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New Here?

We’re Saving a Seat for You


Visiting any church for the first time can be somewhat difficult.  We want to put you at ease at Tabernacle.  On your first visit to TBC, you will be greeted by one of our friendly greeters at the main door and then one of our ushers will direct you to a Sunday school class or help you find a seat in the auditorium.

We want you to receive a blessing from the helpful teaching and preaching of God’s Word, the soul-stirring music, and our friendly people.

Who We Are

We strive to be intentional in our love to people, our exaltation of Christ, and our discipleship of believers.
Who We Are
Loving People

God-like love is the singular act that separates God's people from all others. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35.  Because we recognize our own deep need for God's grace, we are quick to extend that same love and grace to our church family and to any guest who may come.

Exalting Christ

Other than a warm greeting from an usher, the very first thing that everyone sees when they enter the lobby of our church is this verse above the doors entering the auditorium, "That we should be to the praise of His glory."  Eph. 1:12.  This expression is not just to show on a website or wall, but it is truly our thrust and our constant desire.  From the look of our landscape and maintenance of our facilities to the singing and preaching in the services, we maintain that Christ must be made pre-eminent.

Discipling Believers

The greatest message is the message of God's salvation made available to all men.  We pray that anyone who attends our services will receive the truth of the gospel and receive Christ as their Savior.  We then strive to help our church people grow in their walk with Christ through practical Bible teaching, times of fellowship, and intercessory prayer.

What to Expect
Piano Lesson

What to Expect

Walking into a church for the first time can be intimidating, so we want you to help you know what to expect when you visit.

We promise not to embarrass you or point you out. If you wish you can fill out a connection card and we’ll follow up with you later. You can come knowing you are in the midst of a group of broken people, whom all need God’s grace.


The greatest message is the message of God's salvation made available to all men.  We pray that anyone who attends our services will receive the truth of the gospel and receive Christ as their Savior.  We then strive to help our church people grow in their walk with Christ through practical Bible teaching, times of fellowship, and intercessory prayer.


First and foremost, music must please God in both its message and its delivery.  The message must not be overwhelmed by the music.  We love for our congregation to sing old and new hymns, choruses, and spiritual songs.  Often, we will have solos or group singing from our church members.  These songs especially encourage the listener in their walk with Christ.

Growth Groups

Our Growth Groups (Sunday school) classes meet each Sunday morning at 10 am.  The purpose of this ministry is for small group fellowship and discipleship.  Each class is age-appropriate and our teachers through the doctrines, narratives, and characters of the Bible. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby."  1 Peter 2:2


Our church people will give systematically to the Lord's work but we don’t encourage and invite people to come to TBC for their offering.  It is our prayer that our service will be a gift to you.  The important thing about being a guest at Tabernacle Baptist is that you are blessed and encouraged from having been with us.

Service Format

Our service is intentional in that it follows a deliberate order of worship, but it's not formal in style.  We open with a warm welcome or video announcements, sing hymns or choruses, and enjoy special music from one of our singing groups or instrumentalists. After the message, we allow anyone to respond to God's speaking  and then we close in prayer.  The typical service will finish around 12:10 or sooner.


Preaching is primary at Tabernacle Baptist Church.  You will find that Pastor Mike and other preachers normally preach expositionally, meaning that they work through passages of Scripture.  Sunday mornings are dedicated to the year's theme and Sunday evenings are usually a verse by verse message through a book from the Bible, alternating from Old Testament to New Testament.  In every sermon, the invitation to salvation and close discipleship is given.

What to Wear

There is not a specific dress code at Tabernacle Baptist Church for members or guests.  Our church ministry leaders and most of our church family dress in a traditional “Sunday” Dress; however, our main goal is that you feel welcome on your visit to Tabernacle Baptist Church.


One of the purposes at TBC is to show the next generation the praises of Christ.  Our children's ministry is called HOPEKidz based on Psalm 78:7- "That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments."  On Sunday morning, children have dedicated Growth Groups classes based on age or school grade.  During the Sunday morning service, they have two specific classes for Li'l HOPEKidz and HOPEKidz church.  On Sunday nights, our HOPEKidz choir meets for singing and teaching.  And on Wednesday nights, we have teaching classes for all ages.  

Meet the Team

Meet the Elders
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Michael Free

Lead Pastor

Pastor Mike came to Tabernacle Baptist Church in July of 1991 following his marriage to Preacher Jack and Miss Pat’s daughter, Sherri.  He served as the youth and assistant pastor for nearly 11 years.  When Preacher Jack stepped down in 2001, the church then called Pastor Mike to be their pastor in January of 2002.  They have three adult children: Jonathan, Jessica, and Jordyn.


Jonathan Free

Media and Video

Jonathan grew up in Tabernacle Baptist church having both his grandfather and father as pastor.  After Bible college and seminary, Jonathan came to TBC as an intern and is now the media and videographer of the church and camp ministry.  He has his own videography business and he and his wife Rachel work in our HOPEKidz ministry on Sunday mornings.

