Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church of God
Cedar Street Baptist Church is the seventh oldest church in Richmond, preceded by First African Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fourth and Fifth Baptist Church, and Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. The planning for this church began in November, 1867 when twelve members who lived in Richmond’s East End came together to form the Shiloh Baptist mission. As the mission grew it decided to relocate and adopt its new name. Reverend Robert Kemp became the church’s first pastor and served the church for eight years. Several of his children later worked for the church.
The church subsequently moved from Cedar Street to Mosby Street. However, due to the small congregation size, the church was only able to build a concrete basement for the church. The congretation continued to worship in the basement for several years with the hope of one day building a sanctuary above.
In 1942, Reverend John Kemp assumed leadership of the congregation and worked diligently to complete the building of the sanctuary. It was then discovered that a congregation that had worshiped at 24 th and N Streets had moved and left the building vacant. This was the ideal sanctuary for the congregation, which had grown under Reverend Kemp’s leadership. In 1954, only two years after Cedar Street Baptist Church had moved to its new location, Reverend Kemp passed away. At this point, the congregation voted to change the name of the church from Cedar Street to Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church. Ultimately the church moved back to Cedar Street at its present location.
Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Robertson assumed leadership of the church in 1955. Under his leadership Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church changed its name to Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church of God based on the more frequent biblical references to the “ Church of God.” DuringDr. Robertson’s many years at Cedar Street, he has initiated many programs. Among these have been an adult home; the Faith, Hope, and Charity Supermarket; a food and clothing bank; a Sunday morning radio broadcast; and a television ministry campaign. Dr. Robertson and the Cedar Street members built and paid for the 1.25 million-dollar sanctuary with a seating capacity of 1488 that the church has occupied since October, 1980.
Sunday morning services consist of Sunday school and a morning worship service. The Sunday morning worship service consists of prayer, scripture readings, hymns, offering, and sermons. The congregation is predominantly African American, with a few non-African Americans attending services on special occasion. There are activities planned throughout the week, including male choir practice, Bible study, Thursday morning bible class, Dorcas Missionary, and youth meetings. Cedar Street Baptist began their first television broadcast for the church on each Sunday. Currently, Cedar Street is still being televised on Fox channel 35 which this broadcast has been rated No. 1 because more people listen to it than any other broadcast in the area.
Cedar Street Baptist Church
2301 Cedar Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223
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