelism for Virginia Baptists, who had been very interested and active in starting the church, died unexpectedly. When the church was constituted on April 15, 1956, the congregation voted unanimously to change the name to Randolph Memorial Baptist Church. Soon, work began on the chapel, which was built at a cost of $15,000.00.
On the first Sunday in June 1956, Rev. Cecil Marsh led his first service as pastor. The membership grew to 126. The Educational Building was completed in 1960 at a cost of $110,000.00. By the mid 1960’s Sunday morning attendance reached 300, and the membership grew to over 500. In May 1967, Cecil Marsh accepted the call of the Virginia Baptist General Board.
Rev. James E. Baucom was called as the second pastor in the fall of 1967, and he served until February 1971. His ministry was marked by growth in spirit and fellowship and organizational development.
In December 1971, Dr. W. Otis McClung accepted the church’s call to serve as pastor. During Dr. McClung’s ministry, the church saw continued growth in membership. An indebtedness of $73,000.00 was paid off. Also the new sanctuary was completed in 1980 at a cost of $450,000.00. Upon his retirement in June 1981, Dr. McClung was named Pastor Emeritus.
Rev. Donald Norman was the next pastor, serving from July 1982 through August 1985. His abilities in the area of pastoral care and counseling greatly strengthened and blessed the church.
The church called Rev. Michael Scarborough as pastor in June of 1986, and he led us until January 1988. Through his strong leadership and preaching abilities, he was able to guide our church through some needed transitions.
Rev. L. Grant Carter, III, our next minister, with his wife, Mary, and children, Britt, Laura, and Beth, began his ministry in August 1988 and served until December 2004. His extreme dedication strengthened our congregation in many ways. The impact of his example as a pastor, as a Christian and as a friend, will continue to be envisioned among our folks here at Randolph Memorial for many years to come, feeling the presence of Jesus Christ and being focused on God’s work.
John Stroupe began as Minister of Music and Youth in April 1989, while he was completing his undergraduate work. Two boys, Kurtis and Kenneth, were born while he and his wife, Linda, were here, and they later had a daughter, Anna. John’s strong dedication and spirit-filled enthusiasm are remembered by our youth and choir members. They left in December 1991 for a full-time job and to get his Master of Divinity Degree.
On Sunday, June 7, 1992, the church celebrated the retirement of the bond indebtedness on the sanctuary.
In January of 1993, Rev. Mark Andrist began his ministry as the first full-time Minister of Music and Youth and served until January 1996. His excitement and energy enhanced worship and expanded missions awareness.
Robert M. Casebolt was called to serve as Minister of Music and Youth in November 1996. His position later changed to Minister of Music and Education, and he continued to assist in the ministry of youth. Rob and his wife, Julie, with their daughters, Rachel and Jenna, served faithfully and effectively until July 2004.
During 1996, we became the first congregation in the county to build a Habitat for Humanity house as a church project. In June 2002, the church dedicated the new Connector Building and the renovated Education Building, marking the completion of our People of Hope Building Campaign. These projects, costing over $950,000, were completed without borrowing funds.
In October 2004, David and Sharon Childress became interim part-time Co-Youth Directors, and in May 2005, permanent part-time positions, and continued in this position through 2012. Rev. Cadance Tyler became the next Youth Director in 2013 through 2022. Youth ministry continues to be a vital part of our ministry at RMBC. Through volunteer and staff leadership our youth and children have been a strength for our congregation. The church also built a new playground during this time and it has enhanced our ministry.
Rev. Mark W. Beck served as interim pastor from January, 2005 through July, 2007. Rev. Beck provided excellent leadership and ministry. Susie Poindexter joined our staff as permanent part-time Minister of Music on January 1, 2006. Susie and her husband, Bobby, have two children, B. J. and Sarah. Through this ministry our church has a diverse and rich music ministry including choir, praise band, and hand bells.
In August 2007 Dr. Derik W. Hamby became our next pastor. Dr. Hamby is from Kentucky. He is a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and Christian Theological Seminary in Indiana. He and his wife, Katie, have two children, Rachel and William. Dr. Hamby continues to serve with us and we continue to reach new families and individuals. The church also has continued its strong missional focus especially in the local community with our Helping Hands, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Interfaith Outreach, Christmas Cheer Boxes, among our partners. We have an ongoing Sanctuary remodeling project going on and have completed remodeling the front entrance and lighting system. We have also helped the community through a tornado and other immediate needs. COVID 19 while difficult found RMBC becoming more united and stronger as we embraced technology and continued to be creative as a congregation.
Randolph Memorial is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Lynchburg Baptist Association and a Union of local churches (this includes different denominations). Grateful and proud of our rich heritage in Christ, we look forward to continued service with our Lord in the work of building his Kingdom, making disciples of Jesus Christ through upreach…(joyful, meaningful worship of the Lord), outreach…(loving, gracious evangelism and ministry to our community and our world), and inreach…(effective, challenging spiritual education and formation of Christ-like character).