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Joe Allred


Joe grew up at Tabernacle Baptist and recently completed his bachelor's degree from Pensacola Christian College.  Joe works with our teens, children, and our camp ministry. He is studying for his master's degree in Bible Exposition online from Pensacola Theological Seminary.

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Joel Potter

Choir Director

Joel and his family came to TBC in the fall of 2021.  Having served in ministry in Florida, West Virginia, and Ohio, Joel is gifted not only in music, but teaching and preaching as well.  His wife Charis assists in our ladies' ministry and they have three teenage sons, Caden, Cohen, and Cavan.

What We Believe

What We Believe
Misrepresentation of the Bible in Various Religious Practice

We cannot accept or endorse the current charismatic movement which emphasizes speaking in unknown tongues.  We believe this gift was given to the early church as a sign to unbelievers prior to the completion of the New Testament and that the current emphasis on this gift is divisive and exalts the creature above the Creator.  Furthermore, we reject current movements such as faith healers, demon worshipers, and any other future movement which might, in any way, take away from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

II Corinthians 9:7; I Corinthians 14:22 and 16:2; Matthew 18-19, 20

We Believe in the Holy Scripture

Accepting fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments as the very Word of God, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God, altogether sufficient in themselves as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice. 

I Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:21.

We Believe in the One Triune God

Who is personal, spirit, and sovereign, perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness and love, wisdom and power; absolutely separate and above the world as the Upholder of all things; self-existent and self-revealing in three (3) distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each having a distinct ministry in God's relation to His creation and people. 

Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:2,3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; John 10:30

We Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ

Who is the second person of the Triune God, the eternal Word and Only Begotten Son, that without any change in His divine Person, He became man by miracle of the Virgin Birth, this to  continue forever as both God and true Man, One person with two natures; that as man He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin, the perfect Lamb of God who gave Himself in death upon the cross, and there becoming the sin of the world, suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead; that He arose bodily from the grave and was glorified; that as our great High Priest He ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor.

Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6; Matthew1:18-25; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1,2, 14, 18 and 3:16;  Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 3:25, 26; II Corinthians 5:14; Hebrews 10:5-19;  I Thessalonians 1:10 and 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14: Zechariah 14:4-11; I John 2:1

We Believe in the Holy Spirit

Who is the third person of the Trinity, and the divine Agent in nature, revelation, and redemption; that He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; that he regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals and anoints all who become children of God through Christ; that He further empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies, and fills each believer who daily surrenders to Him. 

John 16:7-11 and 2:6 and 14:17; I Corinthians 3:16 and 6:10 and 12:13; Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30; I John 2:20-27; I Peter 1:1

We Believe in the Existence of Satan

Who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels and spirits, and deceiver and god of this present world; that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God who overrules all his wicked devices for good; that he was defeated and judged at the cross and, therefore, his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God by the blood of the Lamb and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Job 1:6-7; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 2:2; John 12:31; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10

We Believe all Men are, by Nature and Choice, Sinful, and Lost

That man was the direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God under the righteous judgment and wrath of God and has within himself no possible means of salvation.

Genesis 1:26 and 2:17; Psalm 14:1, 2; and 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6 and 5:40 and 6:53; Romans 3:10-19 and 8:6, 7; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John

We Believe in Salvation by Grace through Faith

That salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue of work of man, but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in whom all true believers have as a present possession the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the divine guarantee that he shall never perish; that this salvation affects the whole person; that apart from Christ, there is no possible salvation.

We Believe in the Priesthood of All Believers

That Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into God's presence without the need of a human priest; that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the HOLY SPIRIT.

Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 61:6; I Peter 2:5; Revelation 1:6 and 20:6

We Believe in Righteous Living and Godly Works

Not as a means of salvation in any sense but as its proper evidence and fruit and therefore, as Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, accept as our solemn responsibility the duty and privileges of bearing the Gospel to a lost world, remembering that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who, in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God, have presented themselves wholly to Christ.

Matthew 5:16 and 16:16-18; Luke 24:47; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Titus 2:7-14; and 3:5 and 3:9; Revelation 1:5

We Believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ

That He alone is Head of the Body of Christ into which all true believers are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit; that all members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches.

Acts 2:47; I Corinthians 6:15 and 12:12-14; Colossians 1:18-25; Ephesians 1:22, 23 and 2:15 and 4:4, 5;  Hebrews 1:3, 13; I Peter 3:22

We Believe in the Importance of the Local Church

That a New Testament church is a local assembly of born-again baptized believers, united in organizations to practice New Testament ordinances to meet together for worship, fellowship, teaching, have a united testimony, and to actively engage in carrying out the Great Commission.

Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 10:25

We Believe in the Independence and Autonomy of the Local Church

That each New Testament church is free to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference and should cooperate with other New Testament churches as the Holy Spirit leads; that it is responsible to follow the pattern of the New Testament church and is directly accountable to God.

