Fort Lee Baptist Church was organized on September 8, 1920. It was developed from a Sunday School known as the Fort Lee Mission, which was begun sometime around the turn of the 19th century. Prior to the establishment of the church, the members of the Sunday School at the Fort Lee Schoolhouse maintained their church membership at Hardy Central Baptist Church. During the summer of 1920, after careful prayer and thought, this group decided to organize a church of their own located closer to their Sunday School.
The Mission, and subsequently the church, was named for Confederate General Robert E Lee. A small plaque which was located at the railroad crossing at Charles City Road read as follows:
HERE WHERE THE OUTER LINE OF THE CONFEDERATE DEFENSES OF RICHMOND CROSSED THE CHARLES CITY ROAD, STOOD FORT LEE, NAMED AFTER GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE AND CONSTRUCTED TO PROTECT A VITAL LINE OF APPROACH TO THE CAPITAL CITY FROM STRONG OR SUDDEN ATTACK.
The original Sunday School and church was a one room building with school benches in it that seated two people per bench. There was a large teacher’s desk at one end of the room that served as a pulpit, with a large wood stove located in the middle of the room.
One acre of land was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Aigner, Sr., for the purpose of providing a site for a church. This parcel of land is where the current sanctuary is located. The building was a white, framed structure with a tin roof. The interior woodwork was stained oak with white walls, oak pulpit, dark pews, and a dark wood ceiling. The first meeting in the new building was held on August 28, 1921 with a dedication service held on September 9, 1921.
The first called pastor was Rev. Charles Dansey. During that time, Rev. Dansey followed the common practice of serving more than one church. Therefore, services were held at Fort Lee every other Sunday. Rev Dansey served in his called ministry with Fort Lee at the wage of $100 per year until being called in July 1924, to become the pastor at Samaria Baptist Church.
Rev. Dansey was followed by several University of Richmond students including Rev. N. B. Farris, Rev. Robert Mann, and Rev. H. F. Hamilton, Jr. Later, between 1929 and 1930, under the leadership of Rev. J. B. Dailey, the addition of Sunday School rooms was planed for construction at the back of the existing structure. This project was completed in 1932, under the direction of Rev. Matt A. Cumby, who served at the church’s pastor from 1930-1932.
In 1933, the church hired Rev. Horace L. Ford. Rev. Ford had been serving as the pastor of Broaddus Memorial Baptist Church and would remain at Fort Lee until 1936. Succeeding Rev. Ford were Rev. George Bond, Rev. Walter Bass, Rev. Zane Grey Ross, Rev. N, Emory Trainham, and Rev. James Harvey. Rev. Harvey ended the line of students which had filled the pulpit for approximately 20 years. It was during his six year stay that “wings” were added to the sanctuary, to handle the growing size of the congregation.
In 1953, the church called the Rev. Clyde H. Cooke to become the first full time pastor at Fort Lee. It was during his pastorate that the new Sunday School building was built. This cinder block structure was constructed in 1957 with the members of the church providing the labor. Rev. Cooke served as pastor until 1964.
In October 1964, the church called Mr. Donald L. Matheny to serve as a lay-supply pastor. On March 28, 1965, the members called him to be their full time pastor. He accepted his duties on May 1st and was ordained into the ministry on June 30, 1965.
It was under the leadership of Rev. Matheny that the church took on it’s largest construction project to date; the building of a new sanctuary. On March 4, 1970, the congregation voted to proceed with construction of a brick sanctuary to be located adjacent to the existing church. A ground breaking ceremony was held on Easter morning, March 29, 1970 with a dedication ceremony in the new building held on July 11, 1971. Rev. Matheny would continue to lead the church until his resignation in December 1989, when he left to become pastor of Saluda Baptist Church.
In November 1990, the church called Rev. H. John Johnson as full time pastor. Rev. Johnson faithfully lead the church for 11 years until his decision to leave in 2001. At that time he became the full time pastor of Oak Hall Baptist Church.
In August 2002, the church called the present pastor, the Rev. G. Michael Jordan, as the full time pastor of Fort Lee Baptist Church. Rev. Jordan continues to lead the church to this date.
On January 22, 2006, the church voted to hire Rev. Jonathan Woodham as the first full time Youth and Children’s Minister at Fort Lee.
History of Positions
Rev. Charles Dansey - 1920-1924
Rev. N. F. Farris - 1925-1927
Rev. Robert Mann - 1927-1928
Rev. H. F. Hamilton - 1928-1929
Rev. J. B. Dailey - 1929-1930
Rev. Matt A. Cumby - 1930-1932
Rev. Horace L. Ford - 1933-1936
Rev. George Bond - 1936-1938
Rev. Walter Bass - 1940-1941
Rev. Zane Grey Ross - 1942-1944
Rev. N. Emory Trainham - 1944-1945
Rev. James M. Harvey - 1945-1952
Rev. Clyde H. Cooke - 1953-1964
Rev. Donald L. Matheny - 1965-1989
Rev. H. John Johnson - 1990-2001
Rev. G. Michael Jordan - 2002-Present
Rev. Jonathan Woodham - 2006-2010
Rev. Tony Wheeler - 2010-2015
Rev. Jared Jimenez - 2016-Present
Louis Aigner, Jr. - 1920-1928
George A. W. Brittain - 1920-1930
Charles Miller - 1920-1925
Joseph H. Plyler - 1930-1945
Claude C. Wilson - 1930-1941
Frank Aigner - 1932-1961
Rufus H. Hill - 1945-1957
G. David Crosby, Sr. - 1945-1990
William Bowden - 1946-1965
David S. Parrish, Sr. - 1948-1991
Frank D. Aigner - 1965-1966
Ben Ormand - 1965-1979
Ewell Ellis - 1979-1991
George D. Crosby, Jr. - 1990-Present
Charles Holmes - 1991-1991
Jay Frazier - 1991-Present
William Shipman - 1991-2017
Mrs. C. C. Wilson - 1920-1922
Marvin Holder - 1922-1923
Louis Aigner, Jr. - 1924-1928
Frank Aigner - 1929-1932
Bessie Bowden - 1932-1984
Linda Cook - 1984-1999
Michelle Hancock - 1999-2001
Susan Pendleton - 2001-Present
Mrs. R. R. Clarke - 1920-1950
David S. Parrish, Sr. - 1950-1991
George D. Crosby, Jr. - 1991-1997
Tracy E. Pendleton - 1997-2010
Ellen Collins -
Cindy Holmes -
Kim Hix -