Second Baptist celebrates 145th anniversary

Rev. Scott Dorsey of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg delivered the sermon at Second Baptist Church of Frankford’s final 145th anniversary service, June 8. — Photo by Samaria Bailey

The Second Baptist Church of Frankford celebrated its 145th Church Anniversary on June 8, the culmination of a four-day event that included two revival services – on Thursday and Friday and a Saturday banquet that featured praise dancing and an awards ceremony.

Two services were held for Sunday’s celebration – guest pastor the Rev. Lawrence Crosby Hood Jr. spoke at the first celebration. The Rev. Scott Dorsey of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Holmesburg spoke at the second service. Both services featured citation presentations from the state legislature for the church’s 145th milestone.

Second Baptist Church of Frankford is located at 1800 Meadow St.

“I feel blessed and privileged because the church does have a rich history,” said the Rev. Darrell Bradsberry, pastor of Second Baptist. “When you look at the history, it’s what strengthens the future of the church because each experience is a part of what makes it unique.”

Bradsberry noted that Second Baptist was found in “1869, six years after the abolition of slavery.”

And in addition to issues as racism and discrimination, he said, “it’s a church that came together and worked through two world wars, the Vietnam and Korean War.”

Significant parts of that history remain in the form of the church building.

“The stone sanctuary was built during the Great Depression,” said Bradsberry. “Ten people put up their homes to build the church and no one lost their homes.”

The Rev. Marie Johns, who has been a member of Second Baptist for more than 70 years, said the church was able to survive “because the people were united, always united.”

During the second anniversary service, unity was central to the sermon by Rev. Dorsey.

“Somebody started Second Baptist of Frankford 145 years ago and they didn’t mean for anybody to own the church. There is no contest in the church,” he said. “We are all sisters and brothers in Christ. There is no reason to fuss with each other, because aren’t we all trying to please the same God?”

Bradsberry said he plans to continue to grow the service efforts of the church, with a modern approach.

“We are in the process of writing a new history, a church strong in community, but moving with 21st century methodologies,” he said.

“One of the efforts we are getting ready to start is at the [nearby] J.C. King educational building. The church bought it years ago. [And] now we are looking to put programs in there that will help renew the community — computer literacy, GED study prep, after school tutoring in math and science and a women’s empowerment center.”

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