Romans 16:17, 18; Philippians 3:17-19; Titus 1:9-14

We Believe in the Ordinances Given to the Local Church are Two: Baptism and the Lord's Supper

That Baptism is by immersion of believers thus portraying the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; that the Lord's Supper is the partaking of the bread and cop by the believer as a continuing memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Christ.

Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 10:47 and 19:5; Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 11:23-26

We Believe in the Second Coming of Christ

That His return from Heaven will be personal, visible and glorious, a blessed Hope for which we should constantly watch and pray with the time being unrevealed but always imminent; that when He comes He will first by resurrection of the dead and translation of the living remove from the earth His waiting church then pour out the righteous judgments of God upon the unbelieving world, afterward, descend with His church and establish His glorious and literal kingdom over all the nations for a thousand years.

John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51, 52; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 1:10 and 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; II Thessalonians 2:7-10; Zechariah 14:4-11

We Believe in Future Life, Bodily Resurrection and Eternal Judgment

That the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with Christ in Heaven that their works shall be brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ of the determination of rewards which will take place at the time when Christ comes for His own; that the spirits of the unsaved at death descent immediately into Hell where they are kept under punishment until the final day of  Judgment at which time their bodies shall be raised from the grave; that they shall be judged and cast into a lake of fire, the place of final and everlasting punishment.

Matthew 25:32; Luke 16:19-31; Romans 14:12; II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15  and 21:8

We Believe in Religious Liberty

God alone is Lord of the conscience and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained therein.  Church and state should be separate.  The state owes to the church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends.  In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others.   It is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience to Civil government, being ordained of God, thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God.  The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work.  The Gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends.  The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind.  The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion.  A free church in a free state is the Christian idea and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Matthew 22:17-21; Mark 21:13-17; Romans 13:1-7; I Timothy 2:14; I Peter 2:17

We Believe in Social Service

Every Christian is under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ regnant (ruling) in his own life and in human society; to oppose, in spirit of Christ, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice; to provide for the orphaned, the aged, the helpless, and the sick; to seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth and  brother love; to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.  All means and methods used in social service for the amelioration (improvement) of society and the establishment of righteousness among men must finally depend on the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Exodus 20:16 and 22:9-15; Leviticus 6:1-5; Deuteronomy 4:41, 42 and 15:1, 2, 27-17; Ezekiel 18:5-9; Zechariah 8:16, 17; Luke 10:25-37 and 6:27-36; Romans 12:14-21; Colossians 3:12-17; James 2:8.

We Believe in Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty of every Christian man and woman and the duty of every church of Christ to seek to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.  The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others.  Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life; it is also expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ.  It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other methods sanctioned by the gospel of Christ.

Matthew 10:5-15 and 13:1-23 and 22:8-10 and 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16 and 16:19, 20; Luke 24:46-53; Acts 1:4-8 and 2:1-4 and 21:39 and 8:1-40 and 10:42-48 and 13:1-3, 33-34; II Corinthians 5:19-21

We Believe in the Purity of Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.  We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex.  Any employee of the church becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as a result of consensual intercourse outside of the marriage relationship shall be terminated from employment.

Genesis 2:24 and 19:5, 13 and 26:8, 9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1 and 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4

We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman.

Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22, 23

We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate functions for men and women in the home and the church.  The husband is to be the leader of the home and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church.  Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.

Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15 and 3:4, 5, 12

We Believe in the Sanctity of All Human Life

Human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.  Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life.  Abortion is murder.  We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection birth or population control or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable.

Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5 and 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24 and 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5 and 20:15-18; Luke 1:44

Our History

Tabernacle Baptist Church began in 1976 when the Lord laid on the heart of Jack and Pat Phillips to come back to the Candor, NC area. Preacher Jack had pastored Candor Baptist Church for several years in the 1960s. He left Candor to pastor Ebenezer Christian Church in Raleigh and then Grace Chapel in Sanford.


Through the prayers of several faithful friends and the leading of the Lord, Preacher Jack and Ms. Pat, along with their children, Chris and Sherri moved back to Candor and planted Tabernacle Baptist Church. The initial meetings were on the grounds of Living Water Youth Camp. God grew the church numerically and in 1980, the congregation moved out of the camp Chapel and into the existing church sanctuary. That chapel building was dedicated to the faithfulness of Preacher Jack and Ms. Pat and was renamed The Phillips Chapel.  A gymnasium/fellowship hall was built in 1986 and was named in honor of Johnson and Odell Livingston who were charter members and donated the land to the church and camp.  An additional wing was added to the church in 1995.  


In 2002, Preacher Jack stepped away from the pastorate to go into evangelism and his assistant, Michael Free, was called to be the pastor where he still serves today.  Preacher Jack went home to be with the Lord in April of 2023.  In 2001, Ms. Pat, after 43 years of faithful service, stepped down as the choir director. Ms. Pat is still living with her daughter Sherri and Pastor Mike.

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