On February 8,1846, on the second Sunday in the month, it appears by an old record that a group of six persons met to organize the First Church of Coalfield, named First African Baptist Church of Coalfield.
Originally, the congregation worshipped at Spring Creek in Cox’s Meeting House. As was the custom of the day, slaves were relegated to the back and the gallery of the church. By the mid-1840’s, Spring Creek membership had grown to include 800 slaves. At that point the Middle District Association, the governing religious association, decided to form two all-colored congregations, one of which became First African Baptist Church of Coalfield. The names of the founders are: Jordan Martin, Matthew Winfree, James McIntyre, Zachariah McGruder, Samuel Winfree, and Nelson Turnley. One week later another meeting was held to determine more fully the organization and the following persons were added to the list of organizers: Thomas Jewett, Robert Smith, Joseph Monroe, and Matthew Ford.
The following officers were elected on the First Sunday in March: Benjamin York, Squire Lockett, Nathan York, and Caesar Logan as Deacons,; Benjamin York –Treasurer; Samuel Winfree-Clerk; and Jordan Martin as Pastor. The Church continued to prosper until the year 1877, when it was destroyed by fire. Shortly after the fire, a new church was built on land purchased by the same body, located about one-half mile from Coalfield Station (now Southern Railway Company), the new church being named First Baptist Church of Midlothian. Worship services were held two Sundays a month. During worship service, hymns were sung congregational style, being led by a few persons, until the year 1919 at which time the First Choir was organized under the direction of Mr. Cornelius H. Munford.
By the 1950’s, the church had grown so much that beginning April 1, 1956, it was decided that worship service be held four Sundays a month. First Baptist Church of Midlothian has had an enormous impact on Chesterfield County. As the oldest African American church in the county, it has given birth to six churches. They are: Mt. Nebo Baptist, Mt. Calvary Baptist, Bethlehem Baptist, Spring Creek Baptist, Mt. Sinai Baptist, and Friendship Memorial Baptist Church. Since the year 1846, twenty –eight pastors have served First Baptist. Presently the church is under the direction and leadership of the Rev. Pernell J. Johnson who was installed as Pastor on May 20, 2007. We are indeed grateful to God for our church in which we can carry out the work started by our forefather in Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Historian - Audrey Ross - (804) 874-8464