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History

History of Second Missionary Baptist Church
 

In the year of 1887 the Freewill Baptist Church, meeting in the Bassett Settlement, under the leadership of Rev. Richard Bassett disbanded. Its members met with Rev. W. A. Stewart and members of the First Baptist Church of Kokomo. They organized the Second Missionary Baptist Church as we know it today. Services were held in the third ward school on the corner of North Lafountain and Richmond Streets.

By the end of November of that year the Second Baptist Church, known as a Missionary Church, had been constitutionally established. The First Missionary Baptist Church made contributions to foreign missions on behalf of Second Baptist.

Rev. Richard Bassett served as pastor of Second Baptist Church a short time and he was known throughout the state as an organizer of churches.  He was elected to the State Legislature in 1892, being only the third black to be elected to his position.

The church moved slowly, but surely. From 1902 to 1903, Rev. Charles Taylor was the pastor. They continued worship in the school building at the corner of North Lafountain and Richmond Streets. In the year of 1904 they had no pastor, but through the prayers of Sister Amanda Christie and her co-workers, Grace Winburn, Brother Joseph Brayboy and others, they held together the Sunday School and Missionary Society.

Second Missionary Baptist has had eighteen pastors since her organization. They are: Rev. Richard Bassett, Rev. W. A. Stark, Rev. Charles Taylor, Rev. James Smith, Rev. Gaines, Rev. Murry Davidson, Rev. R. S. Johnson, Rev. Granville Mimms, Rev. Charles E. Lewis, Rev. Thomas Mills, Rev. T. H. Ward, Rev. J. S. Crittendon, Rev. Reed R. Hagans, Rev. J. W. Carr, Dr. L. F. Burton, Rev. Melvin Bellamy, Dr. Robert A. Lee and presently the pastor of the church is Rev. Dr. William J. Smith, Jr.

During the pastorate of Rev. Murry Davidson we re-located to 415 E. Richmond Street. An excellent work was done in remodeling the building with the aid of his helpers.

Rev. Thomas was pastor during the depression years.  Under his pastorate the church was able to pay off a mortgage of $468.00, paint the church and put a new roof on the building.

Under the leadership of Rev. T. H. Ward, the church was redecorated and a new furnace was installed. Additionally, a parsonage was purchased at 1210 N. Kennedy, which is now known as Apperson Way North. During Pastor Ward’s leadership, the congregation also hosted the Northeastern District Association.

Under the leadership of Rev. J. S. Crittendon a special effort was put forth to build up the general treasury and start a building fund for a new church building.

The church then called Rev. Reed. R. Hagans.  Under his pastorate we were able to continue the building fund effort, and purchase the lot where the new building was to be erected.  Rev. Hagans also gave up the pastorate for evangelistic work, a short time later.

In 1947, Rev. J. W. Carr was called to pastor.  Under his leadership on October 3, 1948, groundbreaking ceremonies were held with Rev. Carr wielding the shovel.

A “pay as you go” plan was put into action.  After many months of work and prayer approximately two-thirds of the cost of the new building was raised.  On October 11, 1953, the congregation moved into the new edifice.  Dedication ceremonies were conducted by the Rev. R. C. Brown of Connersville, Indiana, assisted by Pastor Carr.  In attendance also were three licensed ministers, former members of the congregation.  They were: Rev. Noel E. Hord of Terre Haute, Indiana; Rev. Howard B. Washington of Akron, Ohio; and Rev. L. J. Jackson of Peru, Indiana.  All had been ordained by Rev. Carr.  An “Appreciation Day’ honoring the pastor was held shortly afterwards.  The official cornerstone laying was held December 6, 1953, with Officers of the Keystone Masonic Lodge in charge.  The Rev. T. W. Weathers, D.D., of Second Baptist, Richmond, Indiana, Moderator of the Northeastern District Convention, was the guest speaker.

Following a massive “penny drive”, the first organ was purchased and dedicated in January 1954.  On April 10, 1960, the final payment of the mortgage was made and the church was clear of all indebtedness.

On May 14, 1961, Rev. J. W. Carr passed away suddenly.  The church was without leadership for four months.  During that time a young associate minister, Rev. Johnny Tompkins, who resided in Kalamazoo, Michigan, took charge of the radio broadcast for WKMO for the church.  In the fall of 1961, Rev. Lloyd F. Burton accepted the pastoral duties.  In 1962, we celebrated our 75th anniversary.  A banquet was held with Rev. Dr. F. Benjamin Davis of New Bethel Baptist Church delivering the special address.  Under Rev. Burton’s leadership extensive remodeling was initiated which included: a new entrance; basement renovation; and the establishment of the J. W. Carr Fellowship Hall.  The church helped to educate young ministers from Haiti who have returned to their native land as missionaries, Rev. Christian Caeser being one of them.  Four young men entered the ministry under the leadership of Rev. Burton — Rev.  Eddie Taylor, Rev. James Curtis Davis, Rev. Roosevelt Solomon Jr., and Rev. Joe A. Gillard. The church helped them financially to study at Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

