Our Church History
 
In the winter of 1906, three individuals felt the need for a Baptist Church in the East Rome area and began a movement to organize a church. The church was constituted on February 6, 1907 with fourteen charter members. The name selected for the church was “East Side Baptist Church”, but this name was soon changed to “Maple Street Baptist Church” in 1908 and finally to “Second Avenue Baptist Church” in 1954. The early services were held in a small store on East Ninth Street until a church building could be built on Maple Street with the first service held in May 1908.
 
In October 1909, a cyclone destroyed the church building. Every member did all they could to save expenses. The ladies cleaned shingles from the wrecked building so that they could be re-used. The church was rebuilt at a cost of $2,500, half of the original build cost. People worked together to get the church building rebuilt.
 
In 1925, Parson H. F. Joyner was instrumental in getting the Maple Street Community Center started.  There was a great need in the community surrounding the Maple Street church to help the children and youth in the poorer neighborhoods near the church. There was a serious juvenile delinquency problem with a high crime rate. Maple Street was perfectly placed by God to be on the corner of Tenth and Maple. The center had a library, a sports gym and was an outreach to the community. It was a center designed for the community to come together. The center became a haven and sanctuary for many young people in East and South Rome. The doors were open to everyone. The focus was on the physical, moral, and spiritual development of the boys and girls of our community.  Later the center was given to the city to maintain.
 
On Easter Sunday 1937, the first Sunday school classes were held in the new educational building. The basement was dug out to make more room because attendance exceeded what had been planned.  Even though the floors were dirt, the fellowship was not dampened.  The church had fellowship dinners and activities in the basement.
 
In 1940, big revivals were held and the membership grew. The congregation felt that the church needed to move to a new, larger location. The church was debt free and the membership was at 503. The deacons spent many nights praying at the church for God’s leadership.
 
In 1945, the church purchased a lot on East Second Avenue for the construction of a new church building.  The people of Maple Street worked together in planning the new church as well as providing funds for the new building.  And in February 1946, the building committee recommended new building plans for the new church. Construction on the new building began in the fall of 1952.  A Thanksgiving sunrise service was held in the Chapel in November 1953. The educational building was completed and the final move from Maple Street to Second Avenue was made on January 1, 1954. The next year, the growth was such that it became necessary to have two services each Sunday morning. In April 1956, the parking lot on the east side of the property was constructed.
 
On September 1, 1965, the church authorized the expenditure of up to $295,000 for construction of the new sanctuary and work began immediately. The church took a significant step in the unification and efficiency of its ministry by adopting a mid-week family night and supper program in September 1966. Dedication of the present Sanctuary was held January 15, 1967.  In 1983, the property on the west side of the church was purchased and the parking lot constructed in 1984.
 
In 2000, Second Avenue Baptist implemented an Endowment Fund so that could invest for the future. It continues to grow with donations from members as well as gifts from non-members.
 
In 2004, the church began a new strategic plan to realize a new day and a new vision -“A Family of Faith Being the Body of Christ in the World.” We became even more intentional in connecting with the community. 
 
After years of discussion about the best use of the old Furman property next door to the church, action became a reality with the church wide dedication in June 2019 for a prayer garden, playground, and a covered pavilion. The Common Ground Campaign for $200,000 was established to provide for creating this new space to meet our neighbors and each other. There is no place like this in East Rome. Together we now have an outdoor space for our church family and neighbors for fellowships, picnics and gatherings, and safe outdoor space and a quiet place to pray. The area has been used a lot during the past year for day camp, team meetings, picnics, and other church activities during the pandemic.
 
On February 6, 2022, our 115th anniversary, Second Avenue Baptist Church called the Rev. Jacob Roberts as our 19th Senior Pastor. 
 
            
There have been 19 pastors of the Second Avenue Baptist Church:

   Rev. Jacob Roberts                  2022-Present