History of the First Baptist Church (1924 – 2021)
96 Years of Truth and Righteousness
We are eternally grateful to our many members who have served the Lord through the First Baptist Church over the years. Their dedication and labor serve as a testimony of their love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Through them, we find inspiration for our lives today and models of Christian discipleship for tomorrow.
First Baptist Church marks its beginning on September 21, 1924, when a small group of Baptist believers from Saugus, Malden and Revere, within walking distance, met in a first floor apartment building at 787 Broadway (Route 99), Saugus, Massachusetts to organize the First Baptist Church. Reverend Pittman, Pastor of Western Avenue Baptist Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the organizer.
The first meeting was held on December 30, 1924 with Reverend Pittman as Moderator. After reading the Church Covenant and adopting the Articles of Faith, he gave them advice and wished them God’s Blessings. Mr. Alonzo Robinson was put on trial as a Deacon; Mrs. Minnie Edward as Deaconess and the Treasurer was Ms. Margaret Robinson. There were sixteen members including Miss E. Smith, Miss M. Smith and Mr. Briley.
The Church elected Reverend C. S. Sutton as its First Pastor on December 30, 1924. On March 4, 1925, the First Baptist Church members started to look for land to build a church. They purchased land at 22 Robins Road and made monthly payments until it was paid in full.
July 4, 1926 – Reverend James Felton became the second pastor of the First Baptist Church and served until December 6, 1927.
May 8, 1928 – Reverend William Freedman became pastor and died on February 21, 1934.
May 15, 1928 – Mr. Henry Archibald was asked to give a plan and cost to build a 30 x 30 church. Brother Dodson, Brother Ridley and Brother Fendell staked off the land.
June 17, 1929 – The foundation was started, the Church was completed in the fall of 1929, and they moved in.
October 6, 1931 – Deaconesses included Sister Pembleton, Sister Fendell, Sister McClain, Sister Annie Gray, and Sister Dorothy Hopkin (Brown).
August 6, 1935 – Reverend William H. Jackson became pastor and resigned on September 10, 1946.
August 8, 1939 – The vestibule and steeple were added.
September 9, 1939 -The addition of the pulpit was added.
1939 – Sister Susie Robinson became the First Mother of First Baptist Church.
September 19, 1946 – Reverend G. Scott became pastor.
Oct 8, 1946 – Reverend Kenneth Bowen became pastor.
October 1948 – Reverend William Jackson became pastor for the second time. Under his leadership, Sister Lucy Larkin was baptized at Zion Baptist Church of Everett, Massachusetts.
July 26, 1961 – Reverend Isaac Mitchell, Jr. became pastor of the First Baptist Church. Under his pastorate and leadership, Brother Wilbert Seymour Jessamey was baptized after 13 years of attendance and faithful service. Sister Beth Cole and Sister Reola Horsley joined. Under Pastor Mitchell’s leadership, First Baptist Church membership grew.
April 28, 1991 – The fellowship hall was added and dedicated.
May 31, 1992 – We celebrated Pastor and Members Appreciation Day and organized the Willing Worker’s Ministry.
Nov 16, 1996 – We celebrated Pastor Mitchell’s 35th Anniversary at Bon Saison, Everett, Massachusetts.
Reverend Mitchell, who was affectionately referred to as Father Pastor Mitchell, was the longest serving pastor. He pastored First Baptist Church for over 40 years. Under his effective and spiritual leadership, the membership of the church expanded, and the church prospered.
Nov 17, 2002 – The Rev. Isaac Mitchell, Jr. Fellowship Hall was dedicated in memory of Pastor Mitchell.
2002 – 2004 – Rev. Johnell Penns served as Interim Pastor.
2003 – First Baptist Church and all the homes in the area were sold to Lowes, Inc.
The First Baptist Church members purchased property at 105 Main Street, Saugus. We obtained a building permit on February 18, 2005 and an occupancy permit on June 9, 2005.
June 10, 2005 (Friday) – we moved to 105 Main Street.
June 12, 2005 (Sunday) – The first worship service was held at our new location. Present were Pastor Dannie Kelly Jr., Minister Roberta Kelly, Deacon Leroy Mahoney, Deaconess Margretta Green, Mother Lucy Larkin, Sisters present were: Maria Hicks, Lonell Richards, Noreka, Jaye Smith, Gwendolyn Lipscomb, Mattie Tyler, Mary Powell, Jerri Hornsby, Nicole Brown, Natavia Brown, Myrtle Woods, Rebecca Suggs, Mary Suggs, Glenda Green, Dottie Crowder, and Mary Ward. Brothers present were: Wilbert Jessamey, Rudolph Briggins, Sr., Rudolph Briggins, Jr., Tim Powell and son, Wilson White, and James Smith. The youth included: David Hicks, Shataya Pope, Khafi Brown, Earnitha Briggins, Arya High, and Nasir Davis. The visitors were Brother Vernon Makkers, Sister Henrietta Cooper and Brother Suggs.
