Any history of Second Baptist Church of Germantown must start with Charles H. Cummings and George Nugent. These two Christian gentlemen expended much effort and used their wealth unsparingly to bring the church into being.
When the church was established in 1866, Mr. Nugent and Mr. cummings purchased from the Chew Estate the plot of land on which Second Baptist Church and the parsonage now stand. At the time, plans were made to erect the church edifice and connecting chapel, the entire responsibility was assumed by Nugent and Cummings. They paid cash for the land and furnished the funds for the building as it progressed. Through their generosity in five years, the church became free of all encumbrances which had cost about $40,000.
Here are some highlights in Second Baptist’s history
1859—The Sunday School met in Franklin Hall, Germantown Ave. south of Phil-Ellena across from St. Michael’s Church.
1865—Regular Sunday evening church services were held in Franklin Hall on November 26 until the church was etablished.
1866—The Cornerstone was laid on May 12th and the building dedicated December 4th of this same year. The Chapel was the original church building which later became Fellowship Hall.
1881—The Cornerstone was laid on the Main Edifice on May 2nd.
1882—The Main Edifice was dedicated December 19th.
1916—The first additioin was Cummings Hall. The Cornerstone was laid on October 1st. This area consisted of the kitchen, nursery, crib room, and junior high department.
1930—Fire desroyed the interior of the church and chapel on January 13th.
1931— On April 5th, the Cornerstone was laid and these areas were refashioned and a large portion added to the Sunday School area. This included an office, chapel, later referred to as the “blue room”, primary department, and all the area above these rooms. The dedication services were held on July 12th.
1932—The congregation installed as its 8th pastor the Rev. Dr. V. Carney Hargroves, who ushered in an era of unparalleled growth and integration in the church’s history.
1970—A devastating fire destroyed the entire Sanctuary building. A garden now occupies this space on the southwest corner of Germantown Avenue and Upsal Street. Fellowship Hall was refurbished to once again become our sanctuary.
2002—At a special business meeting of the church on January 20th, the church voted to accept the generous offer from Emily Hargroves Alexander (daughter of V. Carney Hargroves) to fund the renovation of the East and West wings of the church facility at a total cost of $1.8 million. The congregation further accepted the challenge to tithe on this gift, and raise $200,000 toward the cost of the renovations.
2003—On October 26th, the church membership voted that the renovation that had been planned had met with so many problems (asbestos among them) that it would be best to tear down completely the interior of the East and West wings of the church and rebuild, adding an additional $1.2 million to the cost of the project.The church also accepted the challenge to raise an additional $100,000 toward the project.
2005—On Easter Sunday, March 27, the membership marched into the newly renovated facility for Easter Sunday worship services. On April 10th, Dedication services were formally held.
Pastors of the Second Baptist Church of Germantown
1867-1869 William Hellings
1870-1883 James Lisk
1883-1897 John Love
1898-1903 Joseph Sagebeer
1903-1912 Charles Jackson
1913-1927 Charles Dodd
1927-1931 Charles McNally
1932-1970 V. Carney Hargroves
1971-1983 Richard E. Johnson
1984-1990 James M. Dick
1992-1996 James Kelsey
1997-present Ernest R. Flores