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First Baptist Church South Richmond

First Baptists New Chesterfield Sanctuary To Hold First Service Probe Of Mayor

Sunday, May 15, 2022 – 11 a.m. – Richmond’s First Baptist Church Online
9/16/2016, 12:39 a.m.

First Baptist Church of South Richmond is close to opening its satellite church in Chesterfield County, a project that has proven a trouble spot for its senior pastor, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

After more than 2 ½ years of construction, the 1,400-seat sanctuary in the 6200 block of Iron Bridge Road is expected to be ready for its first service Sunday, Sept. 25, church officials said Monday.

The churchs website indicates the new sanctuary would serve as the site for the 9:15 a.m. service now held at Chesterfield County high school.

One of the oldest African-American churches in Richmond, First Baptist of South Richmond will continue to hold two Sunday services at 8 and 11 a.m. at its 1501 Decatur St. site.

Work began in early 2014 on the new satellite building. Chesterfield County records indicate the church has spent about $6 million to develop the building on 23 acres.

Dr. Derik E. Jones, a Richmond School Board member, the mayors son and the full-time pastor of the church, has declined to comment on the status of the suburban sanctuary.

Meanwhile, an investigation continues into whether any resources of the City of Richmond were steered into the construction of the church. Mayor Jones has dismissed as false an allegation at the heart of the probe that he might have used his city position to benefit the church.

The mayor also called on the State Police to investigate to ensure that no tax dollars were diverted to the church project.

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Over 200 Years Black Church Makes History Shapes Richmond

As part of their bicentennial celebration, of First Baptist Church of South Richmond, held a Grand Illumination of the steeple, the highest point in the cityâs Manchester area, Sunday 9/12/2020.They also projected the faces of the five pastors the church has had since the Civil War.

  • JAMES H WALLACE/TIMES-DISPATCH

Pastor Derik E. Jones uncovered a portrait of pastor Anthony Binga in the history room at First Baptist Church of South Richmond. First Baptist was formed in 1821 and is one of Richmonds seminal Black churches. Binga led the congregation from 1872 to 1919 and was one of the longest-serving pastors after the Civil War era.

  • 2012, Times-dispatch

First Baptist Church of South Richmond kicked off its bicentennial celebration on Sunday with a Grand Illumination in which the churchs story was told through the artistry of lights and projected images of its five Black pastors. First Baptist traces its origins to 1821, making it one of the oldest Black congregations in Richmond. It has grown to 3,000 members.

First Baptist Reveals Marker For Oldest Independent Black Church In Richmond

First Baptist Church, Richmond, VA.

May 2, 2022 / 07:27 PM EDT

May 2, 2022 / 07:27 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. The First Baptist Church of South Richmond unveiled a new historical marker Sunday, honoring the churchs deep roots in the city.

The 200-year-old church revealed a new historical marker, celebrating the church as the oldest independent Black church in Richmond.

The historic marker was unveiled next to the churchs Hull Street Road location. Alongside the unveiling, the church held an exhibit showcasing the history of when freed Black people started the African church back in 1821.

More recently, First Baptist Church became the William Fox Elementary School communitys temporary learning space, after a devastating fire ripped through the school in early February.

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On Sunday, the bell tower, which will chime anew after decades of silence, became a canvas on which the churchs story was told through the artistry of lights and projected images of its five Black pastors: Richard Wells, who came to its pulpit in 1865, as Virginia lay crushed by the Civil War that broke Southern slavery, and since 1872 Anthony Binga Jr., William L. Ransome, Jones, and Jones son, Derik E. Jones.

The church is calling the event, the kickoff of its 200th anniversary celebration, the Grand Illumination.

Dwight Jones, a former member of the House of Delegates and Richmonds mayor from 2009 until 2016, has been pastor for 48 years. Spotting First Baptist of South Richmond from the citys professional and political district, he said, was a reminder that it had become an enduring hub of faith and service: They just didnt build the church, they built something.

An anchor of such neighborhoods as Manchester, Blackwell, Oak Grove and Swansboro, the church it traces its origins to 1821, making it one of the oldest Black congregations in Richmond has grown to 3,000 members. They worship at its sprawling brick home at 15th and Decatur streets, erected in 1910, and, since 2016, at a contemporary-looking satellite sanctuary on Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield County.

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