After graduation, Rev. Eddie Taylor decided to reside in Louisville, Kentucky. Rev. James Curtis Davis, now deceased, was pastor of Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Indiana; and Rev. Roosevelt Solomon Jr. was pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, Kokomo. Rev. Joe Gillard, now deceased, was affiliated with the church at this time, and served as Minister of Evangelism and Outreach. Following the retirement of Dr. Burton, God sent and Second called Rev. Melvin Bellamy to the pastorate. He came from Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church of Kokomo.  Under Rev. Bellamy’s leadership a Junior Church Department was added to the educational program. Also the church was incorporated.

Rev. Bellamy led in the completion of a building phase which completely renovated and enlarged the Fellowship Hall, renovated and enlarged the auditorium and choir area, and moved the Baptistery upstairs to a beautiful setting and placement.  God called Rev. Bellamy home on April 6, 1981, after a short but spirit-led fulfilling pastorate.

Rev. Robert A. Lee, was sent by God November 15, 1981.  Under Pastor Lee’s leadership, the Second Baptist Family grew in all segments of church life.  Multiple ministers were established, enhanced and also some programs were added during his pastorate.  They include The Brotherhood reorganization, Lydia Missionary Circle organized, Starlight Band organized, Music Department restructured; Baptist Training Union re-established; Mission Board established; Board of Music Ministry and Education formed. Other groups started are: Dual-time Bible Study and Noon prayer meeting; Drama Club; Boy Scout Troop; Sewing Circle; Tract Ministry; Couples and Singles Fellowship; Annual Career Day; and Koinonia Bowling league.   Also a monthly newsletter, The Pipeline, and Evangelistic S.W.A.T was established to reach out to the unchurched, a Shepherding Program for the churched, and a building committee established for future growth. In 1993 God blessed Second to build a new church 818 Appersonway North, across the street from the original church building 819 Appersonway North.  The old sanctuary became the Melvin Bellamy Activity Center.  Second Baptist, always committed to missions, has become a tithing (minimum) church to missions, with increased attendance and support of our denominational fellowships.  Under Pastor Lee’s tutelage, God placed more sons in the gospel-pastoral ministry—Rev. Clarence C. Moore who served as Minister of Education, now pastoring New Era Church of Indianapolis, Indiana and Rev. Newton A. Brooks, now deceased, who served as a minister of Shepherding and Membership, Rev. Brian Shields, Rev. Jimmy Davis and Rev. Kevin Hizer.  Ministers from the family of Second Missionary include— Rev. Herman Floyd, Rev. H. Dwayne Jerro, Rev. Darryl Harris, Rev. Jeffrey R. Sirmons, Rev. Keith L. Powell, Rev. Clarence Jackson, Rev. Johnny R. Austin, Rev. Antonio Stewart, Rev. John T. Miller, Rev. Eric Davis, Rev. Isaac White and Rev. Johnny Thompson.  Pastor Lee led Second in an aggressive and vigorous program of prayer, worship, study, missions evangelism and outreach.  Pastor Lee retired December 2013.

In May 2015, Pastor Smith was selected to serve God’s people at Second Missionary Baptist Church, Kokomo, Indiana.  Since taking the pulpit in June 21, 2015, by the grace of God, Second Missionary Baptist has experienced physical and spiritual growth.  His passion for preaching, teaching and administration are helping to catapult the church for ministry in the 21st century.  He is committed to grow Second to be the church that raises the village (community) through the process of I.O.U. (Inreach, Outreach and Upreach)!

Reverend Doctor Smith is a faithful and committed leader, who displays a loving spirit for the Lord and congregation he serves.  He is passionate about proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, making the Word of God relevant in the lives of believers, and building the kingdom of God in the congregation and community.  Pastor Smith has been recognized by Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC as a Lewis Fellow, Calvin College (Summer Seminar, Oasis Preaching Seminar), Morehouse College as a MLK Scholar.  As a faithful steward of his life and gifts, Reverend Doctor Smith has served on several denominational, ecumenical, and community boards.  He is leading Second Missionary Baptist Church in participation with denominational conventions and associations.  He is presently writing his first book with Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson.  God has unusually gifted him for such as a time as this.

Pastor Smith’s life and ministry are strengthened and supported by his wife, the former Dennine Johnice Jordan a native of Prince Edward County, Virginia, who is pursuing a Master Degree in Public Health at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.    

His motto is: Forget the past but chart your future. (Philippians 3:12-14)