Wilmington Bible Chapel is located on the southeastern coastline of North Carolina, in the city of Wilmington. We are a non-denominational assembly of Christians who gather for teaching, fellowship, worship and prayer. We have a sincere desire to preach and practice all that God has revealed in His Word for His people.
All are welcome to the Sunday School classes, Awana clubs, Vacation Bible School, regular preaching services, and Bible studies, all of which are devoted to Bible exposition and preaching of the Gospel.
All who know Jesus Christ personally as Lord and Savior are encouraged to share in the Lord’s Supper at our weekly Breaking of Bread service to worship Him who gave His life for us.
We receive into fellowship all born again believers who are living a consistent Christian life, and who hold the truth of fundamental Biblical doctrine. (Rom.15:7, Jude 3, Phil.2:29)
We invite you to fellowship with us and enjoy the activities here at Wilmington Bible Chapel. We’d love to see you here!
Prior to 1968, Ralph and Marietta Samppala were fellowshipping at Northern Hills Bible Chapel in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1968, the Samppala’s accepted work in Wilmington, North Carolina. During that year they met Robert and Blanch Duncan who had previously fellowshipped with the Northgate Chapel in Durham, NC.
The Samppala’s and Duncan’s met together for Bible study and fellowship and desired to have an assembly in Wilmington. They began to break bread and advertised in “Letters of Interest” for others who were interested in meeting according to New Testament principles in Wilmington. George and Linda Bowman, originally from Houston, Texas, were relocated to Wilmington and responded to the advertisement.
These three couples were the nucleus of the assembly in Wilmington. In the beginning, they broke bread on a regular basis and listened to taped ministry. Michael and Rosamay Beal soon joined them after moving to the area.
The Christians in the Samppala home began to invite gifted speakers from around NC to minister to them. A veteran missionary from the Philippines, Sandy Sutherland, while on furlough, would come down and encourage the saints, because of a burden on his heart for an assembly work in Wilmington.
William and Mary King were invited to come sometime in ’68 or ’69, and were encouraged to return and help with a Vacation Bible School in the homes of the Samppala’s and Bowman’s.
In August of 1970 the King’s came and conducted home Daily Vacation Bible School in the homes of these two couples. Mary King conducted a ladies Bible Study in Blanche Duncan’s home and had a good number to attend. There were some professions of faith in the bible schools, and the King’s were approached about helping out the little assembly.
From September of 1970 until February 1974, the King’s traveled down to Wilmington on every Thursday and one Sunday a month to visit, encourage, and help with the Bible Study.
After meeting in the Samppala’s and the Bowman’s homes, the assembly needed more room, and a place where visitors would come. Blanche Duncan was very helpful in securing the Conference Room of the El Berta Motel, which they used for a short time until they rented a three-bedroom house on 43rd St. in Winter Park. By this time the Hartsfield’s, neighbors of the Duncan’s had come along. Richard Hartsfield was the first adult convert and continues to faithfully serve at Wilmington.
Also in 1970, from September until Christmas, the little group grew from four to nine families. Preston Keith was invited to come and speak, and being a part time contractor, offered his service if they wanted to build a building to meet in. By the middle of 1973, the group had outgrown the little house on 43rd St. and was looking for land to build on. A benevolent builder in Wilmington, Raiford Trask, offered them land on which to build.
In 1974, the King’s moved to Wilmington, and the first service in the new building was held the first Sunday of March. Everyone worked very hard to bring the unsaved in, and there were years of blessing. The first Daily Vacation Bible School was held August 1974 and at least 170 children came. Contacts were made in the neighborhood, and at one time, 25 families from the immediate vicinity were attending. An AWANA club for girls was started as a result John and Karen Little from Houston, Texas. And the attendance began to climb in those early years.
Gary and Vivien Michael moved to Wilmington and were very helpful, and then were commended to the Lord’s work in Colombia, South America, the Chapel’s first commended missionaries to the field.
Still more to come. . .