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Starnes Cove Baptist Church sanctuary

About Starnes Cove Baptist Church

“Starnes Cove Baptist Church began with a dream for a Baptist church in the Starnes Cove Community in Buncombe County. In 1940, a number of men, women, and families gathered together  and organized a Sunday School in a house just off of Starnes Cove Road...”

Our Church History

In the year 1941, something truly remarkable unfolded on the corner of Starnes Cove Road and Holbrook Road, back when West Asheville was but a small and close-knit community. It was there, under a humble tent, that the seeds of Starnes Cove Baptist Church were sown. On the 8th of June, 1941, this group of devout believers gathered to make their dream of a new church a reality.

What's truly heartwarming is that they didn't embark on this journey alone. Several local Baptist churches, including Calvary, West Asheville, New Morgan Hill (now known as Lake Hills), and Patton Avenue (now Erwin Hills), came together to help organize this new church.

The North Carolina Baptist State Convention played a pivotal role in securing the present site. They not only purchased a portion of the land but later bestowed it upon the church as a gift from charter member Mrs. Ida Capps. The mantle of leadership was taken up by Rev. Ralph Hensley, who became our first pastor.

Our very first church facility was a testament to resourcefulness and determination. It was constructed using materials salvaged from the old Enka Baptist Church. This modest 28 x 40 structure was dedicated with much joy on May 3, 1942. Over a decade later, in 1953, additional lots adjoining the initial property were acquired, and a parsonage was constructed.

As the 1960s rolled around, we were fortunate to have Rev. Howard Laney as our pastor. His leadership was instrumental in maintaining our church's cooperation and fellowship with the Southern Baptist Convention during a time when some churches in the area contemplated withdrawing due to theological tensions.

On October 30, 1960, we broke ground for the present educational building, a significant milestone in our history. The building was officially dedicated on September 24, 1961, with the joy of a united congregation.

The leadership baton passed to Rev. Jesse Head, who pastored our church from 1971 to 1985. Under his guidance, the church experienced administrative growth and advancement. On March 31, 1974, we took the next major step by breaking ground for the new sanctuary and educational building, a symbol of our continuous growth. These facilities were dedicated with a sense of pride and accomplishment on May 4, 1975. Notably, in 1974, a cherished piece of property adjacent to the church was bequeathed to Starnes Cove Church by one of our charter members, Mrs. Ida Capps.

In the years that followed, we have seen significant renovations. In 2004, the media center received a major facelift, and in 2005, our Sanctuary and Vestibule Areas were transformed. Yet, our commitment to growth and improvement didn't end there. In the fall of 2020, we embarked on a series of media upgrades that continue to this day, a testament to our dedication to staying current and relevant.

In December 2018, we said farewell to a beloved leader, Pastor Charlie Sams, who had faithfully served for over thirty-two years. Dr. David Horton, the president of Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville, stepped in as interim pastor until June 2020 when we elected Paul Sanchez as the church's new lead pastor, and were under his care until he took a teaching role in July 2022.

In August of 2022, we elected our former Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor as our new lead Pastor. We are thrilled to have him as our faithful leader in Christ, as he grew up just a few houses down from the church and has a deep love for sharing Christ in our Starnes Cove Community. We are excited to see what Christ has in store for the future of Starnes Cove, with our rapidly growing and changing neighborhood, and we would love for you to be a part of all the great things to come.

Our Pastors

Ralph Hensley

Jack Bagwell

Johnnie Tiller

Harry Dycus

J.J. Reese

C.D. Sawyer

Howard Laney

F.P. Blankenship

Jesse Head

Charlie Sams

Paul Sanchez

William Moore

1941-43

1943-44

1944-51

1951-53

1953-55

1955-59

1960-67

1967-71

1971-85

1986-2018

2020-2022

2022-Present

Starnes Cove Baptist Church in Asheville North Carolina
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