Paul Carter had been called to pastor a church in Waverly, Virginia, when he visited the state Baptist offices in Richmond one August day in 1950 to pay a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary, James R. Bryant. Secretary Bryant had another idea in mind for his visitor. For three years, he had been looking without success for someone to plant a church in South Arlington, in particular a fifteen block square area with a population of 10,000. The Secretary believed he had the right man in Paul Carter and God would lay on Reverend Carter’s heart the need for this ministry. A gracious Waverly congregation gave him leave and Paul Carter would begin what would become the first pastorate of Greenbrier Baptist Church.
The Church first met at 5222 Columbia Pike in a house which served double duty as a parsonage for the pastor and his wife, Lois. Neighborhood visitation over five and a half weeks by the Pastor led to the first worship service held on Sunday morning, October 15th. All Hail the Power of Jesus Name would be the first hymn sung and Reverend Carter brought the message What Is A Church? Forty-one attendees were recorded in the Sunday School, twenty-four in morning worship, and five in evening worship.
On the afternoon of Sunday, January 13, 1952, an organization service under the auspices of the Potomac Baptist Association was held at the Columbia Pike location and the Greenbrier Baptist Church formally came into existence. Fifty-seven men and women would become charter members. One month later the Church elected its first deacons – F. Athey DeVall, Dennis P. Doss, W. Ashley Fry, T. Howard Warren, and Charles A. Turner.
It would not be long before Greenbrier would locate property and establish its permanent home.
Eight individuals have served in the office of Pastor. The Reverend Paul Carter would serve Greenbrier until 1968. He would be followed by Dr. James L. Blevins who served from 1968 to 1969. Dr. Bobby D. Box would serve from 1970 to 1973, followed by Dr. Ray F. Cleek from 1974 to 1979. The Reverend J. Finney Williams would serve from 1980 to 1997, succeeded by Dr. Robert J. Tennant III, who would serve until 2006. Dr. Bill McMahon first came to Greenbrier as an interim pastor in 2007, would later be called to the office and serve until January 2009. The Reverend Pamela I. Chisholm was installed in the office of pastor in September 2009 and would later serve until 2019. Reverend Artemia Bates Mendoza was the associate pastor of Reverend Pamela I. Chisholm, and in March of 2019, she was called as Senior Pastor of GBC after serving as an understudy of her good friend and mentor, Rev. Pamela I. Chisholm. Currently, Rev. Chino Kearney has come to serve as our interim pastor.
Today, Greenbrier continues to EVOLVE.
We continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, for it is in that good news that we show our love for our community. We continue to serve in everything we do, for it is in serving that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. We continue to EVOLVE, for it is in that evolving that we become the church God has called us and is calling us to be.
We invite you to join us as we EVOLVE together in the Everlasting Love of God.