History of Metropolitan Missonary Baptist Church
In the Spring of 1913, the late Mrs. Matilda Parker, a member of First Baptist Church, Charleston sought permission to organize a Sunday School in downtown Charleston. Her Church not only granted her permission but furnished teachers and a tent. The Sunday School attracted many children of the community off the streets on Sunday afternoons and created much interest, which caused it to grow in size.
Soon afer the Sunday School had been organized and was making great strides by the teaching of the Word of God; a need was expressed for a Church in the community. The Metropolitan Baptist Church was organized on July 25, 1915 by the following persons; Rev. R.M. Mayhew, Mrs. Matilda Parker, Dr. W.L. Jones, J.C. Lewis, James Breedlove, Lewis Patterson, R.C,. McIver and James Carlon. Mrs. Matilda Parker and Mr. I.A. Noel purchased the lot at Court & Donnally Streets owned by Mr. E.A. Barnes and R.Q. Hill, a member of First Baptist Church and erected a frame building.
In February 1916, the first Pastor was called; Rev. C.H. Woody of Beaver Dam, VA. During his tenure three clubs were formed; Queen Esther, The Reapers and the Young People's Improvement Club. In 1921, a mortgage burning for the lot was held and the cornerstone for the building was laid. This building stood as a monument to the successful leadership for Rev. C.H. Woody, who resigned in 1926.
April 1927, Rev. H.R. Williams of Richmond, VA was called. In 1928, Trustees were appointed by the Circuit Court. August 1930, Rev. S.B. Moore replaced Rev. Williams by vote of the Church.
In December 1937, Rev. C.E. Phillips of Mt. Hope, WV was called to fill the pulpit.
On February 3, 1947, Rev. C.E. Wright, Pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church, Barracksville, WV was called and assumed his duties on May 4, 1947. He found a building fund treasury of $1,320.38. In September 1947, a parsonage was begun at 412 Donnally Street and completed. The church edifice was remodeled and the entrance changed from Donnally Street to Court Street. The Church membership increased in numbers. On October 29, 1952, Rev. Wright resigned from the pulpit.
On December 16, 1953 by vote of the Church, Rev. William D. Mosley, Jr., Pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Athens, OH was called. On Sunday, February 7, 1954, he assumed his duties and was installed on Sunday, Marhc 7, 1954. Rev. Mosley was a graduate of Morehouse College and a veteran of World War II. His accomplishments were; installation and dedication of a Hammond Organ which was a gift by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Watkins, purchase of new hymnals, procuring robes for the Young People's Choir, several new auxiliaries, creating a building fund treasury, modern method of business administration, renovation of the church kitchen through renewed church club activities and 23 new members. Rev. Mosley achieved in five months what might have taken five or more years to accomplish. Rev. Mosley resigned on December 27, 1959.
The call was next extended to Rev. Lewis Griffin and he assumed his duties on August 7, 1960. Under his leadership, the Young Adult Choir was formed and later named the Metropolitan Gospel Chorus. His affiliation with the Church was beneficial and we are sure the experience with us prepared him for greater leadership elsewhere. The Church received and accepted Rev. Griffin's resignation in June 1966.
Rev. Mitchell Douglas accepted the call to to pastor our Church on December 11, 1966. He was a Pastor with great leadership ability. The Church received and accepted Rev. Douglas's resignation on October 8, 1972.
On December 1, 1973 a call was extended to Rev. Joseph Carter who assumed his duties on January 1, 1974. Under his leadership, a second parsonage was purchased at 901 Thompson Street in Charleston. Our Church was outdated and inadequate to meet the desired requirements necessary to promote effective christian education and the Urban Renewal wanted the property for expansion. A building and planning committee was formed and consisted of James Mosley, Sr., Laura Ross, Ethel Williams, Bertha McCain, Jackie Gary, Ethel Price, Versa Reed and Rosa Bradford. Under Rev. Carter's leadership a lot was purchased at Donnally & McCormick Streets and a new edifice was constructed valued at $300,000. Also a board of Christian Education and Bible Study Class was established. On Sunday, March 23 at 2:30 pm., members and friends marched from the old Church to the new church home. With God's help, Metropolitan has gone from a small frame structure on Court & Donnally to its present structure on Donnally & McCormick Streets. Rev. Carter resigned on August 21, 1983.
On March 9, 1984 a call was extended to Rev. Ralph Johnson of Richmond, VA to fill the pulpit. Under his leadership, a third parsonage was purchased at 724 Serene Drive, Charleston. The Church Steeple was erected, the Radio Ministry, Youth Scholarship Fund, Male Chorus and Men's Auxiliary were established. The Church approved the nomination and voted approval of the Church's first female Trustees, Mrs. Ethel Price and Mrs. Janice Holland in 1989. In March 1992, Rev. Johnson accepted a call to become the Pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Johnstown, PA.
On December 29, 1992 at 9:30 pm., a call was made by Deacon Manfred Holland, Pulpit Committee Chairman to Rev. Aaron Hairston, Jr., to become Pastor-Elect of the Church. Deacon Holland indicated that the Church had unanimously voted to secure Rev. Hairston as the Pastor. Rev. Hairston accepted the call and began on Sunday, February 7, 1993 and was installed on Sunday, March 21, 1993. Under his leadership approximately 130 members were added to the Church Roll by baptism, restoration and christian experience, a Church Staff and Church Newsletter were organized, a new PA System installed and formation of a Church Nursery. Seminary Extension classes were held at the Church for members of various churches over the Kanawha Valley. Rev. Hairston resigned from the pulpit on June 19, 2005.
A new pulpit committee was formed and recommended to the Church on October 1, 2006 that Rev. Darin G. Freeman Sr., be secured as the 12th Pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Pastor Freeman came to us from Washington, DC. In Pastor Freeman's short tenure so far, God has added to our Church many new members and a renewed and refreshing sense of worship. Pastor Freeman has worked tirelessly to fully automate the Church in many areas. We now have a website, computers and a screen in the sanctuary to worship with. We are now seen on television throughout the States of WV, NC, OH and KY. We have opened a library and bookstore. Metropolitan Bible Institute is a blessing to our membership as well as the City of Charleston.
Pastor Freeman has also organized the Mountain State Baptist Convention of West Virginia. We now have licensed female preachers in the person of Minister Frances Holland, Minister Kathie Holland, Minister Maritza Williams, Minister Arva Reynolds and Minister Daisy Clark. Pastor Freeman also licensed Minister Paul Miles and Minister Corey Lowery. Pastor Freeman has ordained and installed Rev. Kathie Holland as Pastor of the New Vision Baptist Church odf White Sulphur Springs, WV. Pastor Holland is the first female pastor of a baptist church in southern WV.
Another accomplishment for Pastor Freeman and our church is that Pastor Freeman has been invited to visit President Barack Obama and his adminstration on December 1-2, 2011.
Our history will continue as long as God continues to bless us. We have come this far by faith and we can't turn around. We pray God's continued blessing upon the people, groups and Church family that is "Metropolitan Baptist Church"....