SECOND MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Dr. Ernest L. Reid, Jr.
"Real, Relevant and Rooted to the cause of Jesus Christ."
Second Missionary Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN - Since 1866
Second Baptist has a long and rich history. Its roots go back to 1866 when a group of persecuted Negroes left Wauhatchie and came to Chattanooga. Here the group organized into a religious fellowship under the name of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. The first church building was constructed on donated land located at Tenth and Elm Streets. Later the church plant was renovated to face Sixth Street. Also, the name of the church was changed to Second Baptist. In later years, the congregation again relocated and built a new church plant at 14th and Grove Streets. The present structure here on Third Street was completed and entered into in January 1975.
Second Baptist has been blessed with consecrated and talented shepherds. Twenty pastors have served this church during these 100 plus years. Each pastor (see below) has made his own contribution to the membership.
Since its humble beginnings, and in spite of two divisions of the church, the membership has steadily increased. The present membership includes over 1,200 persons on roll. There has been good lay leadership among the ranks of the Second Baptist membership. There is a spirit of dedication and cooperation among this body which has largely accounted for its accomplishments.
The pastors and members of this congregation have been and are involved in leadership positions in local, state, and national church activities. There is a deep consciousness within this church of the civic and civil rights concerns of our community. Many of our pastors and members have been and are involved in giving leadership to these areas of concern.
The church is sensitive toward its witness for Christ in the community. One of our most meaningful involvements is that of the Bus Ministry. In this program, we seek to carry the gospel to the community and bring the community to the gospel. Second Baptist supports both home and foreign mission work. Our theme and challenge as a church is “to be and do what God desires us to be and do.”
The History of Second Missionary Baptist Church
A church’s history mirrors the souls of its people. It reflects their longings and struggles, their frustrations and sorrows, their joys and successes. And it tells of their leaders, those who led them from hopes and dreams to reality. Second Baptist Church has a rich history.
Historical Highlights Second Missionary Baptist Church Chattanooga, Tennessee
In 1973, a motorcade of members led by Rev. McDaniel and church leaders, traveled from the 14th and Grove location on the West side of town to the newly constructed facility across town at the current location of 2305 E. Third Street. In the mid 1980’s, the Third Street facility expanded to include 9 new classrooms, a nursery, chapel, a 350 seat capacity multi-purpose room, conference room, commercial kitchen and administrative offices. With the expansion, Second was launched into the forefront of hosting community events from the annual M. L. King Prayer Breakfast, to Inter-Faith/Interdenominational services, to meetings of the Unity Group (a grassroots civil rights organization founded by Pastor McDaniel to address current community concerns), to a meeting venue for civic groups, fraternities and sororities. Second was blessed to burn the mortgage of the Third Street facility in January 2000.
Rev. McDaniel was the longest tenured pastor, having served for almost five decades until his retirement on June 30, 2014. Pastor McDaniel came as a young, energetic and capable leader, who took the church to new heights by a consistent increase in membership, Bible Study and Christian Education, fellowship, inspirational worship, capital improvement and expansion, church-wide ministries and community involvement. McDaniel’s leadership was characterized by progressive thinking, organization and a genuine interest not only in moving Second forward, but also in impacting the community at large. As a civic minded leader, he became the first member of the clergy allowed to serve as a delegate to the Tennessee 1977 Limited Constitutional Convention. Following a legal battle that declared null and void the Tennessee State Supreme Court’s Article IX prohibiting members of the clergy from serving in the State Legislature, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in his favor. Locally, he was elected to serve on the Hamilton County Commission in 1978, where he served five four-year terms, while chairing the group for a record five one-year terms. In 2010, the County Commissioners named an administrative building on N. Highland Park, the “Paul A. McDaniel Building.”
On the national level, he was an instructor and subsequently supervisor in the National Baptist Convention, ending his tenure under the presidency of Rev. Dr. Julius Scruggs, First Baptist of Huntsville, Alabama, in 2014.
Several initiatives began under McDaniel’s leadership. Among them are: The Nurses’ Guild, the Deacon Family Ministry, Blood Assurance (a blood donor program), the Bus Ministry, the audio recording ministry, the computer ministry, the archives ministry in 1997, the public relations ministry and the parish nurse (a community health awareness partnership with neighboring Memorial Hospital). McDaniel also ensured that the church’s constitution was updated as needed. In association with the National Evangelism Movement of California, Rev. McDaniel instituted the Evangelism School at Second in 2002. The School offers a curriculum from Bethany Christian Bible College of Los Angeles, CA, where the Executive Director is Dr. Sylvester Washington. The founder is Rev. Rocellia Johnson. Under the theme “Disciples are Made, not Born”, more than seventeen local churches and hundreds of participants have attended and graduated from the two and a half year tuition free curriculum. Graduates and new members attend an ongoing class in Christian Bible Training (CBT), which provides an orientation and foundation to the meaning and responsibilities of becoming a Christian.
Dr. Reid, a native of Suffolk, Virginia, previously served as pastor of the Olive Branch Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Virginia for nine years and at Zion Baptist Church, Reading, Pennsylvania for three years. Dr. Reid, his wife, the former Sherelle Harris of Richmond, Virginia and their two sons, Ernest III and Noah, relocated to Chattanooga to begin a new chapter in their lives and in the history of Second Baptist.
Dr. Reid believes that community and civic involvement are vital in the work of “Kingdom Building.” He further believes Second is called to be “Real, Relevant and Rooted for the Cause of Jesus Christ.” As one who has an appreciation for education and technology, he embraces its use in connecting with believers, and non-believers, through social media, an upgraded website and other tools to reach people where they are. His sermons and bible study lectures consistently reflect his commitment to making the Word relevant and the worship experience meaningful. His appeal spans the scope of intergenerational families, from adolescents, to middle age and seniors. Former and inactive members are returning, baptisms are up and new converts are consistently increasing.
The Reid’s arrival has sparked a Renaissance and excitement that has blessed the church with welcomed growth and revitalization. As Second moves forward, Dr. Reid has presented his vision for taking the church to the next level. The Second Agenda 20/20 represents a series of goals and objectives toward which Second strives, from increased membership and stewardship to capital improvement and community outreach. A new pledge initiative has been implemented to help achieve the new vision. Much needed repairs to the facility and parking lot are in progress, as is a comprehensive upgrade to the church’s website and social media interfaces to help facilitate a timelier and effective communication outreach with members and guests.
Rev. Reid realized the importance of Second celebrating her 150 year anniversary as a significant milestone. He selected an efficient committee chairperson in Mrs. Francine Brown, and has given full support to ensure an effective, meaningful and inclusive celebration as we ”Celebrate 150 years as ‘Second’ Looks to the Future”.
WEEKLY SUNDAY SERVICES: Worship Services: 8AM & 10:45AM | Sunday School: 9:30 AM
Second Missionary Baptist Church | 2305 E. Third St. Chattanooga, TN 37404 | Phone: 423-624-9097 | Fax: 423-624-3275