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What We Believe


Our Focus and Passion is on Recovery/Healing and Families
Our central conviction at Walnut Grove Baptist Church is this — God loves people!

Are you, family member or friend in an ongoing battle for recovery from drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, shopping, unhealthy relationships? – we are here for you!

Have you lost a loved one and need support around you to move on?  We are here for you!

Going through a divorce or significant relationship break up and feel like you can’t go on?  We are here for you!


Jesus did not die on the cross for the church. It was the love of people that led to Jesus’ death on the cross.

WGBC seeks to build a church community that is rooted in the love of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. We are a group of individuals who have chosen to be in community together as we seek practical and spiritual solutions to our life struggles. We strive to create an environment where people can move towards the healing of division and brokenness in their lives and ultimately towards wholeness.

Our goal is to be a supportive and nurturing community
where people can develop real and authentic relationships that lead to deeper relationships with God and others.

One of Jesus’ teachings deals with the stress and worry we all face regarding the daily concerns of life. In this teaching Jesus makes the statement “Seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:33)

In essence what Jesus is saying is that if you decide for God and live a life of God-worship, you will find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing now and God will help you deal with
whatever hard things come up.

WGBC’s first priority is helping people to have a passion for God and to live out that passion in their everyday lives. Through our worship and discipleship ministries we strive to help people develop a more authentic spirituality through a deepening of their understanding of God. We are a church community committed to
developing passionate followers of Jesus Christ who live their daily lives in an attitude of worship.

Integrity simply means there is a unity between what we say and what we do. To use a colloquialism, integrity means “walking your talk”. As followers of Christ we endeavor to live our lives in light of the God-centered reality envisioned in
the Scriptures. Our belief in Christ involves more than just a verbal or intellectual assent to the truth of the Christian faith. It is a new way of being and living in the world. Jesus tells us that a true disciple will function in the world as salt and
light (Matthew 5:13-16). That is, we will live our lives in such a way that prompts other people to open up their lives to God. True spirituality is a lifestyle and we strive to live out our spirituality in everyday life

Jesus challenged his followers to go and make disciples (Matthew
28:19-20). Discipleship is not a one time event but a process through which a person discovers how to live on a higher spiritual plane. The discipleship process is about being transformed to another pattern of meaning (Romans 12:2) and it implies a whole
new way of believing and living.
The WGBC community is committed to the disciple making process. We are here not only to lead people into a relationship with Christ, but to help them grow into quality
disciples of Christ.

Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus made the statement that he had come into this world to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). Jesus made this statement knowing that in the near future his service to others would cost him his life. The nature of the church community is service to others regardless of the cost. WGBC is an intentional serving community committed to meeting the needs of others. We recognize the high value God has placed on each individual and the way we serve is a reflection of our respect for each individual. We recognize that love can only be fully expressed through service to others. Our focus is not on how we can be served, but how we can serve others.

Mission is the essence of the church and flows out of the great
commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no greater commandment than these.” (Mark 12:29-31) Missions are about being involved in the world in a way that attempts to redress the imbalances in our world.
It is recognizing the brokenness and injustice in the world and proclaiming the hope of a new reality both in word and deed as reflected in the gospel message. Our motivation for mission flows out of our compassion for others and our desire to actually see the kingdom of God become a reality in the world today.

WGBC believes that compassion for others is not true compassion until each person becomes personally engaged in the mission cause. Our mission efforts are based on the biblical mandate to provide advocacy, relationships, and resources to the community and
world for the purpose of restoring humanity to a God-centered reality. We will be actively engaged in our world in an effort to make a tangible difference.



Since 1847, folks have been meeting at the site where our facilities currently
stand. Over time, the congregation has seen quite a bit of history file past its doors
and leave marks — like the Civil War soliders wounded in the notorious battle of Cold
Harbor and treated in the sanctuary turned to a makeshift hospital.

Walnut Grove has left its mark in other ways, as well. Basil Manly, Jr. served
Walnut Grove as pastor before he left to help establish the brand new Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary in 1859 and before he composed a number of hymns which have come
to occupy a prominent place in Christian hymnody. Other churches, too, were spawned
by WGBC around the Mechanicsville region.

