In the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy one, a loving family and a few dedicated friends stepped out on their faith and joined with the Reverend Malachi D. Rountree and his late wife, Louise Scott-Rountree to start Good Neighbor Baptist Church. To make their dream possible, each of these founders contributed their valuable resources to purchase a magnificent edifice.
Reverend Rountree was the pastor of Good Neighbor from its birth in 1971 through 1981. Under his leadership the members defined its mission in the service of the Lord as one of providing family-like membership, good neighbors to one another and to the community. At the height of his ministry, more than 200 souls worshipped as part of the Good Neighbor Family.
Building upon their experience from Zion Hill Baptist Church in Newark, Moses Rountree, Sr. became our first deacon and chairman of the Deacon Board. He now resides in Florida. Deacon James Wallace, Marlon Wilson and Perrie Wilson continued to serve the church faithfully. Deacon Marlon Wilson was also our first Superintendent of Sunday School, and was dutiful until he and his family moved to North Carolina.
The late Sister Geruth Rountree was our first "Church Mother" and was the first Chairlady of the Deaconess Board. Madame Louise Scott-Rountree, as she preferred to be called, founded the Hospitality Committee, served on the Prayer Band, worked with the Deaconess Board, and was founder of the Floral Club. She also served jointly with Sister Geruth as the original Chairwomen for Women's Day.
Reverend Jewel Boone McKoy was our first Church Clerk and after ordination became Assistant Pastor until 1985, when she was called to serve as the Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Westwood, New Jersey. As Trustees, Moses, Jr. headed the Trustee Board and the Cain's, Doris and the late Douglas, were also appointed to this Board, wherein Doris served as Financial Secretary for many years.
In 1992, Moses Rountree, Jr. was ordained as a Deacon, and still continues to serve on the Deacon Board here at Good Neighbor. Another original Trustee Lawrence Wallace moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1986. Sister Louise W. Rountree was a member of the Adult Choir and headed many committees; Sister Elease Wilson was President of the Usher Board and a member of the Senior Choir; Brother John Willis Rountree now resides in Southern New Jersey.
From 1983 to 1994, Reverend John T. Teabout served as the pastor of Good Neighbor Baptist. Under his leadership the church and its members moved forward prayerfully doing God's will. In 1994, Reverend Dr. George Allen Blackwell, III became the Pastor of Good Neighbor. Under Pastor Blackwell's leadership, a redefining of one's spiritual aspirations and dedication has been occurring. Spiritual growth is a member’s foremost priority.
Brother June Wilson, Sister Lissie Wilson, Deacon Perrie Wilson, Brother Romeo Wilson, Deacon Marlon Wilson, Sister Beulah Wilson and Sister Elease Archibald Wilson are no longer with us - they like Sister Geruth Rountree, Brother Douglas Cain, Madame Rountree, Deacon Moses Rountree, Sr. and Rev. Jewel Boone McKoy have gone home to be with the Lord.
Although God has called twelve of our Founders home, and some have moved away and others have united with other churches, we the GOOD NEIGHBOR FAMILY must never forget their great contributions. For their willingness to answer a call to do the great work of uplifting the Kingdom of Heaven, so many of us that worship here now have richer lives and WE SHALL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL!