Our History

Cradock Baptist Church was organized on October 12, 1919, just one year after the Cradock community was established as one of the earliest planned communities in the country.  Cradock was built by the U.S. Government to house shipyard workers during World War I.  Its streets are laid out in the shape of an anchor and named for naval heroes.

The first church building was a white wooden structure, formerly a Dispensary purchased from the government, and was moved to land owned by the church on Cradock’s main thoroughfare, Afton Parkway.  This building was used until 1932 when the original brick building was built and dedicated.  The upstairs of this building is now used as an Activities Center, and the original first floor Sunday School rooms, Fellowship Hall and kitchen are still in use.

As the church continued to grow and be strengthened, with membership reaching over 1,000, a new three-story educational building was completed in 1953.  In 1971 the present sanctuary, office complex, choir room, and classrooms complex was dedicated.  The sanctuary houses a twenty-seven rank Möller pipe organ and a Boston baby grand piano which enhance the church’s music ministry.

The Rev. V.H. Council was the first pastor of Cradock Baptist Church. Through the years, other pastors include : Rev. John T. Coburn (1920-1923); Rev. W.S.O. Thomas (1924-1925); Rev. J.E. Pate (1925); Rev. Ralph W. Mapp (1926-1933); Rev. R. Cole Lee (1934-1937); Rev. E.F. Chauncey (1937-1939); Rev. J.T. Garland Moore (1939-1945); Rev. Harvey L. Bryant, Sr. (1945-1954); Rev. Henry L. Foster, Jr. (1955-1968); Rev. Dr. Emory E. Byrum (1969-1989); Dr. William Lumpkin (Interim 1989-1990); Rev. Charles H. Riggs (1990-1992); Dr. David R. Denney (1992-2002); Rev. James Woodland (Interim 2002-2004), Rev. Rob Edwards (2004-2011) and the current pastor, Rev. David L. Phillips.

Graded Sunday School classes are offered for infants through senior adults.  Individual classes have their own special projects and social activities as well as their participation in church family events.  Classes meet in a joint assembly the first Sunday of each month.  A Nursery is provided.  A special Children’s Church is a regular part of the Sunday worship service.

The Robin Class was founded in 1960 as a special ministry to serve mentally-challenged young people and adults.  The Robins have their own Sunday School and church program on Sundays from 10 a.m. until Noon.  Their dedicated teachers provide an environment where the Robins can experience spiritual growth and Christian fellowship.  Transportation is provided for the class by a van purchased by donations from members and friends.  The Robins attend a special session of camp at Eagle Eyrie each fall.

Cradock Baptist Church supports community organizations which meet regularly in the building and supports a monthly Food Ministry.  A weekly Tape Ministry provides audio tapes of the Sunday service for homebound members.

Wednesday Night Fellowship is an informal opportunity for spiritual growth and fellowship.  The Pastor’s Bible Study follows dinner.  Children and youth have activities and devotional time with their leaders.

The Women on Mission lead the church in mission education, have book studies, speakers, visit Homebound members, participate in the Migrant Worker Ministry on the Eastern Shore, support the local facility for abused women and children, participate in the Transportation Ministry and other events sponsored by the Portsmouth Baptist Association.

The Deacons assist the Pastor in various areas and serve as vital members on all committees.  They have monthly breakfast meetings where they enjoy fellowship before addressing business items.  The Deacons prepare the annual Mother’s Day breakfast.

Now at our 95th Anniversary we look back upon our labors in Christ’s Kingdom. The years have brought many challenges, and the future holds many more. We believe that God who has led us faithfully in the past and walks with us in the present. Therefore we move forward boldly believing that He will lead us into a glorious future together!