Millbrook Baptist Church History
The cosmopolitan area now known as North Raleigh was a rural farm area in the late 1800s. Most of the farms were from 50 to several hundred acres, so the families did not live close to one another. The main crops were corn, cotton, wheat and vegetables. Each family owned cows, chickens and hogs.
Realizing their complete dependence on God, residents felt a strong spiritual need to gather on the Lord’s Day. Even before the church was a building the people assembled at a brush arbor for corporate worship to seek God’s blessings.
Because of the great distance between the New Hope and Mt. Vernon Baptist Churches, a place of worship was needed between the two. In 1875, Elias K. Chappell generously donated a tract of land at the corner of Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest Roads. Members donated time and material and built Midway Baptist Church.
With the coming of the automobile at the turn of the century, travel became a little easier. Eventually, a consolidated state high school made its way to the area, and the church moved to its present location and changed its name to Millbrook Baptist Church. In 1922, an acre of land was purchased from Mr. J.B. Green and the church sanctuary was built. Services were held at Millbrook High School until the new building was completed. The first service in the new building was held on April 27, 1924. At that time Millbrook Community consisted of a post office, a store, a cotton gin and several homes near the school.
The first preachers came to Raleigh or Wake Forest – usually arriving on Friday night by driving a horse and buggy and sometimes walking from Wake Forest. Services were held once a month on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Later, second and fourth Sundays were designated as preaching Sundays, a practice that continued until 1945. They did not want to interfere with services held at Sydney, the nearby Methodist Church that met on first and third Sundays.
Since its inception, Millbrook has been a place that seeks to share God’s love. Millbrook has been open to the call of all persons for ministry. In the midst of Jim Crow, the people of this congregation stated adamantly that any person would be seated and welcomed for worship in this sanctuary. Millbrook’s legacy includes being the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity in Wake County, and a founding participant in both the Raleigh CROP Walk and Wake Interfaith Network. As new chapters of its history are written, Millbrook will continue to be a place that looks for innovative and creative ways to share God’s love in this community and beyond.