In the early spring of 2002, Clint Clifton was a seminary student who had recently joined the pastoral staff of Stafford Baptist to direct music ministries. Before moving to Stafford, the Clifton family visited Dumfries for the first time. During their visit God began to speak to them about planting a new church in Virginia’s oldest town. Clint recalls, “When I turned off of Route 1 into Southbridge I noticed, to my left, a sea of rooftops that seemed to extend for miles. I drove through the community and saw thousands of homes and no churches! After several years of research and prayer, my family began to believe that God was inviting us to plant a church in this community.”
• In January of 2004, Pastor Bill Jessup and the leadership of Stafford Baptist agreed to send Pastor Clint to Dumfries to plant a new church.
• The following month Pastor Clint presented the idea to the congregation at Stafford Baptist. He asked congregants to pray about making a commitment to join the core team.
• In May of 2004, nineteen people gathered for the first meeting. Following this meeting the group was formed into a Sunday school class.
• In July of 2004, Naethan Hendrix moved to Stafford from Geneva, Alabama to assist Clint in planting the new church.
• The core team recognized two primary purposes for the church from the teaching of the Bible: worship (knowing Jesus) and evangelism (making him known). The team determined that these two purposes would be the “pillars” of this baby church. Because the church had no name, core team members began referring to the group as “Pillar Church”.
• In October of 2004, Pillar Church held its first public worship service at Locust Shade Park. Weekly meetings continued at the park for a few weeks until cold weather forced the group to move to a hotel just north of Dumfries on Highway 234.
• In January of 2005, Pillar Church moved to its current location at Swans Creek Elementary School in Southbridge.
• In February of 2005, the SBCV contributed more than $40,000 dollars to Pillar Church for the purchase of church equipment from Portable Church Industries.
• On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, Pillar Church held its first Official Worship service at Swans Creek Elementary School. 109 people were in attendance that morning including many of the leaders at Stafford Baptist. In the following months, weekly attendance averaged around 35.
• In August of 2005, Pillar Church participated in its first international mission project by sending a team of three to Dhaka, Bangladesh.
• In late 2005, Pastors Clint & Naethan began “The Church at Quantico” on Sunday evenings in the Quantico Community Center.
• In the summer of 2006, Pastor Clint announced his intentions to join with Stafford Baptist and the Church at Quantico to plant a new church in Iceland. The project required that Pastor Clint and his family move to Iceland for 4 months beginning in September of 2006. After prayerful consideration, the church decided to move forward with the Iceland Project. During Pastor Clint’s stay in Iceland, Colby Garman led the ministry at Pillar Church.
• Upon Pastor Clint’s return from Iceland, Pillar Church began the process of implementing church government. The Biblical Eldership model was chosen, and in October of 2007 church leaders were elected.
• In November of 2007, church leadership announced plans to plant a new church in the Locust Grove area near the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 20. Jonathan Davis, one of Pillar Church’s original elders, would lead the new church. Jonathan accepted God’s call to plant a church in the community where he lives. Upon investigating the spiritual condition of the community, Jonathan identified several core families and began meetings in late 2007.
• On March 30, 2008, Pillar Church’s third anniversary, we constituted as a church. The constitution was signed by church elders: Clint Clifton, Jonathan Davis, Ammin Spencer, and Tim Long.
• On July 1, 2011, Colby Garman began his role as our teaching Pastor after serving for two years with our project in Iceland.
A lot has happened since our early days and as you get to know us we would love to share more stories of what God continues to do.