On Wednesday, February 10, 1972, an advertisement appeared in "The Leader", a neighborhood newspaper, asking people who were interested in forming a Baptist Church in the Mt. Airy Community to meet at 1121 E. Johnson Street. Present at this meeting were Rev. Joseph Haggler Jr., Rev. Thomas Gilmore, Mrs. Yvonne Stevenson and Mrs. Carla Blake, in whose home the meeting was held. The name of the Church was established. Rev. Joseph H. Haggler became our first Pastor.
On Palm Sunday, March 26, 1972, the first Church service was held at the Beth Or Synagogue at Anderson St. and Mt. Pleasant Ave. This is now the Holy Cross Lutheran Church. The visiting Church was Philippian Baptist Church, Rev S. Amos Brackeen, Pastor. On April 16, 1972, services began at the Jewish Youth Center on Vernon Rd. at Stenton Ave. At the second meeting, at the Jewish Youth Ctr, Mr. Roger Lewis joined the church and followed on successive Sundays by Mrs. Yvonne Lewis, Leroy Jackson (who became our 1st. Baptismal candidate) & Mrs. Cleo Jackson.
On the 1st. Sunday of July 1972, we moved to the Universal Church at Gorgas Lane & Stenton Aves. In September 1972, the Church was incorporated for the purpose of buying a building. It was during this month that we were invited to join the Southern Baptist Convention. This appealed to the membership because of the SBC's emphasis on education and training. Brother Roger Lewis, Leroy Jackson, Sis. Jean Williams and Sis. Yvonne Stevenson met at the presbytery at 21st. and Locust Sts. to discuss the possibility of purchasing Dale's Memorial Presbyterian Church at Cedar Park and Haines Sts. The Church was joining the Cedar Park Presbyterian Church at Upsal and Limeklin Pk. An agreement of sale was drawn with one request by the Presbytery; to name the rear chapel Dale's Memorial Hall, to perpetuate the name of the former Church. The Church was constituted on Sun. May 13, 1972, which was Mother's Day and Dr. Ralph Abernathy was the speaker for this occasion. At this time, the Church membership was 41. The Senior Choir was formed. The original members were Sisters Dorothy Pressley, Cleo Jackson, Priscilla Poole and Cora Wilson. Sis. Marjorie Haggler was organist and directress.
On Nov. 5, 1972, the congregation, numbering 26 souls, entered the building for our initial service. Mrs. Marjorie Haggler was organist and Bro. Willie Ridehour furnished the music. The building was dedicated on Dec. 10, 1972. Dr. Roy Godwin of the SBC, preached the dedicatory sermon and Dale's Memorial Hall was dedicated. The lower floor chapel was dedicated as the Jospeh H. Haggler Hall for the founder of the Church.
Rev. Donald Young and his family joined the Church in Oct. 1973, and he later became an associate Pastor. Due to illness and subsequent retirement of Rev. Haggler, Rev. Donald Young became the interim Pastor in Dec. of 1974. Rev. Donald Young was called to Pastor in March of 1975. The Church continued to prosper under his leadership. In the years 1975 to 1977, a group of dedicated women raised funds for the building of a baptismal pool. These women were Sisters Jessie Christian, Delores Bright, Evelyn Sawyer, Constance Moody, Carolyn Neal, Gussie Cleare, Cora Burton, Cynthia Gilliard, Agnes Denby, and Lois Cross. This pool was built by a member of our congregation and was dedicated on Dec. 12, 1976.
In June of 1983, God led the membership to extend the call of Pastoralship to Rev. Willis A. Brown, a son of then Antioch Baptist Church of North Hills, Pa. Rev. Brown came to us accompanied by his wife Shirley and three sons Michael, Devon and Dorion. Under Rev. Brown's pastoring, the Lord has added many members to the Church. During the period of 1983 to present, many are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Just Jesus Justifies!