Church celebrates 125 years

Published 12:48 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

Even in a community as old as Suffolk, it’s a rare church that makes it to its 125th anniversary.

However, Metropolitan Baptist Church will be celebrating its 125th anniversary this weekend.

The church started in 1886 on Pope Street, right around the corner from its current location on County Street, said current pastor Dr. Robert Hobbs.

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The church was originally named Fairground Baptist. The church then purchased land on Tynes Street and became Tynes Street Baptist.

The Tynes Street location burnt down and was rebuilt twice, the most recent of which was in the 1940s, Hobbs said.

In the 1950s, the church building was extended and the address of the church changed to County Street, so the name changed for the last time to become Metropolitan Baptist.

Hobbs is the ninth pastor of the church, following such pastors as Dr. Melvin R. Boone and Dr. D.W. Lamb.

The church also has started a number of ministries throughout the years. Lamb started a credit union that has grown to include members of numerous churches throughout the downtown area.

“The credit union was started to assist members of the church at that time with various needs they may have,” Hobbs said. “The credit union has grown a lot since then.”

The church also has a popular daycare that was started by Boone in the ‘80s.

“Both of those institutions are still operational today,” Hobbs said.

The church also started the Nub-Jones nursing home, which now operates under the name Oakwood Assisted Living.

“We’ve added a tremendous number of ministries in the past few years,” Hobbs said.

On Sunday, the Rev. William Lang of Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Holland will deliver the anniversary message at 3:30 p.m. The service will include a review of some of the highlights of church history.

The church is located at 125 County St. For more information, call 539-2696.