Third Baptist Church
Through The Years
Sixteen years after the Civil War, a new church was organized as Third Baptist Church. The charter members were: William Allen, Bettie Allen, Robert Williams, George Combs, Abram Holmes, Lovely Holmes, Moses Seldon, Mary Seldon, Thomas Walker, Mary Phillips, Elva Chisman, Anna Servant, Martha Fields, Catherine W. Fields, Maria Howard and Violet Howard. This band of people, originally members of First Baptist Church, North King Street, Hampton, held their first meetings in Greble Lodge Hall and later in the Hampton Court House until their church was completed on 114 Wine Street. The church was dedicated in 1882.
The first pastor of Third Baptist Church was Reverend Henry Page Weeden who led the church from 1882 to 1896. From 1896-1915, the church had four pastors: The Reverends Holland, Skinner, Jones and Long. In 1915, the Reverend J.T. Johnson became the sixth pastor. During his leadership the church was remodeled, colored glass windows were installed and the church purchased a pump organ and piano. From 1927-1931, Reverend Wynn served as the seventh pastor of Third Baptist Church.
Reverend Marshburn served from 1931-1937. During that time, a small room was converted into the pastor's study and a lavatory was added to the rear of the church. During the depression, Third Baptist Church experienced hard times and money became very scarce. Water was supplied by the Fields Family who lived next door. Fire coal was donated by members living in the vicinity of the church. Sometimes members followed the train tracks to pick up coal along the way. Men of the church volunteered to build fires in the boiler and even bailed water from the boiler room. Women volunteered to do the cleaning.
In 1937, Reverend I.G. Gladden became the ninth pastor. Reverend Gladden served the church for thirty-three years. He and his wife, Mrs. Elsie C. Gladden, worked dilligently and much progress was made. During Reverend Gladden's pastorate, the church was renamed Wine Street Baptist Church. Youth groups were organized, Youth Sunday was established, and clubs became circles. The purchase of an electronic organ was initiated by the Senior Choir and chimes were purchased to accompany the organ. The Mizpah Circle, introduced by Mrs. Beatrice Hamilton, and the Friendship Circle were organized.
As the church grew in membership, there was a need for more space. Wine Street Baptist Church could no longer accommodate the membership. On September 13, 1962, the church empowered the trustees to purchased a church building on Victoria Boulevard which was owned by the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). In 1963, the church moved to Victoria Boulevard and the members voted to return to the original name of the church, Third Baptist Church. The church was dedicated on April 19, 1964. After serving the church for thirty-three years, Reverend Gladden retired in 1970.
Reverend William T. Perkins of Atlanta, Georgia became the tenth pastor of Third Baptist Church in 1971. The first Youth Retreat was initiated, the Perkins Gospel Choir and the Children's Choir were organized during his tenure.
In 1977, Reverend William Vaughter became the eleventh pastor. During his pastorate, a building expansion program was started. The Birthday Club, under the leadership of Mrs. Jesse Nottingham, was organized. A sacrificial plan of giving to the building fund called "The Plan" was initiated by Trustee Willie Dickerson. The first female trustee, Mrs. Anlaurie Levy, was elected. In 1988, under the chairmanship of Trustee Thomas Nottingham, the expansion project was completed and dedicated. Members sacrificially gave the baptistery, windows, pews, pulpit furniture, light fixtures, organ and much more.
Reverend Reginald Stevens became the twelfth pastor in 1990. During Reverend Stevens leadership, an after-school mentoring program with Wythe Elementary School was established. City-wide leadership training workshops were attended and scholastic offerings were expanded.
In 1995, Reverend James Brooks was called as pastor of Third Baptist Church. Reverend Brooks re-activated the Gospel Choir. A Singles Ministry was organized and the church served the homeless through the Night's Welcome program.
In 1999, Reverend Herbert D. Edmondson became the fourteenth pastor of the church. During his pastorate, spiritual growth was enhanced through weekly discipleship classes. The tithing ministry was initiated and improvements to the building were completed.
Reverend Paul A. Sheppard accepted the call to become the Pastor at Third Baptist Church in 2006. His focus on training and equipping disciples sparked new growth in the membership.
On April 7, 2013, Reverend John F. Kenney accepted the call to become the sixteenth pastor. His enthusiasm and passion for God's Word has generated excitement throughout the congregation as Third Baptist Church forges ahead in this new season.
Throughout the years, Third Baptist has been committed to honoring God through worship, fellowship, discipleship and service. We celebrate what God has done for us over the years and we wait with great anticipation to what unfolds for us in the future. We pray for God's continual help and guidance for our future as we take aim on being a Church where faith is lived.
A CHURCH WHERE FAITH IS LIVED!