Our Church History
The Second Baptist Church was started as a mission in 1904 by Mrs. Romelda Stafford in her
home at 134 Water Street (now Rancocas Road), Mount Holly, New jersey. At this time she was a member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Haddonfield, New Jersey. After moving to Mount Holly she found that there was no Baptist Church in the town in which to worship. She was moved by the Spirit to open her home for public worship. She had quite a few Baptist brothers and sisters
to assist her.
In 1969 Brothers Arthur Thomas Jr., Samuel Thomas Jr. and Willie J. Wimberly were set apart as Deacons.
On June 13, 1971 new windows were installed at a cost of four thousand eight hundred and seventy dollars ($4,870.00)
In 1976 Brother Arthur Thomas Jr. was licensed to preach.
January 25, 1976 Brother Charlie Locker was set apart as Deacon.
December 4, 1977 the mortgage on the expansion of the church was burned.
December 1, 1981 Ministers Robert W. Stafford and Arthur Thomas were ordained.
August 22, 1982 Brothers Seth Andrews, Thomas Frame, Arnold Oakman and Pledge Webb were set apart as Deacons.
April 5, 1992 Brothers Edward Hyland, John W. Lee, Jr., Willie J. Smith and Robert Yarbrough were set apart as Deacons.
August 3, 2004 Minister Darrell R. Bradsberry was ordained.
“Rich Past and a Glorious Future”
Our Church History
The original founders of the Second Baptist Church were Sister Romelda Stafford, Brother William Stafford, Brother and Sister Johnson, Brother Henry White, Sr., Brother and Sister Fenwell, Brother John Stafford, Sr., Brother and Sister Polston and Sister Love.
When the congregation became too large for Sister Stafford’s home it moved to a vacant buckwheat factory on Water Street. It was given to them free of charge that they might worship. Romelds’a Christian influence became so magnetic that she had a very large group of white attendance at the Sunday School and Church services. Because of the interest she manifested in the welfare of mankind, some white friends donated an organ, stove, chairs and many other things that were useful for these services.
By this time many had been converted and baptized by Reverend J.W. Walker of Second Baptist Church in Merchantville, New Jersey. All the members of this mission on Water Street joined Second Baptist in Merchantville, New Jersey in order to get letters to organize the Second Baptist Church in Mount Holly. This was accomplished June 6, 1906 by Rev. J.W. Walker, who presided over the organization until they called Rev. John Gaskins, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the first pastor of this church.
The second Pastor was Rev. Woolfolk of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under his pastorate the old schoolhouse on Filbert Street was purchased from Jack Isham and the congregation
The following ministers served as pastors: Rev. John Gaskins, Rev. Woolfolk, Rev. Atkins of Florence, New Jersey, Rev. Benjamin James, Rev. Wade, Rev. R.H. Range of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rev. Scott of Moorestown, New Jersey, Rev. James Brooks of Burlington, New Jersey, Rev. T.C. Campbell and Rev. G.D. Pinckney.
During the Pastorate of Rev. Pinckney, the property on the corner of Carlton Avenue and West Washington Street was purchased. The property on Filbert Street was sold. The church moved to the Pythian Hall on Washington Street, a couple of doors, West of Williard Street, temporally until the new edifice was erected. Brother Joseph H. Stafford was the architect and supervisor of actual work necessary for the building of the church. The cornerstone was laid in 1922. Rev. Pinckney and the congregation moved into their new church in 1923 and the organization began to move under his leadership. It was during that time frame a small group of worshippers in Burlington , New Jersey came together and started having services as a mission. As the group grew they were moved to organize as a church. Reverend Wesley L. Gregory, Lindsey Gregory, John Burroughs, Vanderbilt Burroughs, William Mack Burroughs, Fred Lang, Tilson Williams and Henry Neilson joined the Second Baptist church, Mount Holly and received their letters of transfer and organized the Tabernacle Baptist Church. Hence, The Second Baptist Church is the “Mother Church” of Tabernacle Baptist Church, Burlington, New Jersey. Rev. Pinckney’s term as pastor ended in 1936. He had served seventeen (17) consecutive years as Pastor. Under the spiritual guidance of Rev. Pinckney’s leadership the church prospered spiritually and financially. After resigning for a while, Rev. Pinckney accepted the call again and served four (4) years.
Rev. Pinckney was followed by Rev. William Pinkston, Rev. William T.B. Hill, Rev. Levi A. Freeman and Rev. Joseph H. Stafford. Under Rev. Stafford’s leadership the mortgage was burned and the church had a bank account of three hundred ($300.00).
On November 7, 1943 the Rev. Matthew Douglass Bobbitt became the fifteenth (15th) Pastor of the Second Baptist Church. Within a short time after his taking over the Pastorate improvements could be seen throughout the church. The church began to prosper financially and spiritually.
Because of his kindness, devotion to God and his works, many members were added to the church and many former members returned to the fold.
Rev. Bobbitt revived and formed new organizations to meet the needs of the church.
On March 19, 1945, Brother Robert W. Stafford was licensed to preach.
As the old building began to show signs of deterioration, it was decided to build a new church. The present lot was purchased from Alexander Franklin for the sum of one thousand ($1000.00). Ground breaking ceremonies led by Pastor Bobbitt and Deacon James Nixon were held on Sunday, October 10th 1954. The Rev. J.H. Taiton, pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Haddonfield N.J. was the guest speaker. The actual work began October 18th 1954. On July 24th1955 the Corner Stone was laid by the Morning Glory Lodge No. 52 of Mt. Holly, N.J.
