Jumping Run Church was founded in the late 1800’s by a group of Christian men and women of the Institute Community in Lenoir County. These men and women were determined to establish a place of worship.
The name of the church was derived from an early custom that required worshippers to actually run and jump to cross the run, which is a creek, to get to the sanctuary.
Worship services were originally conducted under a bush shelter in the Rabbit Town section. Land for the sanctuary was donated by Sac Hines Creech and Hattie Hines. The first structure was a 10 foot by 8 foot building in LaGrange, and services were held monthly for nearly 100 years. Sunday school was held every Sunday.
Some of the early leaders were Olive Aldridge, Lawrence Arthur, William Reid, Ingram Patterson, Sills Suggs and Ellis Dixon. Ministers were R. H. Harper, McCrea Lanier, Peter Holloway, G. P. Suggs and Cullen Suggs.
The church was rebuilt in 1912 under the leadership of Pastor K. W. Artis. Public school buildings were erected at its former location. Officers were Thomas D. Aldridge, Caleb Hines, John Edmondson, George K. Williams and Frank Suggs.
The Women’s Home Mission was organized in 1926. Pastor K. W. Artis designated the second Sunday of each month following Sunday school as the meeting time. The Young People Christian League soon followed.
Pastors of the past included Emmanuel M. Hill, J. P. Lawson, Albert Miller, B. C. Bryant, and Clarence Moye.
The church was destroyed September 7, 1964 by an arsonist. Temporary worship was conducted at St. Mary’s Free Will Baptist Church in Jason. Trustees set up a large tent for Sunday school and other local events. Construction efforts were completed in the fall of 1966.
On the third Sunday in November, members, friends and families gathered proudly just below the run and marched to the new church. Leaders during this period were Pastor Charles Loftin, Carl Aldridge, Mark Williams, Henry Hines, William Hines and McCrea Lanier.
During the early 1970's, youth services were initiated. Elder James Moultrie was the pastor, and prayer service was held weekly.
In July 1986, Elder W. Anthony Lawson became the pastor of Jumping Run Church. Under his leadership, the church experienced a Biblical transition, which brought about revolutionary change and growth.
In August 1991, services began to be held every Sunday.
In 1995, Pastor Lawson led the church in the construction of a new multipurpose building with offices, a dining room, kitchen, classrooms, and bathrooms. The building was built debt-free. In 2006, after three years of fundraising, a new worship center costing 1.3 million dollars was built and paid off in two years. The new Jumping Run Worship Center is connected to the old sanctuary with a covered walkway.
Intercessory Prayer and Bible Study for adults and youth are held weekly. Sunday School classes for all ages is held every Sunday morning. New Member's Classes, Maximum Marriage Classes, Sanctified Single Classes, Minister's Classes, Children's Church, Nurseries for infants and toddlers, Mass Choir, Joyful Noise Choir, Judah Singers Praise Team, Highest Praise Singers Praise Team, Nursing Ministry, Nursing Home Ministry, Bus and Van Ministry, and J.U.M.P Ministries (Juveniles Under the Master's Plan) for teens and youth have all been formed and are ongoing.
Jumping Run Church has 4 television telecasts weekly and a Radio Broadcast weekday evenings on Monday-Friday.
Jumping Run Church has given back to the community in so many ways. The church's Nursing Ministry has sponsored several Health Fairs and American Red Cross Blood Drives. The church has given donations to the Red Cross, the Homeless Shelter, St. Mary's Soup Kitchen and various organizations. The youth have also been involved in volunteering at the Soup Kitchen.
Jumping Run is also endowing a Jumping Run Church Scholarship to the foundation at the Lenoir Community College. Periodically, JRC has free gasoline giveaways during ministry witnessing outreaches. On several occasions, clothing have been given away during a Clothes-Give Away outreach.
In 2011, Jumping Run purchased another sanctuary, Jumping Run Church-Kinston, located in the heart and city of Kinston, NC, to do more outreach ministry and begin a Hispanic Ministry.
The Hispanic Ministry is held every Sunday morning with Ministers Luis & Lidia Guzman. Jumping Run Church-Kinston also sponsors free food giveaways monthly.
On Wednesday & Saturday evenings, “Come As You Are” Praise & Worship services are held with Elder Alonzo & Tenisha Coleman at Jumping Run Church-Kinston.
On Sunday evenings, Praise & Worship services are held with Elders Jerry & Carolyn Harris at Jumping Run Church–Kinston.
Jumping Run Church’s history continues to unfold as we continue to walk by faith and not by sight. To God be the glory for the great things He has done, is doing, and will be doing through believers at Jumping Run Church. We believe and know that the best is yet to come!