Our Mission as a congregation is to “reach” people of all nations with the gospel, make them disciples of Jesus and “teach” them to do everything Jesus taught.
Our Vision as a congregation is to see people built up in their faith and love by teaching through a Comprehensive Bible Study Curriculum, Christian nurturing and ministering to human needs through Ministry.
History of First Baptist Church, Elmont:
The roots of the First Baptist Church in Elmont began as a Church School in August 1904. Brothers Chasteen Harris, Henry Harris, and James Harris, who were members of the Union Baptist Church Ashland, saw the need for a church school in the Elmont Community. A parcel of land was donated to Brother J. Joseph Pleasants and his wife Maria for the purpose of erecting a building for worship and church school. In August 1911, the First Baptist Church of Elmont was established with the help of J.R.H. Jackson, an Associate Minister of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Glen Allen, Virginia, along with its congregation, with the first Trustees being Chasteen Harris, Henry Harris, and James Harris.
The first pastor was George Wartz, followed by Philip Gunn, Stokes, and Frazier Wyatt. In 1919, the Senior Choir was organized under the direction of Brother Johnnie Lewis, and the organist was Mrs. Connie Anderson Harris. Rev. Gunn served as pastor a second time from 1926 to 1927, during this time the Deacon Board was Chaired by Deacon Chasteen Harris. The other Deacons serving at that time were Shirley Lewis and James Jefferson. Rev. E. E. Moore served as pastor until 1928 and was followed by Rev. H. E. Davenport, who was ordained in May 1930 and pastored until 1946. Worship services were held on first and third Sundays in a one-room framed building at 12:00 noon. Revival services were held the second Sunday in September. Under Rev. Davenport's leadership, the first vestibule and an entire back was added and electric lights replaced the kerosene lamps on the wall. A choir was established under the direction of Brother Charlie Miller, Sr., and robes were purchased for their use. It was in 1944 that the church licensed and ordained Rev. Wilmer A. Gaines into the Gospel Ministry. He served as Assistant Pastor to Rev. Davenport. Rev. Gaines also served as supply pastor after Rev. Davenport left from 1946 to 1947. Rev. A. Franklin was called to pastor and served from 1947 to 1953. Deacon W. J. Washington was ordained under his leadership, and a Pastor's Aide Board was organized. The members were: Sisters Leona Harris, Bernice Edwards, Matilda Lewis, and Frances Miller.
On September 7, 1955, Rev. Benjamin Franklin Ross was installed as pastor and served until his death in January 1957. Under his leadership, three Deacons were added: Deacons Junius Davenport, Jr., James Howard Lewis, and William C. Davenport. A Deaconess Board was also organized and the members were: Leona Harris, Bernice Edwards, Margaret Washington, Louise Chester, Arabella Shelton, and Frances M. Davenport. After the death of Rev. Benjamin Franklin Ross, the B. F. Ross Memorial Chorus was organized under the direction of James Harris and later Roy Gaines.
Various supply Ministers included, Revs. Benjamin Jackson and Andrew Jackson through 1957. Rev. Theodore W. Owens served as supply pastor from March to September 1958, at which time he was called to pastor, First Baptist. Pastor Owens served until his death in 1965. Under his leadership, the Baptist Training Union was organized. A bulletin board was erected in front of the church, the bottom of the church was enclosed, two restrooms added, new steps were added, a new stove purchased, church bulletins were printed for regular worship services on second and fourth Sundays. An annual program was instituted to recognized graduating High School seniors.
Several supply pastors served from January 1965 to June 1967, after Pastor Owens' death. In 1967, Rev. Thurston Drew was called to pastor. During his tenure, the church foundation was under-pinned, hardwood floors installed, paneled interior walls, installed new ceiling and light fixtures, installed central heating system and new pews. On September 21, 1967, the following Trustees were added: Thomas Proctor, William Robinson, and Junius Davenport, Jr., and Sister Margaret Harris was also added to the Deaconess Board. The Drew family donated silver service water set for the pulpit. Rev. Thurston W. Drew served as pastor until 1971. Supply pastors served until May 1972. During this time, the church installed carpet and purchased a vacuum cleaner.
In March 1972, the church expanded its worship service to four Sundays a month.
Rev. Adam Grimes began serving as pastor in May 1972, and under his leadership, Wednesday night Bible Study was instituted, the Inspirational Choir was formed, new choir robes were purchased, a new pulpit was built, communion furniture purchased, and the roof was painted. The Missionary Circle was re-established, three Trustees were added: Berry B. Shelton, Jr., Forest Lewis, Jr., and Charlie E. Miller, Jr., and three Deacons were added: Thomas R. Proctor, William G. Robinson, and Franklin E. Moore. In October 1974, an addition was made to the rear of the church that included a pastor's study, office, choir room, multipurpose room, two bathrooms, kitchen, choir loft, baptismal pool, and water fountain. A cement stoop, steps and wrought iron railings were added to the front entrance, a wheel chair ramp was added to make the building handicap accessible. A Hammond organ was purchased in 1977, a public address system in 1980, and a new piano in July 1984. Pastor Adam Grimes served until his death in March of 1988.
On December 10, 1988, Rev. Philip Atkins was called to serve as pastor. Under his leadership, the following improvements were made: cushioned the pews, installed carpet, began worship service at 11:00 a.m., updated the PA system, installed a video system, organized leadership and evangelism classes, purchased a computer, initiated Children's Church School, purchased a church Bus and organized the Bus Ministry, organized the PDA Gospel Choir and Buds of Praise Choir, established a church website, purchased a new copier, instituted an Annual Family and Recognition Day, purchased a new piano and erected an utility shed. Two additional Deacons were installed: James Davis and Maurice Ward, three Trustees, Fred Dillard, Mark Lewis, and Stewart Edwards, and eight Deaconess: Matilda Lewis, Laura Grimes, Sarah Harris, IdaMae Jackson, Beatrice Mason, Diane Ward, Ruth Williams, and RosaMary Winston. In addition, the Associate Ministers were: Ministers Chandra Atkins, Lionel Harris, Julius Muriuri, Eunice Murkuria, Hezron Njoroge, Pierre Greene, and Julie Jackson.
In 2002, the Praise & Worship Ministry was formed and is directed by Leslie Perry and Deacon Henry Perry. In October 2003, two new Deacons were added- Fred Dillard and Henry Perry. In March, 2006, Deacons Henry Perry and Sister Cathy Harris were selected to the Trustee Board. In August 2009, Cathy Harris was ordained as a deaconess.
First Baptist Church has a rich history that includes many who have served in various positions of ministry leadership and have contributed to the on-going mission of spreading this precious Gospel that our Savior has entrusted to us. As we continue to build on this foundation, we will forever praise and uplift our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“Where there is unity, there is strength.”