Mount Tabor Baptist Church History

The Mount Tabor Baptist Church was one of the missionary churches, in Caroline County, which were founded within the fifteen years immediately following the Civil War. Like most of the African American churches in that period, the members began service under a brush arbor. Afterwards they worshipped with the white congregation of the Mount Hermon Baptist Church in the community.
    In the year of 1872, Mr. Charles Alexander Shuman, an immigrant from Germany who had settled in the area, realized the adverse conditions under which his colored friends were striving to serve God. Mr. Shuman, who had become a Deacon of Mount Hermon, was also a merchant and a land owner in the community. Therefore, he gave Mount Tabor the first acre of ground upon which to build the first church.
     During the period between 1872 and 1899 five pastors had been entrusted with charge of the flock of Mount Tabor. The first of those was the Rev. Harrison Smith. He was succeeded by Rev. L. A. Goodloe, Rev. Byers and Rev. Yates. The last of those faithful servants within that period was Rev. R. W. Young. It was under the pastorate of Rev. (Doctor) Young that the dedicatorial service was held on July 5, 1899.
    Upon Rev. Young resigning after a few more years of service, Rev. T. M. Allen became pastor. It was under Rev. Allen leadership that many souls were brought to Christ. The seventh pastor, who was also the second after the turn of the century, was Rev. Robert Nelson Lawson. He preached his first pastoral sermon on the first Sunday in June, 1923.
    Mount Tabor was among some of the first churches to obtain electric lights. They were received in February, 1939. In April, 1944, Rev. Lawson was stricken with a grave illness from which he never recovered. Mount Tabor was not prepared for the sudden loss of their leader. When time proved that it was not God's will to restore Rev. Lawson to his former state of health, the Church decided to seek another shepherd for the flock.
     Although Rev. Samuel H. Carter of Woodford, Virginia was the pastor of three churches, he accepted the call of Mount Tabor. There he labored faithfully for the next 20 years. He began his pastorate in January, 1946. Before the end of that year, he had organized both a Senior and Junior Choir, and secured the services of a pianist.  Under Rev. Carter, many changes were made, two usher boards and the nurses' unit were brought into being, and a pulpit set was purchased. All of this in addition to saving souls was achieved in his first 12 months as pastor. Later church windows were installed, also a heating system.
     In June, 1950, Rev. Reid Lewis, a son of the church, was ordained to the ministry by Rev. Carter. In 1959, Rev. Wortham Fields Sr., another son of the church, was licensed to preach the gospel.
   In January, 1966, Rev. Harry F. Washington, of Richmond, Virginia, accepted the call to become the 9th leader of Mount Tabor and began pastoral duties, remaining only until September of the same year. Although his tenure was short, his Christian influence reaped benefits in the salvation of souls.
In the spring of 1967, Rev. Elmore L. Jones became the 10th pastor of this branch of Zion. Immediately, he set to work to meet the spiritual and material needs of the church. He revived the diminishing prayer meeting and improved Sunday School attendance.  The physical structure of the church was improved through the addition of lavatory facilities for men and ladies and a baptismal pool was installed.  During his tenure, Rev. Jones led the congregation, he gained the love and respect of his people. His profound belief in God had far-reaching results in the saving of souls. Rev. Jones led the efforts of Mount Tabor to prosper and save souls in the Caroline County community. On February 17, 2007,  Rev. Jones went home to glory after leading this flock for 40 years.
    In May of 2008, Rev. Michael P. Parker was selected to lead Mount Tabor into the future.  His tenure with the church did not last long, as his calling led him in another direction.  During his short stay with us, Rev Parker helped prepare Mount Tabor for a different insight into the Spirit.
