History of Fairview Baptist Church


On June 11, 1961, a handful of believers gathered in a nearby house to establish an independent Baptist church—a place for their families to worship and a presence for the Lord in their community. The little group grew rapidly and relocated from the house to the nearby Norfolk Highlands School, where the infant Church assembled and continued to meet until the church family could build a church-house.

After property was purchased one block from the residence where the church first met, the first church-house was erected in 1962 from cement block at 1204 Tatemstown Road in Norfolk County, Virginia (now Chesapeake, Virginia). The years would see the building expand with two additional building projects and a major renovation. The present upgraded facility incorporates the original building, which is still in use daily.

Fairview Baptist Church has served the Lord under the leadership of seven pastors since her birth. The first pastor, Rev. Jack White, served from 1961-1962. Successive pastors were Rev. Theodore Bashford (interim 63-66 & 1966-1972), Rev. Rodney Piedot (1973-1975), Rev. Darrell Wood (1975-1980), Rev. David Rulapaugh (1980-1986), Dr. Gary H. McClenney (1986-2004), and Dr. M. Lee Godfrey, serving from 2004 until the present. Like a skillful harbor pilot glides a ship safely past snags and shoals, God used each pastor to guide His local church through uncharted waters to a new point in her life. No two men were the same, no two eras of the Churches course were exactly the same. But every man served faithfully, and every pastor brought the Church to a new point before passing the wheel to the next man of God. Praise the Lord for every pastor who has labored in this ministry. To God be the glory!

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. --I Thessalonians 5:13