THE HISTORY OF
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BROWNSVILLE
The First Baptist Church of Brownsville was organized on October 18, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York under the leadership of the late Rev. Short. First Baptist Church of Brownsville is truly a heritage marker for the Brownsville community for for we have been in three different locations in Brownsville and all locations have been between Livonia and Dumont Ave.
Our first location was 387 Watkins Street; our second location was 695 Rockaway Avenue; and then our present location -- 357 Chester Street.
In 1942, the late Rev. R. D. Dickson became our Pastor. Under his spiritual guidance, First Baptist membership grew and in 1947 the Church purchased what was then known as Rockaway Manor to serve as our new house of worship. We were at that location for 11 years.
When the City began purchasing properties in the area in 1957, we then purchased what was then known as the Tiffany Theater, which became our third and current location. The building had to undergo extensive renovations before we could occupy it and upon its completion we marched into our new brand house of worship in December 1958.
Rev. Dickson served as our Pastor for 26 years, until he was called from labor to reward. For almost 3 years, First Baptist was without a pastor and then in 1971, Rev. Franklin T. Strange was called to be our Pastor and Rev. Strange served as our Pastor for 9 years.
For a short while, First Baptist was without a Pastor until 1981 when Bishop A.D. Lyon was called to be our Pastor and he served as Pastor for 32 years. We were once again, without a Pastor. For in His Word he said He would never leave or forsake us; we realized that we are the Church and 357 Chester Street is the building where we come to worship.
Let the record show that on God fulfilled His promise to us again, with our New Pastor, Rev. Reginald Belton, to lead and guide us into all truths. On October 8, 2016 First Baptist Church of Brownsville called Reverend Reginald Belton from Columbia South Carolina to be our next pastor. Since his arrival on November 20, 2016, First Baptist has experienced physical, financial and spiritual growth.
Pastor Belton initiated a noon day Bible Study to accommodate seniors and other members who were unable to attend evening Bible Study. He revived our New Member Class, as well as initiated the Spiritual Gifts teaching and training. In just 19 months as Pastor, he appointed a Youth Minister and designated every third Sunday s Youth Sunday. He appointed Elder Michael Groce to lead this Ministry into the 21st century.
Pastor Belton licensed Min. Ravi Hunter, who is currently working as an associate at the Church. Pastor Belton’s passion for men and their plight started, the “Let Us Make Man” Men’s Ministry and he appointed Elder Carlton Mobley to lead this Ministry. Under his leadership, the renovation of the fellowship hall and the installation of a new kitchen floor and stove were realized; flat screen monitors were installed in the fellowship hall as well as the vestibule so that members and guests could be well informed of what is going on at First Baptist.
Pastor Belton believes in “Teaching, Training, and Transforming” the minds and hearts of God’s people. Pastor Belton and First Baptist Church of Brownsville believe that the future of First Baptist is bright and to ensure its impact in the future, we have embarked upon building a new edifice which will contain a new worship, educational, and social space to accommodate the growth of the Church and the surrounding and ever changing community.
For eyes have not seen; ears have not heard nor has it entered into the hearts of men, women and children just what the Lord has in store for the First Baptist Church of Brownsville.
Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as “yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John (13:34-35)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew (28:19)
Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt (28:20)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy (3:16-17)