second baptist church | Background


Second Baptist Church, 1510 Main Ave. SW, Warren, celebrates its 100th anniversary this weekend. On Friday, members gathered for a black-tie gala at Tiffany’s Banquet Center in Brookfield, where the Michael Austin Project entertained. At 6 p.m. today, there will be a worship concert featuring VaShawn Mitchell, gospel singer. Tickets are $25 and $40 and are available at the church and www.2deepevents.com. A homecoming worship service will take place at 10:15 a.m. Sunday with guest speaker the Rev. Keith Troy, senior pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Columbus. Also attending will be the Rev. Dr. Frank Hearns, longest-serving minister at the church, and the Rev. Leon Troy, former pastor.

Founding: Second Baptist Church began with the Rev. J.H. Bailey and 11 people who conducted services on the second floor of Union Savings Bank. The group took the name Shiloh Baptist Church. In 1917, the congregation bought a house at 109 Walnut St., Warren, where services took place on the first floor, and the pastor and his family lived on the second floor. Later, the house was demolished and a church was built. Choirs and other ministries were organized, and three other pastors served from 1918 to 1937.

New building: Members bought property at 1510 Main St. SW in Warren. Enough funds were available to build the basement, where services took place for a time. Fundraisers were sponsored and donations made that enabled the congregation to complete the church. Easter Sunday 1960 was the first service in the sanctuary with 1,000 in attendance.

Notable: The Rev. Frank L. Hearns was the longest-serving pastor with 23 years. Other churches in the city began from Second Baptist, which also had other trail-blazing ministries. The original church, now called the chapel, was moved to the Main Street property. It is used for food distribution and other events. A School of Religion was established.

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