About Us

Salem Gilfield – Since 1865

Joshua 4:21. KJV

And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

Africa Bailey – Founder

The original Salem Church was founded in a Brush Arbor with a Sawdust Floor in late 1865. The original pastor, and founder, was Rev. Africa Bailey, a Sergeant in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Our History

Rev. Africa Bailey, Founder

The original Salem Church was founded in a Brush Arbor with a Sawdust Floor in late 1865.  The original pastor was Rev. Africa Bailey, a Sergeant in the Union Army during the Civil War.  By 1867, Salem’s congregation had grown to 242 members and they were worshiping in a solid frame building at the corner of Carolina Street and Tennessee.

Gilfield Baptist Church was split from Salem Baptist in 1883, when it was organized by Dr. J. Jay, and moved to 32 West Virginia Avenue.  A brick church was constructed under the pastorate of Rev. J. W. Ribbons and the indebtedness was liquidated under the pastorate of Rev. R. E. Harshaw.  Other pastors of Salem included Reverends C. H. Hayes, Heard, J. M Booker, Echols, Williams Winston, and Rev. R. B. Roberts. Under Rev. Robert’s leadership, Salem Baptist moved to what is now Crump Blvd (then Iowa) and Florida in 1927 and built a two-story beautiful structure, but the upper floor was not completed at this time.  Rev. W. L. Varnado became pastor after the death of Rev. Roberts in 1936.

Rev. A. L. McCargo

Rev. A. L. McCargo became pastor of the Old Gilfield Baptist church in 1934 and in 1940 he merged the congregations of these two churches into one that became known as Salem Gilfield Baptist Church.  Under Rev. McCargo’s leadership, the upper structure of the church was completed and the entire debt on the Church paid off.  He served as pastor until 1970 and was Pastor Emeritus at his death in June 1975.

Rev. L. A. Wakefield

Rev. L. A. Wakefield came to Salem Gilfield as Rev. McCargo’s assistant in 1966.  He was elected pastor on May 30, 1971.  In January, he initiated a building fund as a means of satisfying members’ desire for a new Church. With Rev. Wakefield’s divinely inspired leadership and a membership effort directed by God’s Holy Spirit, services were held in a new edifice at 3176 Kimball Avenue, January 18, 1976.  Rev. Wakefield’s pastorate ended in December 1980.

Rev. Charles H. Ryans, Sr.

Rev. Charles H. Ryans, Sr., was elected pastor of Salem Gilfield, April 21, 1981. He was formally installed on June 14, 1981, with many of Memphis’ most outstanding Baptist Ministers participating.  Rev. Ryans’ tenure was truly a pastorate of service. His sermons were straight from God’s word without external frills.  Within the first few weeks after his election, he had visited every member on the sick list and all the aged members who were confined. He established the Worker’s Council to provide a Bible study class for all teachers and officials of the Sunday School, the Baptist Training Union and other auxiliaries of the Church, and a training Class for Young Associate Deacons which teaches the great responsibilities of Deaconship before they are installed and confirmed. He established a “Tape Ministry” for the sick and shut-in, and aged members of the Church, so they can hear the Sermons, music, and all other phases of the worship services.  Rev. Charles H. Ryans’ preaching brought the membership together and because he was preaching only ” What thus saith The Lord.”  Salem Gilfield’s members were more worshipful, more dedicated, and more committed to the cause of Christ.

On August 31. 1986, the debt on the property at 3176 Kimball was retired, a glorious “Praise to Gods Service” was held during the Mortgage Burning Ceremony.

Rev. Charles H. Ryans. Sr. retired as the pastor of Salem Gilfield on December 31, 1996.

Rev. Angelo McBride

Rev. Angelo McBride was elected pastor of Salem Gilfield on March 9, 1997.  He began his pastorate by becoming a part of, and heartily supporting, all established ministries and organizations of the church and by making himself available to each member.  In addition, Rev. McBride upgraded the sound system by purchasing new equipment and partitioning the church to build a sound system booth.

Rev. McBride served as pastor until October 25, 2010.

Rev. Stanford L. Hunt

Rev. Stanford L. Hunt came to serve as a worship leader on February 13, 2011.  He was elected pastor of Salem Gilfield on Saturday, February 25, 2012.  He preached his first pastoral sermon on February 26, 2012.  His installation services were held on May 6, 2012.

ALL GLORY and PRAISE TO ‘GOD’ Almighty…..

He has led us 154 YEARS

Providing Love In Hard Times

1 John 4:7-12

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 Corinthians 13:4      

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.