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Broadus Memorial Baptist Church

Broadus Memorial Baptist Church was established in 1895 and was named after John A. Broadus. Dr. John A. Broadus was born in Culpepper, VA, January 24, 1827. He attended the University of Virginia in 1846 where he joined the debate team and gained his skills as a speaker. While attending the university, Broadus preached his first sermon at Mount Eagle Presbyterian Church in Albermarle County. By 1850, Broadus graduated from the university, and shortly afterwards he was ordained as a Baptist minister. Broadus became the pastor of the Charlottesville Baptist Church in 1852. By 1855 Broadus left the Charlottesville Church and became a clergyman ministering to the university. During his time at the university, he felt that there was a misunderstanding by many of the students on campus about their spirituality. He developed a vision for a new institution for Baptists in the South. Broadus and some of his close friends met in June of 1857 as a formal committee to discuss their ideas for a theologically oriented university. Broadus preached to Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and after the war ended he made it his goal to keep the South in the Baptist tradition. As a preacher Broadus was considered to be “the most powerful force among Baptists in the last 200 years.”

As with many churches in the Richmond area, Broadus Memorial began meeting in a temporary location 32nd Street and East Marshall Street in the Church Hill area. After spending six years in the temporary building, the church moved to a new building located at 32 nd Street and Broad Street in 1901. By 1945, the church merged with East End Baptist Church. During the 1950’s, Broadus Memorial made its third move, this time to Henrico County’s Glenwood Farms area. At this time, the church met in former Ratcliffe Elementary School, where a new sanctuary and educational space was built. By 1986, more space was needed, and a family center was added.

Broadus Memorial had established “Vision 2001,” a plan to join together the people of Henrico County and Hanover County in a local church. One part of their goal was to institute continuing ministries to bring the people to faith. This plan led to the purchase of seventeen acres of land on Pole Green Road in June, 2004. In the fall of 2004, the church conducted a Capital Campaign after completing the blueprint for the potential buildings. Broadus Memorial sold the old Ratcliffe Elementary School building to Abundant Life Church of Christ and met in Lee-Davis High School in Hanover County. The first official service in the new building was held April 8, 2007, which was Easter Sunday. A formal dedication ceremony then took place on April 29, 2007.

A traditional worship service is held early Sunday mornings and appeals to those who favor hymns, the leadership of the choir, and the organ and piano music. A Sunday school for all ages is held during the mid-morning. Currently, there are over twenty classes designed to meet the needs of different age groups. These include an adult women’s class, an adult men’s class, and a couples/mixed group class. At late morning contemporary worship service accommodates those who prefer choruses, the leadership of the Praise Band, and the use of the drop-down screens. Every second and fourth Sunday, the kindergarten through second-grade children are invited to attend the Children’s Church. There is a mid-week dinner held at the church, followed by activities for children and youth, as well as Bible Study classes for adults. Broadus Baptist has approximately 735 members with 69 of those being resident members. On an average Sunday, there are about 350 members that attend and the ethnic composition is white Caucasian.

Broadus Memorial typically receives members in three different ways. One is by “profession of faith and believer’s baptism,” which involves acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and was then raised from the dead. The second way is by “transfer of letter,” which is a notification from other Baptist churches that one of their members has moved their membership. Broadus Memorial will accept confirmation from other churches. Lastly, Broadus Memorial accepts members by their “statement of faith and baptism” if their former church is no longer in existence. Broadus Memorial believes that membership builds a strong bond with the church family.

Broadus Memorial takes pride in building relationships with several churches and groups in the Henrico County area, as well as the City of Richmond. One organization with which Broadus Memorial works is the FISH Ministry, which contributes financial aid, food, and clothing to members of the Henrico County area who are in need. The church also participates in the Mechanicsville Christian Emergency Fund in Hanover County and supports the Mission Centers of the Richmond Baptist Association. Broadus Memorial is also works cooperatively with several of their sister African-American churches in community outreach programs.

Broadus Memorial Baptist Church
5351 Pole Green Road
Mechanicsville, VA 23116
(804)-779-2700

Sources:
Broadus Memorial Baptist Church pastor
Broadus Memorial Baptist Church website

Profile prepared by Tori McKnelly
October, 2009

 

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