Written by Katie Smith
On August 8, 2021, the congregation of Holly Springs Baptist Church enjoyed an extra-celebratory homecoming day. Pastor Donnie Seagle led a sermon on 2nd Chronicles Chapter 5 – Soloman’s work for the house of God. “It was a reminder about what our church home is about. It is a place where people gather to worship God, and when we do that His presence and His glory settles in. That’s what this is all about.” Says Pastor Donnie.
Holly Springs Baptist was formed 107 years ago, serving the community of Holly Springs and the surrounding area. The church saw exponential growth in the 90s through the early 2000s under the leadership of Reverend Ed Trull, Holly Springs’ Reverend for over 35 years. In 2004, the church recognized the need for new buildings to accommodate the continuously growing congregation. Church members Kevin Corbin and Richard Young faithfully signed their names on the dotted line of a loan, and the growing place of worship acquired the means for new buildings, along with over 3 million dollars of debt. Growth slowed at Holly Springs Baptist in 2013 when the news of Reverend Ed Trull’s unexpected passing rocked the tight-knit community. This was an understandably tough time for the congregation to navigate. Today, the membership of Holly Springs Baptist Church is about 600 large, with an average worship attendance including 250 people.
When Donnie Seagle joined the church as the Pastor six years ago, one of his goals was to see the congregation become healthy again – to grow and to get out of the lingering debt of 1.5 million dollars. Member Bob Hubbs created an action plan – a capital campaign he called “Just One Thing”. The campaign reminded churchgoers of why they were in church; it wasn’t to pay debt off; it was to carry the gospel. If the church could pay off this debt, they could look at different ways to impact the community, North Carolina, and beyond. Just One Thing encouraged the congregation to give a set amount of dollars per week, per month, or per year, above what they regularly give to the church. The congregation was consistently faithful in giving. Hubbs provided updates every 2-3 months to show members of the congregation where they were on their debt-free journey, using a wooden debt board as a visual reference.
The church had a goal to have the debt paid off on August 8, 2021. Unsure if the goal would be met, they organized a benefit concert with Mountain Faith Band and Blue Ridge Gospel Quartet, with proceeds going to pay off the balance. The church met its goal 2 weeks prior to the benefit and was able to donate almost $6,300 to Teen Challenge of the Smokies.
The homecoming celebration at Holly Springs Baptist was much more than a sermon and lunch. After lunch, members gathered at the large field behind the church, where Bob Hubbs had started a large bonfire with the assistance of the Fire Chief and his team. Trustees Kevin Corbin and Richard Young each took a page from the copy of the original note and tossed it into the fire – 13 years earlier than expected. Hubbs burned his capital campaign visual board along with the note, and the members celebrated being debt-free.
So, what’s next for Holly Springs Baptist? Pastor Donnie says –
“We actually just had a staff meeting and a Deacon’s meeting to talk about what we can do next. We want to discover what the mission opportunities are for our church, both locally and beyond. For the next few months, we want to discover those opportunities and then put a plan in place to impact Franklin, North Carolina, and beyond.”
If you are interested in learning more about Holly Springs Baptist church, you can join them on Sunday at 9:30AM for Sunday School, 11AM for Worship Service, catch them Sunday on Facebook Live or on WNCC Radio Live at 11AM. Learn more at www.hollyspringsbaptist.org.