The Cofield’s in 1978
Whitfield Baptist Church celebrated it’s 40th anniversary on Sunday, February 4, 2018, as well as marking 40 years with Dr. Wayne Cofield as our pastor. Pastor Cofield and his family moved to Dalton in early February of 1978 after he served as associate pastor of Gospel Baptist Temple in Claxton, Ga. for four years. “We didn’t know one person in Dalton, but we knew God wanted us to come and start a Bible-believing Baptist church in Dalton,” Bro. Wayne said. After several days of searching for an appropriate site for the first service, we settled in the upstairs of an old colonial style home on Thornton Avenue. “It seemed like a very unlikely place to start a church, but we were thankful for the four little rooms we had.”
Pastor Wayne Cofield &
his wife Connie
Pastor Cofield was born in Atlanta in 1951, graduated from Columbia High School in Decatur, Ga. in 1969 and from Georgia State University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 1972 he was licensed to preach at Wesley Hills Baptist Church in Decatur, where he had been an active member for 22 years. He was ordained to preach at Gospel Baptist Temple in Claxton in 1973, where he served as associate pastor in charge of the youth ministry for four years.
Pastor Cofield and Mrs. Connie, moved to Dalton in 1978. They have four children, Jason, Amy, Stephen and Stephanie all who are in full time Christian service. Jason has served as the Assistant Pastor at Whitfield Baptist for 18 years after graduating from Southeast Whitfield High in 1995 and earning his masters degree from Crown Bible College in Knoxville in 2002. Amy is married to Mark Coffey who also graduated from Southeast High and they currently serve in South Africa as Missionaries. Stephen and Stephanie who are twins born on Pastor Cofield’s birthday serves in Alpharetta, Ga. In the music and youth department.
WBC 1st Location
706 South Thornton
(Feb. '78-July '78)
The first service for Whitfield Baptist Church was held on Feb. 4, 1978, with 29 attending Sunday School and 42 attending the 11 A.M. service. The auditorium would only seat 36, so because of the overflow, Mrs. Connie began a children’s church. After only five weeks, the church had a high attendance of 93 in Sunday School.
In May, 30 people signed as charter members. Officiating the service was Dr. Cecil Hodges, pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Savannah, and The Rev. Paul Forsyth of Gospel Baptist Temple. The charter book was closed with a roll of 55. During that first summer, the church had a high attendance of 174 in Sunday School and more that 200 attending morning service. “What made that day so great,” Bro. Wayne said, “was that nine people were saved and following the services we drove to Dawnville to the Conasauga River and baptized them.”
WBC 2nd Location
412 South Hamilton
(July '78 - Oct. '80)
In our church’s first location at 706 N. Thornton Ave. the main service was conducted in a 20 foot x 20 foot room with a capacity of 36. Upon outgrowing this location, our church was moved to a storefront, formerly a sporting goods store, located at 412 S Hamilton St. in downtown Dalton. On the first anniversary of our church, the building was packed to capacity with 243 people. In September of 1980, our church purchased seven acres of land on the south side of Dalton, and in October moved into our first building, located at 2134 Dug Gap Road. In 1987 the auditorium was expanded and remodeled to seat 400. In 1995 the church built a new family life center with a gymnasium, classrooms and kitchen facility. And in March of this year the church will begin a remodeling project of the main Sanctuary