June 22, 2005 (Wednesday) – First Bible Study taught by Minister Kelly.
July 31, 2005 – Reverend Dannie Kelly Jr. installed as pastor.
July 23, 2006 – Pastor Kelly celebrated his 2nd pastoral anniversary.
September 24, 2006 – First Baptist Church, 105 Main Street was dedicated.
August 26, 2007 (Sunday) – First Baptist Church celebrated our 83rd Anniversary. Bishop Haywood James, Sr., Senior Pastor and presiding Bishop of Glory Multicultural Ministries in Virginia, was the guest preacher. Pastor Carlton Jones, Pastor of Holistic Life Church Ministries of Boston preached the morning service accompanied by his Church family. Also in attendance was Pastor William Hill, Zion Baptist Church, Lynn, Massachusetts and New Hope Baptist Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
June 8, 2008 – Pastor Kelly’s 4th Pastoral Anniversary. The theme was “Building on a Solid Foundation.” Pastor Luis Sousa preached in Brazilian and the service was interpreted in English.
June 15, 2008 – Deaconess Margretta Green ordained as the first female Deacon. She resigned on Sunday, September 15, 2013.
July 12, 2009 (Sunday) – Deacon Leroy Mahoney preached his initial sermon and was licensed to preach the Gospel.
November 15, 2009 (Sunday) – Sister Lonell Richards was ordained as a Deacon.
May 22, 2011 – Deacon Richards transitioned to Eternal Life.
2013-2014 – Bishop Lincoln A. Wright served as Covering Pastor.
July 27, 2014 (Sunday) – Ordination Service for Minister Leroy Mahoney.
August 17, 2014 (Sunday) – Reverend Leroy Mahoney was installed as Pastor. Under his pastorate and leadership, three deacons have been ordained and two ministers licensed. Under Pastor Mahoney’s leadership, the First Baptist Church membership has grown to 96 members in less then two years and fifteen Baptisms have been performed.
October 19, 2014 (Sunday) – Sister Maria Hicks-Barron, Brother William C. Bell, and Brother Raymond Williams were ordained as Deacons.
December 9, 2014 – Sister Robyn Monique Mars and Sister Letitia Stroud preached their initial sermons and were presented with their licenses to preach the Gospel, on December 14, 2016.
August 16, 2015 – Celebrated the First Pastoral Anniversary of Reverend Leroy Mahoney. The theme was, “A Man After God’s Own Heart” (Acts 13:22). Reverend Thomas Watson, Pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church was the preacher.
January 1, 2016 – Theme for the year, “Learning to Love One Another: A Family in transition from flesh to SPIRIT” (John 13:34-35; Romans 8:5)
March 2016 – Trustee Emeritus, Wilbert Seymour Jessamey transitioned to Eternal Life.
July 24, 2016 – Reverend Alexander W. Thompson transitioned to Eternal Life. Rev. Thompson was the husband of Deaconess Loithea Mitchell Dudley Thompson, whose father was Rev. Mitchell.
November 6, 2016 – Celebrated our 92nd Church Anniversary (http://www.firstbaptistsaugus.org/special-events/92nd-church-anniversary/). The theme was “Building on Our Legacy: Rooted in the Past, Growing Towards Our Future” Psalm 100:5 (NIV). Reverend Arthur Hilson, Pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Portsmouth, NH was the preacher. We introduced our new logo.
January 1, 2017 – Theme for the year, “A SPIRIT-filled Family, moving forward in UNITY; learning to TRUST in the LORD for ALL things” (Acts 2:42-47; Proverbs 3:5)
March 1, 2017 – Mother Marbline (Lena) Walker transitioned to Eternal Life. Mother Walker was a very devoted member of the First Baptist Church where she was the longest standing President of the Senior Choir.
May 14, 2017 – Dedicated pulpit chair to Reverend Alexander Thompson.
September 7, 2017 – Mother Reola Horsley transitioned to Eternal Life. Mother Horsley was one of the longest standing members (52 years) of the First Baptist Church.
September 17, 2017 – Dedicated stained glass window in memory of Trustee Emeritus, Wilbert Seymour Jessamey.
