In 1895, a group of Christians came together in the home of Mr. Mack Jones on West South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ. This group became known as the “Little Prayer Band.” Among the 35 dedicated visionaries were Gato Dishman, Hannibal Kenny, Munther Jackson, J. McJones, Henrietta Randolph, Dennis Ford and Sarah Bynum. In 1898 the group became formally organized as the “First Baptist Church” and was incorporated in 1899.
The first Deacons of the ministry were Manning Dishman, J. McJones and Dennis Ford. Because of the growth of this “Little Prayer Band,” the congregation purchased a house on First Street knocking out the walls of the entire first floor rooms to make a chapel. Worship was held at this location until 1913.
On July 13, 1908, Mr. And Mrs. Jordan Morgan, African American citizens, deeded to the First Baptist Church for the sum of one dollar the current location, Valley and Second Sts. expressly to build a church edifice.
Other Village churches and private citizens joined in to help raise funds for the building and completion of the church. The building was completed and dedicated on November 24, 1913. There are many prestigious former Pastors who have served at First Baptist and who have gone on to literally effect millions of people around the world with their ministries.