Much of the interior work was done by the men of the church and friends for which the church was indeed grateful. On Sunday, October 7th 1956 the Pastor and congregation went into the new church. Miss L. Smith was the first to join in the new church. In November of 1961 the mortgage was burned and our property was cleared of all indebtedness. After the burning of the mortgage one of several projects was realized with the purchase of new pews for the sum of thirty six hundred dollars ($3600.00).
In 1956 the Second Baptist Chorus was organized under Pastor Bobbitt and sister Aurelia Alves.
The growth of our membership necessitated the expansion of our facility. On Sunday, April 14, 1968 Ground Breaking ceremonies led by Pastor Bobbitt and Deacon Earl Wimberly were held for the addition of the edifice. This project consisted of a choir room in the lower foyer, the main floor foyer and the Pastor’s office. The second floor consisted of the church office, nursery and a prayer room.
A number of educational and spiritual programs were instituted by Pastor Bobbitt for the betterment of our membership and community. The following is a partial listing: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognition program, the first scholarship presentation service was held July 26, 1974, The Second Baptist Bible School of the American Bible College began on August 22, 1982. A Spiritual Gifts Class was conducted in 1996, A Fifty Day Spiritual Adventure and a Evangelism class were conducted in 1996.
During Pastor Bobbitt’s tenure old ministries were expended and new ministries were developed. Numerous training programs, outreach ministries and community service projects were implemented.
Sister Annie S. Bobbitt, the Pastor’s wife worked faithfully by his side. She was a school teacher by profession. She taught church school classes, headed the music ministry, directed and was musician for the Senior Choir. She was a God-fearing woman with a loving personality and supported Pastor Bobbitt and the church to the best of her ability.
On October 28, 2004 Rev. Dr. Matthew Douglas Bobbitt went home to glory after faithfully serving as pastor of the Second Baptist Church for sixty one (61) years.
A Pastoral Search Committee consisting of the following was elected and charged with establishing the process and preparation leading to the selection of a pastor: Deacon Pledge Webb, Chairman, Trustees Gibbs Carter and Barbara Cobb, Deacon Charlie Locker, Trustee Eugene Stafford,Sisters Mary Taliaferro and Leona Wright.
September 2005 Rev. Alexander Benjamin was elected to serve as Interim Pastor. He served admirably, providing strong spiritual guidance through January 2008 when his tenure was
February 8, 2006 the revised Church By-Laws were adopted. The By-Laws Committee consisted of the following: Eugene W. Stafford, Chairman, Trustee Eugene Black, Deacon John Lee, Sister Joan Norman, Brother Winfield Scott, Sisters Mary Taliaferro and Ruth Thomas and Brother Willard Wade. Sister Joyce Stafford provided the clerical services.
During the year 2006 the Second Baptist Church celebrated its 100th Anniversary. It’s motto was “A Rich Past-A Glorious Future”. Pre-Anniversary Revival services were as follows:
Wednesday, May 24th-Rev. Johnnie Williams, Union Baptist Church, Bordentown, NJ, Thursday, May 25th-Rev. Curtis Smith, Saint Marks Baptist Church, Browns Mills, NJ and Friday, May 26th-Rev. Benjamin Mike-Morning Star Baptist Church, Woodstown, NJ. Anniversary Day worship service was held Sunday, May 28th with the Rev. Caleb Oates, Bethany Baptist Church, Farmingdale, NJ, bringing the message. A Centennial Banquet was held at the Fellowship Hotel Association, Mount Laurel, NJ on Sunday, October 15th.
On Sunday, November 25, 2007 Rev. Timothy Lawrence Hutton, Sr. was elected Pastor of the Second Baptist Church. He was installed on Sunday, February 24, 2008. Rev. Albert Morgan, Pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, Bridgeton, NJ and Moderator of the Bethany Baptist Association of South Jersey presided. Rev. Frederick C. Johnson, pastor of the Christ Baptist Church, Burlington, NJ preached the installation sermon. First Lady Dawn M. Hutton was presented. The charge to her was given by First Lady Eartha Holland, Green Grove Baptist Church, Berlin, NJ
Under Pastor Hutton’s leadership the congregation agreed to build an annex to the existing church. On November 6, 2008 a building committee was selected as follows: Trustees Gibbs Carter and William Finney, Sister Joan Norman, Rev. William Hutton, Brother Alfred Powell and Trustee Eugene Stafford, Business Administrator and Project Manager.
The Building Finance Committee included: Deacon Charlie Locker, Sisters Jeanette Carter, Barbara Cobb, Doris McGann, Joyce Stafford and Janeen Stevens and Trustee Freddie Fleming. John L. Cross Repairs and Construction, Inc., Port Norris, NJ was selected as General Contractor.
On November 29, 2008 Brothers Gibbs E. Carter, William L. Finney and Eugene W. Stafford, Sr. were set apart as Deacons.
May 16, 2010 Ground Breaking Ceremonies led by Pastor Hutton were held for an addition of approximately 5,637 square feet to the church. This will consist of six (6) meeting rooms, kitchen, baptismal pool, Pastor’s office with a bathroom, secretary’s office, full size elevator, renovations to the existing church and new heating and air conditioning system.
The sons and daughters of the late Rev. Robert W. and Mabel E. Stafford contributed over one million dollars to this almost two million dollar project.
Construction began on December 8, 2010. During the construction period worship services were held at the America Emergency Squad Building, Mill St. at Mount Holly Ave, Mount Holly.
Pastor Hutton’s leadership and dynamic teaching has generated a significant increase in soul winning and inspired huge attendance at mid week and Bible study services.
306 Washington St, Mt Holly NJ