January 2018 – Theme for the year, “Living by God’s Standard” (1 Peter 1:15)
April 18-20, 2018 – FBC held a 3-day revival. This was the first revival in many, many years. The theme was, Living By God’s Standard (1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.)
The host pastor and church for the first evening was Rev. Kirk Byron Jones, Zion Baptist Church, Lynn, MA and the preacher was Reverend Daniel Snape, Pastor of the Community Congregational Church located in Billerica, MA.
The second evening was hosted by Rev. Dr. Larry Green, Sr., Pastor of the Timothy Baptist Church, Dorchester, MA. The guest preacher was Reverend Martha Leahy, Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Saugus, MA.
The third evening preacher was Reverend Timothy Allen, Pastor of the Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Dorchester, MA.
June 18, 2018 – Mother Lucy H. Larkin transitioned to Eternal Life. Mother Larkin was the wife of the late Deacon James L. Larkin. She joined First Baptist Church in 1958 and was baptized under the leadership of the late Reverend William Jackson. Mother Larkin held many positions at First Baptist Church. She was a Missionary, served as Church Clerk for seventeen years, President of the Willing Workers Missionary for fifteen years, and served as President of the Senior and Junior Usher Boards for many years. Mother Larkin was the eldest member of the church.
June 30, 2018 – Mother Lucy Larkin was laid to rest. A plaque, dedicated in her name, was added to the podium.
September 9, 2018 – Deacon Maria Barron preached her initial sermon at the 11:00am service.
September 23, 2018 – Deacon Ernest Dudley IV preached his initial sermon a 3:00pm service.
April 28, 2019 – Minister Maria Barron received her license to preach.
May 12, 2019 – Minister Ernest Dudley IV received his license to preach
August 9-11, 2019 – From August 9-11, 2019 FBC celebrated our Pastor, Rev. Leroy Mahoney and First Lady, Deaconess Natavia Mahoney. This celebration was put together by our Pastor’s Assistants (Sis. Sonia Simmonds, President, Min. Maria Barron, Min. Robyn Mars, Sis. Rebekah Suggs, Sis. Jennifer Beasley, Sis. Veta Gavin, Mother Enid Charlton, Sis. Felicia Small) and all members helped out in one form or the other.
The celebration began on Friday, August 9th with a Musical Celebration. Min. Maria Barron took us through the service. Sis. Aleah Floyd from the Third Baptist Church in Lawrence paid tribute with a beautiful liturgical dance, the FBC Choir sang, along with brothers and sisters from the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Malden, our own Sis. Katherine Conners, Zion Baptist Church Men’s Choir, and the United Baptist Convention Choir led by Bro. Eric Edmunds.
On Saturday, August 10th, we held a luncheon for First Lady, Natavia Mahoney. Again we were led through the service by Min. Maria Barron and the Lord sent a Word from on high in the form of Min. Adrianne Floyd, First Lady of the Third Baptist Church in Lawrence. There were also a couple of wonderful selections by Sis. Adele Simonelli of the Third Baptist Church.
The festivities culminated on Sunday August 11th. Rev. Dr. Lewis E. Floyd, Pastor of the Third Baptist started us off in our morning service with a Word entitled, “The Gifts of Christ to His Church,” Ephesians 4:7-12. Then our 3:00pm Anniversary Service was led by Rev. Floyd as Worship Leader, a wonderful liturgical dance by Min. Erica Wilder from Timothy Baptist Church, music from our FBC Choir and the Timothy Baptist Church Choir; Rev. Dr. Larry Green, Sr., Pastor of the Timothy Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA, brought the Word using our theme, “Led by Faith Under His Grace” Ephesians 4:7. The evening culminated with a wonderful dinner in the Rev. Isaac Mitchell, Jr. Fellowship Hall with great food, fun, family and fellowship.
March 2020 – In March 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic found us and the country needing to find new ways to worship and do ministry. Our church was forced to switch to online ministry. Under the leadership of Pastor Leroy Mahoney who had begun livestreaming services at least a year prior to the pandemic, we went to full time livestreaming. Pastor Mahoney chose to use Boxcast for our streaming services. This allowed our members to view the service via any platform we chose, i.e. FaceBook, Youtube, etc. Pastor Mahoney also began holding Bible Studies on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday School prior to Sunday morning worship services, using the Zoom platform. FBC was able to meet via Zoom for all of our meetings, i.e. Town Halls, Business and Leadership meetings. During this time of uncertainty and when many other churches were forced to close their doors, our church remained steadfast, opened and thriving. Praise the Lord!