The Second Baptist Church was officially organized at the home of Ephraim Bell on March 21, 1887. Ten days later, the church was incorporated. In the early years, the church had several pastors, most notably Rev. Asbury Smallwood, who in 1904 was responsible for erecting the foundation of the stone building that the church worships in today.
The Rev. Cornelius P. Williams, of Chase City, Va., joined Second Baptist in October 1938. He served as interim pastor from 1939 until 1941. On July 3, 1943, Rev. Williams was called to be pastor of the Second Baptist Church. “C.P.” as he was affectionately called, encouraged members who had sought to worship God in other places to return to Second Baptist; and they did. Rev. Williams was also known to share his pulpit with many who have since gone on to pastor at churches of their own.
With the church's spiritual, financial and membership growth, it became necessary to enlarge the edifice. In the fall of 1978, the church began construction of what would come to be known as the educational wing. On October 28, 1979, a dedication service was held for the new wing and a cornerstone was laid. The church celebrated the mortgage burning on July 25, 1993.
Over the years, the church became a more integral part of the community, including serving as a host site for Monmouth County Head Start and later the New Hope tutoring program. On February 26, 1995, Rev. C.P. Williams was called from labor to reward.
Second Baptist went through a transitional period until May 19, 1996, when Rev. Aaron N. Gibson, Sr., was installed as the 13th pastor of Second Baptist Church. His vision — which is based on Proverbs 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people will perish” — is to be a church led by the spirit of God. God blessed Second Baptist with a substantial increase. On September 5, 2000, it was necessary for the church to offer two services – at 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
In September 2004, Rev. Aloisio Campos Jr. and his Portuguese congregation began sharing the Second Baptist Church facilities for a 7:30 p.m. Sunday worship service and mid-week Bible study.
On April 18, 2004, with God’s blessings, we embarked on a new building phase. Psalm 127:1A, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that built it,” was selected as the Scripture to encourage God’s people to see the vision for Second Baptist Church.