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Berean History

Berean Baptist Church had its beginnings when the people of Pimlico saw the need for the religious teachings of their children.  So, they formed a Sunday School under the locust tree on Denmore Avenue in the summer of 1916.  Persons in attendance brought chairs from their nearby homes or just sat on the grass, oblivious to the discomfort they experienced and kept their minds focused on the religious activities.

When the weather began to turn cold, the need for a building to continue this work was apparent. Thus, a house was rented at 5200 Denmore Avenue.  It was here in March 1917 that The Berean Baptist Church was founded, with the help of the late Reverend William Alexander who was the pastor of Sharon Baptist Church.  Reverend Alexander preached the first sermon, gave the church its name, and made it a part of Sharon Baptist Church until a minister was secured.

The founders of Berean were Sister Martha Banks, Deacon William Booker, Sister Mane Edwards, Rev. Sidney J. Edwards, Sr., and Deacon Earlie G. Lane, Sr.  All of the founding members have gone on to be with the Lord. In September 1917, the first pastor, Reverend Sidney J. Edwards was called to lead the church.  Under his leadership the building at 5202 Denmore Avenue was acquired.  The church was also used as a school for the children of the community until the School Board of Baltimore could have one erected.  One source has stated that the church received about $200.00 per month plus coal for heating purposes from the School Board as compensation for use of the facilities.

During the decade of 1920-1930 the Arlington Presbyterian Church donated a huge pipe organ and a piano to Berean.

The late Reverend Samuel Cephas and the Reverend Robert Plato succeeded Reverend Edward's respectively.  The cornerstone of Berean was laid October 26, 1930, under leadership of Reverend Plato, where he remained until 1933. Reverend A. J. Frye was elected in 1933 and served until 1942.   During these early years, Berean appeared to be affected by the times- the Great Depression and World War II.  Many times the records seemed to indicate that the Church was in financial strains, but by the grace of God the congregation managed to continue forward.

On March 5, 1942, the Reverend Edward Alexander Brown assumed the position of the pastor.   Under his leadership the church was renovated, and the mortgage was burned in March 1944. Sometime between 1955 and 1965, the church was able to purchase new musical instruments (an organ and a piano) and new pews.  The officers and members during Reverend Brown's tenure elected the Reverend Joseph McDaniel to the position of assistant pastor.  His leadership also saw the beginning of Berean's Building Fund.  Many times Reverend Brown used money from his own pocket to help the church during hard times.  He continued as pastor until July 1971.

The Reverend Booker T. Jackson joined and was baptized at Berean on August 15, 1971.  He offered his services free of charge to act as interim pastor. However, he received some remuneration.  He served in this capacity until May 1972.  The Reverend J. Marion Bradley was elected on June 6, 1972.  On June 20, 1975, his tenure was terminated.

Again, Berean Baptist Church was at one of its low points.  Members began leaving, weekly offerings began to drop, and financial obligations were staring the remaining members squarely in the face.  Once again, as in times past, the undying faith and prayers of the church's members were heard by the Almighty who allowed Berean to move onward and upward.

July 26, 1976 saw the election of the Reverend John A. Lunn, Sr., by the church membership.  Under Reverend Lunn's leadership great strides have continued.  The Reverend Jerome McNeil, Sr., was ordained and is currently the pastor of the Temple Baptist Church; the Reverend James McEachin, our church evangelist, was ordained in the spring of 1997.  Berean continues to make inroads in ministry.

A minibus was purchased, a food co-op was formed, a pickup truck was acquired; several missionary ministries have been established, and in 1996 God blessed Berean, to move to our new home at 3523 Hayward Avenue, (which was renovated) and we are continuing to make a positive difference in the lives of men, women, boys and girls as we share the Good News about Jesus Christ.