The History of Berea Baptist Church
In 1980, the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Jackson, Tennessee authorized Bro. James Tacker to go to Trenton, Tennessee to pastor the Trenton Baptist Mission. Bro. Tacker pastored the mission until 1984. Following Bro. Tacker’s resignation the Emmanuel Baptist Church authorized Bro. Thomas Fortner to go to Trenton and work with the Trenton Baptist Mission. Bro. Fortner along with his wife, Maxine and daughter, Jennifer then moved to Trenton to take over the work where six faithful people were attending services.
Door-to-door visitation began and attendance grew to an average of thirty to thirty-five. Gradually attendance began to drop off until all but one family and the six that were there when Bro. Fortner came remained. Because two years had now passed and the mission work was no closer to being organized into a church, Bro. Fortner and his family began praying for God’s direction. “If we were in the wrong place we were willing to admit it and follow the Lord elsewhere,” Bro. Fortner stated. Another concern was that twenty-five to thirty other churches were supporting the work (churches which continued faithfully supporting the work until it was organized). “I felt responsible to those churches that I had not been able to get the church organized,” stated Bro. Fortner.
Then, at the urging of another preacher, Bro. Fortner attended a missions conference at Berean Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. That week Pastor Lester Hutson presented the “Basic Bible Truths” lessons. These lessons in Bro. Fortner’s own words “really got a hold of my heart.” He returned home and immediately resumed door-to-door visitation presenting the Basic Bible Truths.
People began to trust Christ and follow the Lord in scriptural baptism and the work began to grow. In 1990, the mission was able to buy nearly four acres of land and build a church building. The Trenton Baptist Mission was organized into Berea Baptist Church on August 17, 1990. Bro. Fortner continued visiting and teaching and the church continued to grow. In 1997, a second building was constructed to expand the Sunday school capacity and have a fellowship hall. All of this was possible through the miraculous working of God and the willingness of His people to work and to give. In September of 2010, Bro. Fortner resigned as pastor of Berea Baptist Church and as was his desire, the church was free of debt years prior to his resignation. The church called Bro. Bobby Adams to be pastor in July of 2011.