Walnut Grove’s historical legacy paints a picture of a congregation that always
finds a way to relate the story of Jesus Christ to the times in which it finds itself.
As the years rolled by, the congregation added facilities to accommodate growing
numbers. New programs and ministries have always been developed to replace ones that
grow old and ineffective.

Now, as the congregation is well into the second decade of the 21st century, a
plethora of new ministries has grown out of the passions and vision of the members.
Walnut Grove celebrates its storied past with gratitude and, admittedly, some pride,
but the past is a springboard to the future, and while we know we stand on the
shoulders of giants in the legacy we have inherited, with great excitement and
confidence, we minister into the coming days knowing that we will add to that great
legacy! Come be a part of something bigger than all of us!


Walnut Grove Baptist Church:  A Heritage of Grace

The church on the corner of Cold Harbor and Lee Davis Roads has seen a great many changes in its 175 years.  Formed in 1841 by a small group on land donated by the Sydnor family, it has been the founding church for Mechanicsville, Cool Spring and Springfield Baptist churches and has created partnerships with churches in Konni, India and Pavas, Costa Rica throughout the years.  The chapel with lighted steeple was the original building, although it is now oriented differently, and was used as a field hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War battles that occurred in our area.  The attached education building was added in the 1950s, the large sanctuary was built in the 1970s and the connector building was created primarily to house the Children’s Learning Center (CLC), a highly respected and accredited curricular program with day and after-school care.  During the excavations, artifacts from the Civil War era were discovered and will be on display as part of the anniversary celebration on Sunday, October 30.  In the 1970s, church members produced two televised programs, “Let Freedom Sing” and “Christmas Around the World,” which will also be available for viewing throughout the weekend.  Walnut Grove has always been an integral part of the Mechanicsville community and invites all who have had or would like to have a connection with this church to come and celebrate 175 years of service.  Weather permitting, their annual Fall Festival will take place on Saturday, October 29 from 2-4 p.m.  Sunday festivities begin with a History Walk and other events from 9-10 a.m. followed by the 10:15 a.m. “Welcome Home” worship service and concluding with dinner and family-friendly activities throughout the afternoon.  On Monday, October 31, “Trunk or Treat” will take place from 5:30-7 in the upper parking lot for youngsters and their parents.  For more information on weekend events or to make a dinner reservation, please contact the church office at 746-5081 or office@walnutgrovebaptist.com.


Ministerial Staff


Stephen Daniel Kendrick was raised in a military family moving eight times throughout his childhood. Stephen graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Mathematics. He completed his Seminary education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in December 2016 with a Master of Divinity in Christian Ministries. Stephen was ordained as a minister in April 2017 by Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

Ashley Boschen, Minister to Families Pastor Ashley is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious studies and Spanish language. She is also a graduate from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond with a Master of Divinity. Ashley was ordained into the gospel ministry in January of 2016 by Northside Baptist Church. She is married to Matt Boschen, the Associate Pastor at Shalom Baptist Church. They have one son, Edward, and a furry child, Buddy.

She began her position as part of the WGBC family in June of 2016. Ashley is a native of Mechanicsville and has been in youth and children’s ministry for over six years. Yet, more than her experience, Ashley brings with her a desire for the whole family to be involved in the life changing love of God.

You can contact Ashley at aboschen@walnutgrovebaptist.com.

Craig Simpson, Minister of Wellness and Recovery — craigwgbc@gmail.com  Craig has B.A. from Hastings College and  a master’s degree in Psychology from Appalachian State University. After graduating from college, Craig has been a High School and College football coach, a Juvenile Probation Officer, Clinical Counselor, Organizational Psychologist, and manager in the private sector. Currently, Craig and his wife Valarie are co-owners and operators of the School of Dance Arts, Inc.  Craig began his position with WGBC as Outreach Director in Sept. of 2004.  Craig is a certified Life Coach, Addiction Recovery Coach and Co-Dependency Recovery Coach from the International Institute of Coaching Studies (IICS),

Craig can be reached at craigwgbc@gmail.com.

Office Staff


Mary Pollard, Church Administrator — office@walnutgrovebaptist.com

Pam Burris, Receptionist and Assistant Secretary — pburris@walnutgrovebaptist.com

Ray Johnson, Sexton

Tim Fearnow, CLC Sexton

Meghan Mines – Worship Leader

Danny Minton – Organist

David Kim, Pianist
Children’s Learning Center Staff:

Kristi Bowles, Director