Christ Baptist Church was organized on April 19, 1955 and is composed of born-again Bible-believing
Christians showing the results of what can happen when people pray. God answered the needs of a community when they prayed for a minister who could come and teach them the Word of God and would also have sincere compassion for them. Their prayers were answered in the person of a young minister named Benjamin Wilbur Johnson.
In this community, which was in desperate need of a church, this young man was eagerly accepted and was well known to the people because of his street meetings and his visitations to the neighborhood Community Christian Mission. He was known affectionately as, "Reverend Ben" by all who know him. At that time, there was another man, Mr. Iris Hall, who is now a deacon in Christ Baptist Church, living across the street from the mission. He and Reverend Ben often talked of the need for a church in the area for those who had become born-again believers in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
The name Christ Baptist Church was suggested as an apt name for this Church where people would come to worship their Lord. Reverend Milton Switzer, who was then Superintendent of the Community Christian Mission, agreed to have the infant church meet in the basement of the mission. So, with people praying and God wonderously answering, Christ Baptist Church became the fulfillment of the dream of these three dedicated men.
The church began small, with seven adults and eight children, and being in the basement as a starting point, it can be said, literally, that Christ Baptist Church has grown "from the ground up". Having such a slow beginning the church naturally suffered financially, but, because of the teaching of the Word of God, the church began to grow. People were now identifying with, and uniting with, Christ Baptist Church.
The main reason for the early financial difficulties of the new church was because Reverend Ben refused to have paid dinners, bazaars and other ticket selling affairs in order to support the church. This scriptural policy is still in effect at Christ Baptist Church, even today years later. The people who have come, and remained, have learned to serve God...in God's way...only through tithes and offerings for the support of God's house.
Another blessing that the church received from God was through an interdenominational group of young people which had been founded by Reverend Ben in 1956. They both sang and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in later years were to contribute many officers and members to the church. They were accountable for the fact that two-thirds of the church was composed of young people until the Lord sent adults to balance out the membership.
Christ Baptist Church became duly incorporated under Pennsylvania law when, on May 9, 1958, in the Common Pleas Court of Delaware County, Media, under the Non-Profit Corporation Law, being the Act of May, 5, 1933, P.L. 289 Article-2 and the supplement thereof, the papers of Incorporation for Christ Baptist Church were assigned by the following persons:
Leon Allen Rev. Vonx G. Lawson
Junius W. Bervine Alexander Rixson
Iris Hall Stanley Switzer
Rev. Benjamin W. Johnson Stanley Switze, Jr.
The church, in the past, has been located at various locations. It met first in the basement of the Community Christian Mission at 412 Green Street, then, for a time at the Friends Neighborhood Guild at Fourth and Green Streets and then back to the mission for a couple of years. After Rev. Milton Switzer was led to the mission field in Castleton, VA the church moved to 1012 Spring Garden Street. Since it was a young church, they were unable to maintain the expenses at that address. Yet it was there for almost a year, that the young people and the church were able to sponsor, "The Dynamic Truth Hour" on Radio Station WTEL. Moving to 612 Spring Garden Street, the church grew and matured in the Lord. It was not until July 26, 1965, through the wise providence of the Lord that the church was able to relocate to 1509 Church Lane.
On June 2, 1968 Rev. Benjamin Johnson terminated his pastorate. He had founded Christ Baptist Church in April of 1955, and pastored there thirteen years. Under his ministry God called twelve men into the Gospel ministry. Of that number, eight were licensed and six were ordained. Three became pastors: Rev. George Wolf, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Wildwood, NJ, Rev. Junius Bervine, pastor of Christian Union Church; and Rev. John Green Jr. newly elected Pastor of Christ Baptist Church. Ten are committed to mission. The Shipley family has served in Africa, Daisy Whaley in the Ivory Coast, Rev. and Mrs. Milton Switzer in Castleton, VA...Several members have been very active in many phases of Christian ministry throughout the Philadelphia area. Praise be to God for leading the church from the doorstep of the home of Deacon Iris Hall to its present edifice.
In May of 1968, the church called one of its sons to fill the pulpit for Rev. Ben Johnson. Pastor Green's life verse is Proverbs 3:5-7. The verse used to confirm his call into the pastorate is Luke 15:15. Pastor Green preached his first sermon as Pastor on June 2, 1968. His theme was "He Leadeth Me", Numbers 9:23. It is his prayer that the church will continue to grow in the things of God and that the people will ever hold him before the Lord in prayer.
With God's blessings and under Pastor Green's continued leadership, the church has grown. Out of that physical growth came the vision for the church to expand from its building at 1509 Church Lane to the corner of Old York Road and Church Lane and to the driveway beyond the 1515 property. In July of 1979, the property at 1515 Church Lane was purchased and is now being used for a nursery and living quarters for visiting missionaries.
In August of 1983, the garage at 1503-05 Church Lane became available and was purchased by the church. The men of the church, lead by the pastor (and with the help of professional contractors where needed) did the reconstruction to its present state.
Along with the physical growth came spiritual growth as well. Rev. David J. White and Rev. Nathan E. Adams were added to the church staff as co-pastors to assist Pastor Green. Rev. Ed Baily, Rev. Lawrence Ginyard, Rev. Mike Martin, Rev. Earl Potter, Rev. James Campbell, Rev. Edward Youngblood, and Rev. Mark Cooper were ordained to the Gospel Ministry.
On June 12, 1994, a commissioning service was held for missionaries Rev. & Mrs. Mark Cooper, serving at Mullen Bible Camp, North Carolina; Mrs. Beverly Notttage, serving with BCM International; Mrs. Audrey Pennington, serving under Christ Baptist Church; Ms. Margaret Williams, serving with Have Christ Will Travel Ministries.
God has blessed us throughout the years. We look forward to even greater blessings as we endeavor to do greater things for Him.
Pastor John Green Jr., having served faithfully as Pastor of Christ Baptist Church for thirty four (34) years retired in June of 2002. The church established a pulpit committee under the directions of Deacon Henry Hopkins, Chairman of the Board. Associate Pastor Nathan E. Adams was asked to assume the day to day duties and provide a schedule for preaching and worship leading until such time the pulpit committee presented candidates or applicants.
The pulpit committee presented the church with three candidates: Rev. Bernard Shine, Rev. Michael Riley, and Rev. Arthur D. Taylor of Clinton, NC. On December 13, 2003, the church members voted on all three candidates and Rev. Arthur D. Taylor was elected unanimously by the members of Christ Baptist Church to be pastor elect. Rev. Arthur D. Taylor preached his first sermon on January 4, 2004.
On May 3, 2004, Rev. Arthur D. Taylor was installed as the third Pastor of Christ Baptist Church. Because of the overwhelming number of guests expected the service installation had to be held at Germantown Evangelical Church located a block from CBC. Pastor Frederick C. Johnson of Christ Baptist Church of Burlington, NJ preached the installation message.