The Power of a Dream
In 1907, Dr. J. A. Brown was the pastor of Central Baptist Church. The church began as Rutherford Street Baptist Church, but in 1903, it moved to the corner of Lloyd and Pinckney Streets and the church name was changed to Central Baptist Church.
Between the years of 1907-1909, Dr. Brown suggested to his congregation on several occasions that they should consider starting a church in the Earle Street area. Although Central Baptist Church was only 14-16 years old, the congregation was thriving and Dr. Brown envisioned Central Baptist Church sharing God's love in the outlying areas of the city of Greenville by establishing a daughter church. In 1913, on the 20th Anniversary of Central Baptist Church, Dr. Brown again proposed establishing a church in the Earle Street area.
One hundred years ago, with nothing but a dream from God, Dr. Brown and the congregation of Central Baptist Church ventured out in faith. Now 100 years later, inspired by their example, our church begins the process of dreaming again, praying for God's direction as we enter a second century of missions and ministry, trusting that, as glorious as our past has been, our brightest days as a church are ahead of us, not behind us.
The "Keys" of the Church
Nothing became of Dr. Brown’s dream to establish a new church for many years, until 1921, when J.C. Keys helped to make that dream a reality. Mr. Keys, a Greenville businessman, was a
Central Baptist Church
member of Central Baptist Church, where his parents were charter members. Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Keys opened their home on Rutherford Street to a group of people who were interested in the church plant project. They were literally “the keys” that put hands and feet to the dream of Dr. Brown; and when the panoramic photo of the congregation was taken in front of the tent on the first Sunday when the church officially was established, J.C. Keys was on both sides of the photo!
The home of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Keys on Rutherford Street
When you read about the formative years of our church, the names of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Keys keep coming up, in the same way that Prisca and Aquila’s names keep coming up in the New Testament — people who opened their home to a new church.
Some people are dreamers. And others are pioneers, willing to do the work and take the risks of making the dream come true. Those workers and risk-takers are “the keys” to the future — people who are willing to open their hearts, their homes, and their hands to help make God’s dream for the church come true.
Our Journey in Faith Continues...
We are thankful to the Living God that He has guided us from 1922 until now, but, we also believe that He is not done with our story yet! We have more worship to give, more needs to meet, more stories of His goodness to share, and there are still more who need to hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our words and deeds.
Join us on the corner of Robinson and Earle and we seek what God has in store for our local expression of Christ's body in 2023 and beyond.
We can't wait to welcome you home!