Rebuilding and Second Baptist Today
By the 1960s, Second Baptist Church had served as the anchor of the African American community for over 70 years. The congregation had swelled from a small group of founders to nearly 150 members, but the church building was not sufficient for housing worship services as well as the community events and educational projects that the congregation hoped to organize. In 1955, Second Baptist moved from its original Vine Street location to a building on Grant Street, which it purchased from Trinity United Church of Christ. This building was 126 years old and too small for the needs of the growing congregation. Reverend Leroy Adams announced plans in 1964 to raise money for a new building. Adams told the Daily Record, “We are also hoping to organize a youth club to fight juvenile delinquency and an adult educational class.”1 Over the next ten years, efforts to raise money for the new building continued, not only within Second Baptist’s congregation, but throughout the community. In 1975, the Grant Street Church was razed and construction began on the new church at the same site, and in November of 1976, the first worship service was held in the new building.2 With room for education and outreach programs, the larger space allowed Second Baptist to expand its role in the community.
1 Second Baptist Sets Goal for New Church,” The Daily Record, Oct.10, 1964,4.
2 100th Anniversary: Second Baptist Church, 1892-1992, ed. Souvenir Book Committee, Margaret Bryant, et all, October 11,1992. Second Baptist Church: Wooster, WCPL Genealogy.