The Goodwill Baptist Church (GBC) was organized in 1881 in the Arcadia Township of Clemmons NC Reverend David Hairston served as the founding pastor. He served for twenty-three years. The next pastor was Reverend Hue Cheeks and he served for five years. Pastors who followed were Reverend William Neal who served for 15 years; Reverend W.B. Stratford who served until his health declined; Reverend Mackie who served for one year, the Reverend W.W. Williams; Reverend Dennis D. Mason who served from 1947 to 1948; Rev. Ralph Q. Allen who served forty-one years from 1948 to 1989 and Reverend Philemon .A. Samuels who served from February 1990 to May 2008. In October 2008, Dr. James Rudd served as our Interim Pastor until the first Sunday in December 2011 after which Bishop Stephen L. Williams became the pastor.
The first deacon board consisted of only three members: King Hanes, Noah Staplefoot and Lloyd Ader. The first 21 years were spent in a log cabin until 1902 when Reverend Hairston and members built a frame church which is now the old parking lot. Despite the completion of the frame church, there were still several challenges to overcome so the members could conduct worship services. Prior to services which were held only on the 2nd and 4th Sundays some of the men had to walk to (then) the old Salisbury Road (now Highway 150) to gather buckets of drinking water from a nearby family's home. There were outside toilets' for men and women. Graves were hand dug with picks and shovels. Homemade brooms made from dogwood trees were used to sweep the yard. A potbelly stove that burned wood and coal was the source of heat. A well was finally dug at the lower end of the property. That well was the final landmark from the old frame church which was removed to make way for the new edifice.
The second church edifice at 548 Goodwill Road was built under the leadership of Reverend R.Q. Allen. To complete this endeavor, the church formed its' first trustee board. Those fiscal pioneers were: Roy Hairston - chairman, Robert Transou-secretary, Early Imes- treasurer, Dorce Hamilton, Oscar Leak, Charlie Thompson, Matthew Ader and Spencer Ledbetter. They put their ideas together and with God in the midst they started the new building. Construction began in 1952 and was completed by 1954. The last payment of the $15,000.00 mortgage was made in 1958. Services continued to be held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays only. Under Rev. Allen the our service times went to every Sunday. The church anniversary was traditionally held on the 3rd Sunday in July. Homecoming was held on the 4th Sunday in September with a week long revival. Prior to homecoming, there would be a clean up day, where the women would clean everything on the inside and the men would clean the outside. After the Sunday morning service each family would bring a picnic basket and members would fellowship on the long, tall, and wide homemade tables that always stayed outside. After the basement was completed with painted cement floors and cabinets built by the late Deacon Claude Cuthrell Sr. gatherings would be held, where some ate lunch on the hoods and trunks of their cars.
In February 1990 under the leadership of Pastor Philemon A. Samuels, GBC transformed with the addition of several ministries. The church was incorporated and the ministry thrived in membership, financially and spiritually. During this time the ministry expanded by purchasing 25 acres of the nearby property for a new church. On May 18, 2008 Pastor Samuels resigned his pastoral position from GBC. In that same month in May 2008, the ministry decided, with much prayer and careful fiscal management, to forge ahead and start construction of the GBC Family Life Center. The first service in the Family Life Center was held on March 21, 2009. This beautiful facility serves as a testament to the hard work of the saints and foundation others have laid.
In December 2011, God sent GBC, an anointed man of God to lead this flock. Bishop Stephen L. Williams became the pastor of Goodwill Baptist Church and under his leadership the church has continued to grow and flourish. Bishop Williams continues to walk and minister in word and song with the anointing that God has placed in him.
As of 2019, GBC will celebrate its 138 anniversary!!! To God Be All the Glory!