Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church

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"The 25"

Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church originated with 25 founding members. The names of those 25 are: Dr. Vapordeal Sanders, Rev. Pat and Ed Sampson, Deacon Bill and Valeda Huff, Louis and Lezlie Taylor, Ken and Dionne Foster, Michael and Richard Edwards, Tim and Janice Hammond, Cynthia and Franklin Meadows, Sam and Bunny Robinson, James and Sandy Brown, Tyrone and Patrice Hughes Alfred, John and Pieta Cooper, Areveda McCoy, and Alfredia Jordan.

Periodically during our year-long anniversary celebration, we will publish biographies of many of these members. Come back periodically and read any new posts -- the newest ones will appear first in the list (blog style).

Rev. Pat Sampson

The Sampson home was among many in which the founders met to seek God’s direction about next steps in the early day of the Fellowship. This September, Ed and Pat Sampson will be celebrating 45 years of marriage.

Pat Sampson was among the first individuals to bring Sunday Meditations when the group first began worshipping at West River Point. Along the way, multiple committees were formed, and Sampson became the chairperson of the Bible Study Committee. This committee functioned not only to help structure a plan for Christian Education beyond Sunday worship but later developed the draft “Call” or purpose statement for what eventually became FMBC: Equip the Saints for Ministry.

The Fellowship met informally for approximately a year before determining that God would have them become a church. Both Ed and Pat Sampson were on the first slate of officers elected by the chartered members. Ed served as the Treasurer and Pat as the Moderator.

Once the ‘Call’ was adopted, efforts to alignment Worship, Christian Education and finances around that spiritual direction proceeded.

Sampson along with many others worked diligently over the early years to develop a series of educational opportunities for worshippers to more fully embrace the ‘Call’ of FMBC. A New Members Handbook was eventually developed and a segment on the ‘Call’ was incorporated and used for many years.

In 1996, Sampson acknowledged God’s call to the Gospel Ministry and was licensed to preach by FMBC in 1997. Later, she entered Bethel Theological Seminary and completed a Master of Divinity equivalency in 2002, as a requirement to be accepted into the Doctor of Ministry Degree Program, with an emphasis on Church Leadership. Sampson was approved for Ordination through American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC) and FMBC. Her Ordination Service was completed in September 2004 and graduated from Bethel Seminary in 2008.


Tyrone Clark Alfred

Tyrone Clark Alfred was the first of three children born to P. C. Alfred and Annie Mae (Brown) Alfred on February 17, 1948 in Lumberton, Mississippi. The Alfred family believed in God and instilled a strong sense of Belief in their three children. Tyrone was baptized at Sweet Beulah Baptist Church in Lumberton, MS by Rev. Murdoch Smith, where he sang in the choir and was on the Jr. Deacon Board and taught other children during Vacation Bible School.

Tyrone was raised in the Jim Crow Era South, during this time laws enforced racial segregation and Tyrone was forced to attended segregated elementary and high schools. Growing up Tyrone knew Black men that had been lynched and shot by the Ku Klux Klan. On one occasion Tyrone was threatened by the local sheriff and arrested for stopping on the side of the road to help a senior citizen. It was in that instance Tyrone was lead to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. During his time of activism, Tyrone participated in several demonstrations as well as the Civil Rights Voter Registration Movement.

In 1966 Tyrone graduated from John Jefferson High School in Purvis, Mississippi. After Graduation Tyrone attended Rust College in Holly Springs, MS. Rust College happened to be a Methodist College which required regular Bible Study. At Rust Tyrone majored in Social Science and minored in Sociology, he also sang in the Rust College A Capella Choir. Tyrone also became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. While pursuing his degree Tyrone continued his activism in the Civil Rights Voter Registration Movement. Tyrone’s parents had been very supportive of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, as they were also advocates for Civil Rights. Tyrone will always remember the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he and some classmates were attempting to go to Memphis to participate in the march in support of Sanitation Workers but they were detained by the Ku Klux Klan who held them at gun point on campus.


Rev. Kenneth Dale Foster

Rev. Kenneth Dale Foster is the first of four children born to Jack and Leona (Delores) Foster in Alton, IL. The first grandchild of his maternal family, he was endearingly referred to by his grandmother as “Master Ken”. Ken and his siblings were raised in a very Christ-centered household where faith in God was taught first and foremost, followed behind by academic effort and a strong work ethic. There was never a time in Ken’s life when church wasn’t a part of it. As the Bible teaches, “train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart”. This Biblical, spiritual training took root in Ken at an early age and stayed with him through his years in college and now to this very day.

As a child and into his late teens, Ken was very active in his then church home, Zion Baptist, where he sang in the youth choir under the leadership of Sam Davis, where he served on the Jr. Usher Board, attended Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF) and participated in the Youth Mission Trip under the leadership of Rev. Karen McKinney, Mr. Phillip Hannum and Mr. Curtis Avent, Sr. Upon high school graduation Ken embarked on the next phase of his life’s journey where he attended school in Atlanta at the historic Morehouse College. As with most who leave home for the first time and was away for consecutive years, his faith was tested in different ways but as the scripture promised, he did not depart from it. He would eventually return home to Minneapolis where he joined the ranks of the gainfully employed and also rejoined the body called Zion Baptist Church.


Patrice Hughes-Alfred

Patrice Yvonne Hughes was the first of seven children born to Thomas Hughes and Ophelia (Agee) Hughes. She was born in Greentown, WV. For the first three years of her life, she and her parents resided with her maternal grandparents, Oscar and Gertrude Agee. Gertrude “Grannie” Agee would come to be a great influence in Patrice's spiritual life. Patrice remembers Grannie being the first person to talk with her about God. Grannie was strong in her faith and always shared how God had blessed her with family and friends. The Agee household attended church every Sunday and during the week, participating in various youth activities, Bible Study and Prayer Meeting. Oscar Agee was a Trustee at the First Baptist Church of Greentown, WV and Gertrude was Sunday School Superintendent, sang in the choir and served on the Missions Board.

After graduating from Bluefield State College her parents realized that there wasn't much for a Black man to do in Greentown but work the Coal Mines. Patrice's father applied and was accepted to get his Master’s Degree in Psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He and Ophelia left Patrice, who was almost four and her two year old brother Thomas Jr. with the Agees as they moved north to get settled. Patrice moved to be with her parents just before she was to start school, because they didn't want her to attend the segregated schools of the south. Even though it was heartbreaking to leave her grandparents, Patrice acclimated to life in the big city. She always lived for summer vacation when every year through High School she got to spend the entire summer with her grandparents in West Virginia. There, she had the best of both worlds, farm life and city life. The Agees lived on a farm, so she got to ride horses and garden and do farm activities with her grandfather and learned to bake and clean from her Grannie. Her paternal grandparents, William and Martha Hughes lived in Mount Hope, WV, which was city life. It was also in West Virginia that Patrice accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior when she was 10 years old and was baptized at the First Baptist Church of Greentown, in August of 1958.

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Pray also for me "that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly" make known the mystery of the Gospel...

- Ephesians 6:19 (niv)