Cranberry has had a rich history in the Beckley area since its founding in 1934, and we are committed to continuing that same great heritage of reaching our community and world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Cranberry Baptist Church was organized as a community church, in the spring of 1934. The church will celebrate their 80th Anniversary and Homecoming this Sunday, May 18, at 9:45am, 11:00am and 6:00pm. The congregation, in this small but thriving coal camp of Cranberry, began meeting every week in the “Old Opera House” until the first structure was built. The New River Coal Company donated a parcel of land and the church was constructed by the men of the church in 1939. The Rev. Frank Shannon was the first pastor, followed by Rev. Everett Powers, Rev. William Foard, Rev. J.C. O’Dell, Rev. George Elden Pauley, and the Rev. Ernest Barley. Preacher Barley came to Cranberry in 1956 and served as the church’s pastor for 34 years. Roger Pauley began serving as the pastor on June 1, 1990. Since 1990 the church has continued to expand its ministries and outreach in the community.
Pastor Pauley commented; “Our church continues to grow and it is obvious that God has his hand on this ministry. It is amazing to think that over the last 80 years, only seven men have pastored this church. I am grateful for those who have preceded me. It is an honor to follow my father who previously pastored this same church from 1949-1955. I believe a good Bible verse that sums up Cranberry Baptist Church comes from Jude 22; “some have compassion making a difference.” Therefore we have selected this theme for 2014: “COMPASSION, Embracing Our Community for 80 Years.”
Cranberry is an independent Baptist church with a very visible outreach ministry. In addition to a weekly soul winning program, the church runs four buses throughout the area, bringing over 100 riders to church every Sunday. The church is actively involved in worldwide missions. Cranberry has a weekly ministry at Bayberry Retirement Home and monthly services at Greystone, Pinecrest, Heartland and Pinelodge. The church also offers Adult Bible study classes and Sunday school for all ages every Sunday morning. Nursery and preschool classes are available each service. With a full staff and several volunteers, Cranberry places a great emphasis on activities for the youth, children, senior adults, the men’s fellowship and ladies group. Cranberry is one of the few churches in the area involved in the deaf ministry, offering signing for the hearing impaired. The church also sponsors a daily radio ministry on 90.5 FM, WMLJ in Summersville, WV.