New Baptist congregations are born out of various causes, concerns, and circumstances. On July 12, 1992, Horizon was begun by a group who met with a concern for traditional Baptist principles such as congregational autonomy, the priesthood of every believer, and the freedom of the congregation to utilize the gifts of men and women alike in the ministry of the church--principles which they saw eroding around them in Baptist life. In that same year other Baptists around the country were expressing the same concerns and formed the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF).
These principles and our partnership with CBF are at the root of who we are. You may read more about our story here.The founding group decided on the name of Horizon Baptist Fellowship. On August 8, 1992, they asked Dr. Cecil Sherman, then coordinator of the National Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, to meet with them and give advice regarding the direction they might take to organize and affiliate.
The group first met at Camp Hamby, a Methodist encampment, and then on September 13 began meeting in the facilities of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Summerville. On September 20, 1992, Dr. Steven Sheeley became the first pastor. With the assistance of Dr. Jerry Mahan, pastor of Cedartown First Baptist Church, a constitution committee was elected. On November 15, 1992, the church was constituted with 57 charter members and 15 children. On January 31, 1993, the church voted to purchase the four acre site for the new building. In August 1993, Pastor Sheeley resigned and a pastor search committee was elected. In short order, Dr. Roger McDonald, retired pastor of the First Baptist Church Garland, Texas, and former pastor of the First Baptist Church of Summerville, accepted the call to become the second pastor of the church. By January 1994, membership growth called for a larger meeting place, and the Summerville Presbyterian Church facilities were made available.
Groundbreaking for the new facilities was held on April 14, 1996. The construction process was largely volunteer work led by Dr. Jimmy Lewis, then pastor of the First Baptist Church of Morrow, Georgia, and Director of Mission Projects for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia. Volunteers from over the state along with Horizon members together completed the new building and the dedication was held on October 13, 1996.Dr. Roger McDonald resigned as pastor and his last sermon was Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. Dr. Jerry Mahan, a Summerville native working at Mercer University in Macon, was called and began serving as pastor on November 1, 2010. Dr. Mahan resigned as pastor in December 2013. In October 2015, Horizon called Rev. John Paul Harris as its fourth pastor.
Horizon Baptist Fellowship
A CBF church