CHURCH HISTORY 2018-01-09T17:00:38+00:00

CHURCH HISTORY

Metropolitan Baptist Church was organized in 1915 due to a separation of several members of First Baptist Church, Harrison Street. Its original home was an Old Bush Building. The church later relocated to Lee Avenue, then known as Cedar Street. The church remained there and began to grow under the leadership of Rev. Eli Tarte who served faithfully until his death in 1947. Rev. J.L. Keiser was called to be the second pastor and faithfully served until God called him home in 1954. Rev. David A. Goodwyn was then called to pastor Metropolitan Baptist Church. During his tenure, the need for a larger and better facility arose, and the church moved from Cedar Street to a temporary location on St. Matthew Street until the present site was ready for worship. Membership expanded and the need for additional ministries arose.

In 1977 the church conducted its first mortgage burning ceremony with a parade which began at the Bank of Virginia on Franklin and Adam Street to our current location at 1021 Halifax Street. The Mortgage burning ceremony was conducted by Rev. Melvin D. Cutler, then Pastor of Mount Olivet Baptist Church, Petersburg, Virginia. Pastor Goodwyn completed his mission and went home to be with his Master. He was the third pastor of this flock.

In July 1983, Rev. Bruce E. Mitchell was called to serve as Pastor, and the church continued to grow. Rev. Mitchell served until December 1989, when he was called to Pastor in Washington, DC. Rev. Dr. Ruth Mallette, an associate minister of Metropolitan was voted in as our Spiritual Leader, a position she held with distinction until March 1991. At that time the Rev. Leofric W. Thomas, Sr. was called as the fifth pastor. Rev. Thomas began his duties as Pastor on June 1991. He served with humility and integrity. A Daycare Center was purchased in 1995 under his leadership and the church experienced significant growth during his tenure. Rev. Thomas was called to pastor in Jacksonville, FL.

In December 1995, Rev. William N. Bland, Jr. was called to be our sixth pastor. Rev. Bland came to us from the First Baptist Church, Waverly where he had served as Pastor for twelve years. He began tenure February 1996 and was installed on June 1996. The First Baptist Church, Harrison Street conducted the service. Pastor Bland has been an inspiration to the Metropolitan Baptist Church. Several visions for growth and development of our church has been implemented under Pastor Bland’s leadership; the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the present edifice took place on the third Sunday, September 2008. The congregation expanded. Four ministers and six deacons have been ordained, additional ministries and in March 2010 at 11 o’clock am, by the grace of God the we marched to the present edifice and the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held. Pre-Dedication services was held throughout the week. Sunday, March 2010, Rev. Jeffery Reaves and the Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, VA conducted the Dedication Ceremony. Unfortunately, in May 2012, Pastor Bland suffered a major medical illness and was not able to return to lead the congregation.

Reverend Lamont A. Hobbs, a son of the church, was called to stand in the gap during the absence of Pastor Bland. On April 30, 2013, after almost a year of recovery and fighting the good fight, Pastor Bland retired as Pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church. On May 16, 2013, the Metropolitan Baptist Church unanimously voted, and God called Pastor Lamont A. Hobbs to serve as the seventh Pastor of Metropolitan.