The church was founded by the late Reverend Clanton L. Williams, Sr., and eight other members in the home of Mrs. Willie M. Byrd and Mrs. Cassie Fails, 1809 Milton Street, Warren, Ohio. At that time, the name of the church was chosen, The Progressive Baptist Church.
Arrangements were made with the Warren Board of Education to hold our first service at the Washington Elementary School on Draper Street, on Mother’s Day, May 9, 1965.
Reverend Williams made arrangements with the Eastern Ohio District Association to organize the church as set forth in the New Testament. The membership had increased to more than 150 at that time. With the help of God, and Reverend Williams’ leadership, we began to work and progress. Officers were elected and the following auxiliaries were organized: Deaconess, Trustee-ettes, Ladies Guild, Missionary Society, Sunday School Department, Landscaping Committee, and the Williams Youth Choir. In addition, a Building Fund Chairman and Captains were appointed.
The Pastor and members worked hand in hand, side by side for one common goal. We met in the homes of members for weekday meetings and rehearsals, primarily at the home of Mrs. Marjorie Thomas, Mrs. Rebecca Callion, Mrs. Willie Mae Byrd, Mrs. Cassie Fails, and Mrs. Addie Spencer. The church increased financially and spiritually, as we kept the faith and worked in peace and harmony.
The officers found a church building that we wanted to purchase. After much prayer, we retained Attorney L. Steven Robinson as our legal advisor. Plans were formulated to raise the necessary funds to fulfill our dreams.
We planned weekly dinners with everyone taking an active part in helping to make them successful; the fellowship was beautiful. We believed God blessed our efforts, for we were able to purchase our church home for more than $70,000.
On December 4, 1966, we marched from Washington School to 2258 Colonial Street, SE, Warren, Ohio.
Reverend Lonnie A. Simon, moderator of the Eastern Ohio Baptist Association was present as Ancient Lodge #24, A. F. & A. M., placed the carved stone that says, Progressive Baptist Church, into its proper place.
The Pastor, Officers and Members worked faithfully to acquire some of the things needed to enhance the worship service as well as the building. Members donated chairs and tables for the fellowship hall, purchased a piano, an organ, and built a baptismal pool.
Reverend Williams remained our Pastor until his death in January of 1970. In the absence of a pastor, Reverend Samuel Bassord performed some of the duties pertaining thereto.
In February of 1971, we called Reverend Cornelius Booker, Sr., as our Pastor. Under his leadership, the church made some improvements. We purchased lots across the street from the church, and a beautiful house was erected as the church parsonage. Under the administration of Reverend Booker, the mortgage was burned on the church building, office equipment was updated, and we purchased a church van. Reverend Booker served as Pastor until December 1976.
From December 1976 until December 1977, we were without a pastor. Reverend Robert Stringer, one of our sons in the ministry, performed the pastoral duties.
In December 1977, we called Reverend Charles R. Walker as our pastor. He accepted the call to leadership. The membership increased, and we purchased another house adjacent to the church property.
Between 1965 and 1977, three members of our congregation became ordained ministers of the gospel. Reverend Samuel Bassord, Reverend William Rand, and Reverend Robert Stringer. Eventually, these minister became pastors, appointed by the Holy Spirit.
On February 4,1980, we called Reverend Isaiah Wiggins, Sr. to become our pastor. Under Pastor Wiggins’ leadership we added new members to our church roll, instituted some new programs and projects. These include: The Food Co-op Sharing and Caring for less fortunate people, regardless of race, creed or religion, paved the parking lot, installed new glass doors, installed a new public address system, and installed a new walkway, porch, air conditioning system at the church parsonage. In addition, an Angel Choir was organized, new padding was added to our church pews, new carpet was installed and we decorated the pulpit. Under Pastor Wiggins’ leadership, the Usher Board donated hymn books, bibles, and an illuminated sign for the exterior of the church, installed a chair lift to reach the sanctuary; the Nurses Guild donated book racks for the backs of the pews. New garage doors were installed at the parsonage, a new walkway was constructed for the front of the church, a ramp was constructed for the rear of the church, and the mortgages on the church building were paid off.
In 2017, the Cornerstone Children program was instituted. Thus far, we held a Who Is Jesus Easter Egg Hunt, Praise Breakfast and have many more exciting youth and adult programs planned throughout the year.
A retirement banquet was held for Reverend Isaiah Wiggins in 2018. We thank him for his many years of faithful service and wish him the best.
Our journey is not over. In 2019, we welcomed Reverend Harold S. Booker to guide us to through this next phase of growing stronger in the Word for the Word is God.
We’ve Come This Far By Faith