Praise City

“The Church That’s Changing Lives”

Church History

A mission assembled on Sunday, September 26, 1943 at the Federal Housing Rental Office located at 2100 Linda Vista Road.  Rev. George Taylor was elected Moderator for the meeting.  The organizers were:

·    Rev. Otto H. Reese, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Linda Vista

·    Rev. Frank James, Western Baptist State Convention Missionary Minister

·    Rev. R.C. Fleisher, San Diego Council of Church Leaders

·    Rev. C.H. Hampton of Bethel Baptist Church.

Elected as Officers were:

Deacons:       O.B. Childs and Tilliman Harrison

Treasurer:      Sis. Daise Robinson

Secretary:      Sis. Christine Branch

Pianist:          Sis. Georgia Taylor

The Church name–Second Baptist–was suggested by Rev. O.H. Reese, Pastor of First Baptist of Linda Vista.  Charter members were Rev. George Taylor, Sis.. Christine Branch, Sis. Daise Robinson, Sis. Georgia Taylor,

Sis. Shirley Hastens, Sis. Norma Hastens, Sis. Patricia Gibbs, Sis. Gloria Gibbs and others.

After the organizational plans were completed Rev. George Taylor was elected Minister and served until 1944. Since the church had no permanent home, worship service were held at several locations. The first move was to Chesterton Elementary School where Rev. W. Bolton was elected Pastor for six months. Upon expiration of his term, Rev. Roundtree was elected Pastor and served for a short period followed by Rev. Otis Thomas in 1945.

Under the Pastorate of Rev. Thomas the church grew spiritually and numerically.  The first choir was formed under the direction of Bro. Allen Thomas.  The first Sunday school was organized with Sis. D. Little as Superintendent. The building fund was started by a donation of $100.00 given by Deacon W. W. Gay of Bethel Baptist Church of San Diego whose Pastor was Rev. Charles Hampton.   Much of our success through the years can be attributed to this great church and its Pastor.

1948: Rev. Otis Thomas served until Rev. O. T.  McWilliams of Bethel Baptist Church was elected Pastor in March, 1949 and installed in April.  Rev. McWilliams served well and under his leadership the church was chartered and incorporated.

The Missionary Society was reorganized and divided into two circles: The Nannie Burrough and Ann Judson with Sis. Susie A. Watkins as President.  Several Deacons were ordained, Trustees appointed and departmental Sunday school organized with Sis. L. Cravens as Superintendent.

The Deacons ordained were:

M. Little        M. McClulland           W. Runnels

E. Love                   W. Branch               T. Hastens

They were placed on the Deacon Board with Bro. T. Harrison,  the oldest active deacon and Bro. V. O. Allen,

a deacon for many years prior to his uniting with this church.

The Young Women’s Guild was also organized as a special Building Fund and Bible Study Auxiliary–Mrs. C. Taylor, President.

The Youth Choir was formed with C. Horne, as Director; Usher Board with Al Washington as President. During the administration of Rev. McWilliams, negotiations with the United States Government began for the purchasing of the present church site.  With the steady increase of membership and faithful prayers, the Building Fund also grew to a point where they would be able to pay cash for the land at the close of such negotiations.

After the resignation of Rev. McWilliams in August 1950, the pulpit was filled by various visiting ministers and quite often by Rev. Frank James. At the November 1950 Cabinet Meeting, Rev. Norma J. Jackson Jr., the Asst. Pastor of Greater Calvary Baptist Church was elected as Pastor.  He was installed with Rev. Frank James officiating and the ministers of San Diego churches and their congregations paying tribute. Under Rev. Jackson’s leadership the church continued to grow. As a result, more Deacons were ordained and additional Trustees appointed.

Final negotiations were completed and the purchasing of the site took place in the spring of March 1952.   On the second Sunday in December 1952, “ground breaking” services were held on this location–2802 Chesterton Drive–currently 2706 Korink Avenue.   Those participating were the following churches and their Pastors:

Bethel Baptist–Rev. C. H.  Hampton, Pastor and Rev. O.T. McWilliams Assist. Pastor

Mt. Erie Baptist Church–Rev. W. Henderson, Pastor.

The building of the church began in January 1953 and upon the completion of the foundation and lower level walls, the men in the church took over the construction– working evenings, holidays and Saturdays.  Brother Mason Stephens was Chairman of the Trustee Board and General Supervisor. With the help of many fellow workers skilled in various fields of construction and the financial support of the members, they were able to go more than half way toward completion of the pay-as-you-build project.

On the fourth Sunday in October 1955, “the cornerstone” of this edifice was laid by Joshua Lodge No. 34, A.F. & A.M. The church then consisted of Pastor Jackson and three licensed, associate ministers: Rev. Charles Watkins, Rev. Wallace Runnels and Rev. Ernest Hamilton. The following fourteen (14) were deacons:      Brothers: T. Harrison, V.O. Allen, T. Hastens, W. Branch, M. Little, M. McCulland, H. King, M. Scott, R. Booker, C. Cunningham, E. Love, M. Stafford, A. Boykins,  and O. Thomas.

Trustees were:  T. Hastens, G. Edwards, C. Horn, L. Evans W. Coleman, M. Stafford, M. Dinkins, K. Taylor and M. Stephens-Chairman.  Brothers H. King, W. Coleman and F. Hancock were later ordained as Ministers.

The Junior and Senior Choirs were reorganized with Bro. R. Booker as Director and Sis. Marion Jackson, Sis. Audrey Washington and Sis. Rosetta Holt as pianists.  Other  auxiliaries included in the reorganization:  The Junior and Senior Usher Boards with Sirs. Z. Lucas, Senior President. and B. Harrison, Junior President. Departmental Sunday School Superintendent was Bro. W. Coleman for the Young People Department, Rev. W. Runnels, Director and L. Harrison as President.  The Missionary Society President was Sis. Wilma Hastens and Sis L. Harrison was Chairperson of the Deaconess Board.

After  the resignation of Rev. Jackson, Rev. E. Graves was called to the Pastorate.  Under his administration the church continued to grow numerically.  Following his resignation, the church was without a leader and much appreciation is due to Rev. Ernest Hamilton for acting as Minister and he was assisted by Rev. Roy Williams.  Rev. Mack Johnson was then elected Pastor of Second Baptist.  After a brief administration the church was again without a Pastor.  Again, Rev. E. Hamilton, assisted by Rev. Roy Williams, carried on as Ministers.

1969: Rev. Phillip H. Gholston was elected to the Pastorate.  Under his leadership the congregation increased and continued to be spiritually uplifted.  After the resignation of Rev. Gholston, Rev. Hamilton, assisted by Rev. James Means, carried on while the church was without a leader.

1973: Rev. Shawn Lawson was elected to the Pastorate. Under his leadership the church continued to perform the Masters work of Kingdom building. He served until August 1975.

1976: Rev. Ernest Hamilton was elected Pastor and served until he became ill.  During Rev. Hamilton’s Illness Rev. R. L. Whitaker served as Co-Pastor.

May 9, 1982: Rev. Hamilton transitioned to the other side of Glory and Rev. Whitaker was elected interim Pastor.  He served in this capacity for six months and was later elected Pastor in December 1982.

December 1990: Rev. David C. Greene was elected Pastor.  We believe God sent Pastor Greene to us! Our church was and is full of excitement as we prepare for our services.  His leadership has added to Second Baptist’s numerical and spiritual growth.  Since January 1991 we have steadily been blessed with new members.