    In November of 2010, after months of praying to God, Rev. Antonio O. Clinkscales answered the call as the 12th Pastor to lead the congregation. Building on to what was already established, he is leading us into becoming a 21st century church.  Mount Tabor initially started as a church with worship service every other Sunday and now worship services are held every Sunday morning with Pastor Clinkscales preaching the Word of God.  Other changes include, Leadership Retreats, Youth Revival Service, Kidz Zone, New Year’s Eve Evangelizing and Family and Friends Day. Under the spiritual direction of Pastor Clinkscales, Mount Tabor has adopted the vision of a church that is “Committed to Good Works”. 
   Pastor Clinkscales has taught us that we must all study the WORD to know who God is for ourselves and our purpose for living here on earth and in heaven. Our Sunday School and Bible Study have increased tremendously through our Pastor’s teaching.  With God as the head of this body of Christ, we are blessed with the ability to conduct weekly Bible Study and quarterly church conference using new technology that allows members to call in and be a part of the discussion. A website has been created as a tool to evangelize and let others know who and what Mount Tabor is all about. Mount Tabor is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, serving other at home and abroad and being a blessing to someone else. Our focus is now “saving souls and changing lives”.
     As evidence of the growth in Mount Tabor, members have become more involved in the church ministries and new ministries such as the Nursing Unit, Praise Dancers, Evangelizing For God and Intercessory Prayer Ministry have been established.  These new ministries show the spiritual growth of the church under Pastor Clinkscales leadership. First Lady Minister Vicki Clinkscales was licensed to preach by Pastor Clinkscales on April 15, 2012, Minister Demecia Wylie was ordained to the ministry on June 30, 2012 and Evangelist Debbie Evans, a daughter of the church, was also licensed to preach the gospel by Pastor Clinkscales on December 15, 2013.  Being led by the Holy Spirit, Mount Tabor began more outreach programs under Pastor Clinkscales leadership. He and his daughter Daria Clinkscales, along with other pastors in the community, traveled to Kenya Africa for a 10 day mission trip. They preached and also learned how we can help our African brothers and sisters in Christ.
     Although his tenure at Mount Tabor produced much good fruit, Pastor Clinkscales and his family decided to move forward to his next ministry endeavor in order to further the gospel to all the nations. After a lot of praying and inflection among the member they accepted his departure as GOD's plan for the church. Between 1872 and 2017 there have been 12 pastors to be charged and entrusted with this flock.
     Pastor Gilbert T. Garcia became the 13th Pastor on April 1, 2018. He demonstrates the character of Christ in his everyday living and service, exemplifying the true meaning of a “faithful” servant of GOD. He listens to the voice of the Lord and follows His will for his life. As a pastor, he loves the people and is available to all. He’s a “hands-on pastor, accountable to God for the spiritual growth of the church. The Lord is preparing Mount Tabor for greater and more wonderful works. Under Pastor Garcia’s leadership, a new ministry called YAM (Young Adult Ministry) was created for adults ages 18 and up. It is for those who are looking to be led by the Holy Spirit seeking spiritual growth, inspiration and guidance. First Lady Reverend Regina Garcia service of ordination was held on July 28, 2019 and she is now the Asst. Pastor for Mount Tabor. In September of that same year Reverend Thomas Collins joined the spiritual staff of Mount Tabor as a Associate Minister and later he became the head of our Christian Education Ministry. With the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, the Mount Tabor spiritual staff has given the people a better understanding of how to live their lives for Christ.
     During the pandemic of March 2020, the people of God never stopped worshipping and giving praises to our God. When facing life’s challenges, Mount Tabor chose to see it as an opportunity to remember God’s faithfulness. Pastor Garcia preached God’s Word on conference call, Face Book, and in the church parking lot until the Holy Spirit spoke to return to worship inside the church walls. On April 23, 2022, a Men’s Ministry based on the scriptural foundation of Psalms 95:6 was created. Reverend Darnell Wright, a son of the church was licensed to preach the gospel on May 14, 2022. Our mission is to: Exalt the Savior, Edify the Saints and Evangelize to the Sinners. Pastor Garcia has always encouraged the congregation of Mount Tabor Baptist Church to “Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ: