History Of Second Baptist Church

Church Beginning

A Condensed History of Second Baptist Church, South Richmond

 (A “Caring and Sharing” Congregation)

Second Baptist Church has a long and rich history in South Richmond starting in 1881 . We want to remember the sowers of the seeds that have taken root here. Our congregation today is the living legacy of the founders of the ministries in our church.

It was in 1880, when members of the First Baptist Church in Newtown and Swansboro began hosting Sunday School from house to house because they found it difficult to walk the fifteen blocks to First Baptist Church on Seventh Street. Because of the number of children in the neighborhood, these Sunday School classes, under the leadership of Brothers Charlie Logan and Richard Howlett, grew rapidly. Soon several elderly members began to hold prayer meetings at the “Heider's House” on Midlothian Turnpike. Among this group were Brothers Robert Ferguson, Robert Johnson, Jesse Mosby and sisters Sidley Hunt, Martha Scott, Maria Davis and Rebecca Howlett. W. L. Petegrew was influential in the organization of the budding church, however, Rebecca Howlett led the petition to First Baptist Church that a church be organized in the Newtown Swansboro area.

Pilkington Church

Second Baptist of Manchester was organized in October 1881. The first Pastor called to the new church was Rev. Sandy Howell. The first choir was organized by Sisters Ada Johnson and Susie A. Branch with assistance from Brother Spencer Johnson of First Baptist Church. Members of the choir included Brothers Bill Youille, John Eggleston, Boshe Walton, Hillard Armstead and Sisters Ada Berry, Nancy Harris and Elvira Jenkins. Rev. Howell was followed in the pastorate by Rev. David Robinson and Rev. Richard Graham, our third pastor. As our congregation grew, the church moved from the “Heider's House” to the “Old Methodist Church,” located on the site occupied by the old Loving Union Hall on the corner of Decatur and Jefferson Davis Highway. Our first edifice was built under the leadership of Rev. Richard Graham. Among the deacons at that time were Mason Baugh, Isham Jones, and Morris Goode. Deacon James Seate and Deacon E. J. Cunningham also joined the church, followed by Deacon Daniel B. Glenn. As our Anniversary Hymn states, we have had several pastors over the years, and we are especially proud that a memorial stone in honor of Rev. D. Webster Davis, one of our early pastors, has been prominently displayed in the City of Richmond for more than 75 years. One of the beautiful stained glass windows displayed as you enter the sanctuary shows an image of Rev. Davis. That window was moved to our current location from our former church which was erected in 1905 at 105 East Pilkington Street on land that was donated in part by Deacon Mason Baugh.

Sadly in 1913, Rev. C. L. Garland and several members left the church to organize a new church. Through the pain of separation, there was the birth of our daughter church, Union Baptist. By the mid 1900's Second Baptist was thriving and several new ministries emerged. The first Junior Choir was organized by Sisters Fannie and Flossie Youille. The D. Webster Davis Memorial Gospel Chorus was organized under the direction of Sisters Ida Bebbs and Sarah Friend. Two Usher Boards were formed. The Sunday School continued its vital role as the cornerstone of the church's program of Christian Education.  The mortgages on the original edifice and the renovated building were burned. A parsonage was built on land adjoining the church in 1948, and by 1952 the mortgage on the new parsonage was burned. The church hosted several major AfricanAfrican--AmericaAmerican n ChristianChristian theatrical productions, including theatrical productions, including The The Crucifixion and Heaven Bound, produced by Sisters Fannie and Flossie Youille,produced by Sisters Fannie and Flossie Youille, in which several of our in which several of our members held leading roles. members held leading roles.

The next fifty years found the church continuing it's growth and following its mandate to be a “Caring and Sharing” congregation. During the uprising in the Belgian Congo, the church adopted two students, who had been separated from their families, and brought them to safety in the United States at the urgent request of the missionaries administering schools in that country. Initially, Michael and Antoinette Macris lived in the parsonage with Pastor and Mrs. Reginald Winbush. However, as the Pastor's family size increased, the church extended a call to the membership to open their homes and hearts as guardians for our adoptees. Members George and Susie B. Lewis, accepted the call as Michael's guardians. Deacon William A. Glenn, Sr. accepted the call as guardian for Antoinette. A church son, William Russell Jones, Sr., was ordained into the ministry. The church became the sponsor of Scouting. The Girl Scout program was organized under the leadership of Sisters Blanche Winston and Ester Logan Booker. The Boy Scout program {BSA} was organized under the leadership of Sister Moizelle Archer and Brother Leon Gibson, Sr. Rev. Reginald Winbush, our pastor from 1957 to 1968, earned membership in Boy Scouting's Order of the Arrow. Through the years, BSA Troops 490 and 499 chartered at Second Baptist have proudly sponsored four boys to earn Scouting's highest rank of Eagle Scout: Robert Mealy, Charles C. Coles, Jerome Jackson and Gregory Gwaltney. The Young Ladies Activity Group was organized by Sister Cornelia D. Moon. In the late 1940's following their service in the milita ry, Mr. Kirk A. Cooke served as the musician and choir director of the Music Department and he was joined by Deacon Albert S. Archer. They served in these capacities for approximately 40 years. The Watkins Gospel Chorus was formed under the direction of Sister Evelyn Watkins, with Sister Sarah Bebbs Friend as pianist, assisted by Sister Edwina Baugh. Early members included Deacons Frank Epps and Robert Wyatt, and Sisters Anna Beatrice Jones Glenn, Molly Dillard, Mozelle Minor, and Catherine Fleming. The Recreation and Education committee was organized by Sister Susie B. Lewis and Brother Archer Hale. The Kirby Randolph Singers and the KR Juniors were formed under the direction of Sisters Wilnette Kirby and Jean Randolph. The Widows and Friends Ministry was organized by Sisters Juanita Smith and Blanche Hicks. The Inspirational Choir was organized by Sisters Alice McNeil, Doris Mosby and Brenda Mosby. The L. B. Samuel Memorial Choir was organized. The Higher Education Committee was organized by Deaco ness Carolyn Dillard. The Hospitality Ministry was organized. The Bus Ministry was organized by Deacon Bernard T. Jones. Our Medical Assistance Ministry, spearheaded by Dr. Harry S. Crawford, Sr. was organized. Pastors serving during this period included Rev. Robert L. Taylor, Rev. C. H. S. Watkins, Rev. Robert L. Taylor, Rev. C. H. S. Watkins, Rev. Reginald Winbush, and Rev. Lawrence B. Samuel, Sr. As we entered the  21st century, we were challenged to rely on our collective strength and, in the absence of a Pastor, we were guided in our spiritual ministry for over a year by the very dedicated and capable former Chairman of our Deacon Board, Deacon Saint Jeffers. We were further blessed that Rev. Leroy Jones responded to the call for an Interim Pastor and served in that capacity for approximately two years.

Reverend Ralph S. Hodge accepted the call as Pastor on January 5, 2003 and he was installed on April 27, 2003. Under his leadership we have sheltered homeless men and women through CARITAS and adopted two Elementary schools. We have opened a clothing and food pantry. We have also become a sponsor for the Broad Rock Farmer's Market. We are active participants in community social empowerment activities with Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities ( RISC), and supporters of the KAI ROS Prison Ministry of Virginia. In cooperation with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in 2016, we installed a 10,000 gallon cistern and 1 acre community vegetable and rain garden incorporating stormwater best management practices. We received the Richmond City Council's Community Service Award in September 2022 for "serving as a central hub for information, testing and vaccinations during the pandemic by providing the Richmond Public Health District with free space to improve access to health care. Additionally, several ministries have been added including the Men's Ministry, Women's Ministry, Couple's Ministry, Single's Ministry, Mature Life Ministry, Outreach Ministry, 8:00 A.M. Choir, Mass Choir, Men's Chorus, Women's Choir, Blessings Book Store, Greeters Ministry, Media Ministry, Heart to Hand Shawl Ministry, Sewing Ministry, New Disciples Ministry, Kid's Kingdom Ministry, His Butterflies Ministry, Next Level Youth Ministry, New Members Support Ministry, Praise Dance Ministry, Visitors Ministry, Cancer Care Ministry, the Caring and Sharing Ministry, Eden's Garden Ministry, and the Young Adults Ministry (YAMS).

Under Pastor Hodge, Rev. Craig Mathews accepted the position as Minister of Music in 2003, and served in that capacity for over 10 years. Mr. Jake Holmes, responded to our call in 2014 for a Director of Music and served in that capacity until June 2022. Our Music Department continued to grow under his direction. Mr. Richard Pearson, III has served as our interim Choir Director since September 2022. We triumphantly moved to our new sanctuary at 3300 Broad Rock Boulevard in June 2008 in fulfillment of the vision of the Pastor and the congregation. Since that time, we have made improvements to the edifice by adding new restrooms, renovating the kitchen and opening the Bread of Life food service Ministry. We have triumphantly occupied our renovated sanctuary, and most recently, we occupied the renovated addition which includes new classrooms, a choir room, meeting rooms and fine arts/ multi use space that was completed in 2021. We are currently awaiting final approval to open a childcare program in our renovated facility.

 *History provided by History Committee*

Chairperson: Rheba Gwaltney

Vice Chairperson: Michael Washington

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