Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church opens library to honor late pastor
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Inside the original church offices of the Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church, there are more than 3,000 books lining dozens of shelves and covering a wide variety of topics related to ministry, Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
These are housed in the S.D. McMullen Memorial Library, and the books belonged to the church’s late pastor, who died on October 7, 2017.
The idea for a library came from his wife, Anne L. Polk McMullen, who brought the idea to the church’s new pastor, Rev. Will Jackson.
“Pastor McMullen believed a lot in scholarship and being studious, and so over the years, he accumulated a significant amount of books and volumes of different religious lore and Bibles and commentaries and the like,” Jackson said. “So, we needed a place probably better to house them, and so the idea of a library came and then in the midst of that idea, figured that if we got a significant amount of shelving to panel all the annals of different stuff we have would be good. So that project happened to a point, and then we used some bookshelves and other existing things to do it.”
The library now offers a place for members of the church to come in and read and learn.
“It is sectioned off and annotated for what everything is, so it can be a help to scholastic endeavors of the membership here and preferably help our people grow in spiritual wisdom and to better serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as they have enough sufficient tools to the tool box that they have access to,” Jackson added.
Anne McMullen said that her husband was always trying to “win souls to Christ”, wherever he went.
“He was a great leader, and he believed in study to show yourself approval to God,” McMullen said. “That was his main thing. He wanted to focus everybody in on becoming knowledgeable of God’s word and being able to follow it. He was a person that would go out and buy books all the time, and there was no subject matter I don’t think in this library that is missing that you need to know, because he accumulated everything.”
The Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church held a dedication ceremony of the S.D. McMullen Memorial Library on October 6, 2019, on the second anniversary of his death.
On the library being dedicated to her late husband and honoring his work, McMullen said she was just speechless.
“It’s just a wonderful thing to be able to have it here and that everybody can share all the things that he had to share,” McMullen said. “I had no place to keep all this material at home, so it was just wonderful, so I’m excited about it because I know there’s material in here that can help you to grow in Christ, and if we can do that, we’ll be able to reach more souls through Christ.”
Church Deacon Weither Sanders said this library is a part of the legacy that Pastor McMullen left behind.
“I mean, you can go to any church in the community, in other cities, throughout Texas, throughout some cities in states in the United States other than Texas, and mention Pastor McMullen,” Sanders said. “People could tell a story about meeting him and what they thought of him.”
Located in McMullen’s former office and the church’s administrative and finance office in the original church building, there at least 3,300 books collected by McMullen over his decades of preaching. McMullen’s various accolades, such as the Key to the City of Copperas Cove and proclamations from President Obama and Governor Rick Perry, given in March 2015 are displayed on the walls. Also displayed are his degrees- an associate degree, two bachelor’s degrees and a Master of Divinity degree from Fort Worth Theological Seminary. McMullen was also a candidate for a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Theology/Divinity, also at the Fort Worth Theological Seminary.
McMullen preached his first sermon in September 1978 at Unity Missionary Baptist Church of Copperas Cove and went on to found and serve as the pastor of Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church for 37 years and 10 months, from January 21, 1980 until his death on October 7, 2017, according to his obituary.
The library is open to members of the public as well as church members. A person is allowed to check out a book for 10 days. Upon checking out, their picture is taken with the book they are checking out.
The library hours are: after the Worship service on Sundays, until 2 p.m.; closed Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; open Wednesdays and Thursdays 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and open Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church is located at 2306 S. FM 116 in Copperas Cove.