Something historic just happened at Second Baptist Church of Germantown.

The church recently installed its new pastor, the Rev. Crystal Jennings, the first African-American and first female pastor in the church’s 155-year history.

In spite of the pandemic, while taking all the recommended precautions, the church celebrated her installation as its new pastor on Sunday, May 2, at a momentous, joy-filled ceremony held in the church’s parking lot. Rev. Jacob L. Chatman, pastor emeritus of the Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia gave the installation sermon and Rev. T.E. Kilgoe, the interim pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lexington, N.C., extended the charge to Jennings.

The Second Baptist Church of Germantown, which is at the corner of Germantown Avenue and Upsal Street in Mount Airy will be celebrating 155th anniversary this year. For the first time in its history the multi-racial congregation unanimously voted to call Jennings, as its pastor at their quarterly business meeting in March.

The church had been without a permanent pastor for three years. As acting pastor, congregants say that Jennings has been the stabilizing force that has helped hold the congregation together in conjunction with the church’s moderator, Executive Council and Boards of Deacons and Trustees.

Jennings’ sense of humor and warm caring personality, along with her rich and diverse background has been noted as the perfect match for Second Baptist. Jennings was the first woman to be licensed to preach the gospel at the Second Baptist Church of Coatesville and has earned multiple degrees at Eastern University, Gwynedd Mercy College and the Palmer Theological Seminary.

“The people are very friendly and very welcoming,” said Jacqueline Green, who has been a member since 1976. “It’s multi-racial and multi-generational.”

Services are held on Zoom every Sunday at 11 a.m. Zoom address is Meeting ID: 792 871 956 and the Passcode is 380063.

“Our church is interactive online,” Green said. “It’s much like as if we were there.” She further explained that during the Zoom they introduce each other so that it’s more of an exchange online.

The new pastor agreed about the benefits of being online.

“This pandemic has been helpful,” Jennings said. “We have an intimacy we wouldn’t have had if we were in the building.”

She said that congregants are looking out for others more since they don’t get to see them at church.

“It really has been a blessing,” Jennings said.

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