Tabernacle Baptist Church was born as a result of a six-week tent revival held by Reverend George W. Cooper in Hickory in the summer of 1940. When Reverend Cooper moved his tent to Shelby, North Carolina, several people kept in contact with him and began holding weekly cottage prayer meetings. Some of the men decided to construct a building in which to worship, and Reverend Cooper was called to be the pastor.
On the first Saturday night in May of 1941, the first service was held in the new building, complete with sawdust floor and all! During the first year, the group of believers meeting together was known as "The Evangelistic Club." One year later, on South Hill Street, the "Club" was organized as a Baptist church with thirty-seven charter members.
Reverend J.E. Hamlett became pastor in 1947 and served until 1961. Under his leadership, the church grew and moved in 1954 to a new building on Third Avenue Northeast. Reverend Al Price succeeded Reverend Hamlett, and pastored until 1967.
Dr. Robert Settle was called as pastor in 1967 and, under his leadership, Tabernacle Christian School was started in 1970. Continued growth and expansion of the ministry during his pastorate led the church to move to its present location in August, 1972. There the school gymnasium was used as the church auditorium until the present sanctuary was completed in March, 1980. When Dr. Settle moved in 1983, Reverend Randy Shook became pastor after having served as school principal prior to that time. Pastor Philip Vos was called in 1991. He served as pastor until August, 2007 when he stepped aside due to his battle with leukemia. He was named as Pastor Emeritus at that point and served in that capacity until he went home to be with the Lord on February 1, 2008. In July of 2008, Scott Hooks was called as pastor.
Tabernacle Baptist Church was truly founded on the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Unflinching faithfulness to that foundation on the part of the church and its leaders has marked its history. That same resolve continues in the present. Truly, it was God who worked in the hearts of those believers over sixty-five years ago to establish this church. Our thanks and praise be to Him as He uses His church in reconciling the lost world to Himself!