1941-1950

 

In January, 1941 the church observed its 50th anniversary with a total membership of 2,350. In his charge to the church on this occasion, Dr. Williams encouraged members to help advance God’s kingdom through Tabernacle, His church.

During the next several years, the United States once again entered into war and 340 young men and women of Tabernacle became members of the various Armed Forces of America. Those who remained at home faithfully kept in touch with individuals serving from Tabernacle by sending personal letters, various literature, news items from home, church news and assurance of their being in the thoughts and prayers of those back home. Women of the church met on Wednesday mornings throughout the war to sew for the Red Cross or to knit or crochet for the servicemen and women. When the war ended in 1945, all but six of the 340 who had gone from Tabernacle to serve their country survived to return home.

Dr. Williams observed his 25th anniversary as pastor of Tabernacle on April 15, 1945. It was noted that during his pastorate the membership had increased from 1,100 to 2,431.

After serving Tabernacle for 27 years, Dr. Williams wrote a letter of resignation on April 20, 1947. He agreed to continue as pastor emeritus in an active capacity until his successor was selected. However, at the regular annual business meeting of the church on January 14, 1948, Dr. Williams suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away on January 24, 1948, at the age of 78.

Rev. Jack Noffsinger was called as Tabernacle’s fifth pastor, and he assumed the pastorate on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948. Under his leadership, the Baptist Training Union , disbanded during the war years, was reorganized on April 4, 1948. The BTU grew quickly and was widely known in the Richmond area. Also, on April 4, Rev. Phillip Hart was extended a call as assistant pastor of Tabernacle. Dr. Hart accepted the call and joined Tabernacle on June 10, 1948.

In memory of those who served in the world wars, a set of chimes was installed in the church and dedicated on October 24, 1948.

Recognizing a need for missionary work in the Maymont Heights area, Tabernacle voted to construct a chapel in that area. A ground breaking ceremony was held April 10, 1949, and the building was completed in early September. On September 11 a dedication service was held with Rev. Noffsinger presiding.

In 1950 the church purchased the property known as 1913 Grove Avenue for additional educational facilities. The church also purchased a parsonage at 4106 W. Franklin Street.