OUR VISION & MISSION
The Cedar Street Baptist Church of God is a Biblically-based church where the word of God is PREACHED, taught, and lived. It is our mission to be a ministry of EXCELLENCE as we fulfill the great commission while living, learning, and loving. (Matthew 28: 18-20)
We believe there is one God, whose nature is love; revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace.
We believe the authenticity, genuineness, and inspiration, of the Holy Scriptures; that both the Old and New Testaments contain the revealed will of God and that the Bible is the supreme written authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. He came in the flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures.
We believe, that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected; and that believers should do that which is right, and strive to maintain order, and practice good works, for these things are good and profitable to all people.
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.
We believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died for our sins, and was buried. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father from where He comes to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy universal Church, the communion of believers, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead, and life everlasting. Amen.
The Cedar Street Baptist Church of God is the seventh oldest Baptist Church in the City of Richmond. The other six Baptist Churches in the Richmond area are:
• First African Baptist Church, 1780
• Second Baptist Church, 1846
• Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1858
• Fourth Baptist Church, 1865
• Fifth Baptist Church, 1865
• Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, 1867
• Cedar Street Baptist Church of God, 1867
In 1867, 12 members of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, who lived in the Far East End, came together to form the Shiloh Baptist Mission. The mission later changed its name to Cedar Street Baptist Church because it was located on Cedar Street.
Rev. Robert Kemp became the first pastor and served for eight years. In 1878, Rev. Thomas Briggs became the second pastor of Cedar Street, and he served for seven years. The third pastor, Rev. Jacob Turner, served 11 years, from 1886-1897. Rev. O. Paul Thompson, the fourth pastor, served for 13 years, from 1898-1911. The fifth pastor, Rev. William Gary, Sr., served for three years, from 1912-1915. Rev. William Harris, Sr., the sixth pastor, served for two years, from 1915 – 1917. In 1918, the seventh pastor, Rev. James H. Roots, Sr., served for 22 years, from 1918–1940. Under Rev. Roots’ leadership, the congregation ruled that the church move from Cedar Street to Mosby Street. Because of the small congregation, the church was only able to build a concrete basement. The church worshipped in the basement for years with the hope of one day building a sanctuary above the basement. Rev. Roots died before the church was able to move its worship service from the basement. In 1942, Cedar Street called another son of the church, Rev. John W. Kemp, the son of Rev. Robert Kemp. For ten years, Rev. Kemp and the congregation worked hard to raise money to build the sanctuary over the basement. They later discovered that the congregation that worshipped in an edifice at 24th and N streets had moved, and this building had been abandoned. This was an ideal sanctuary for the Cedar Street congregation which had grown under Rev. Kemp’s leadership. This sanctuary at 24th and N streets could seat 850 people. The dining area could seat 200, and the building had stained glass windows and a basement. With the purchase of this building, there was also an eight-room parsonage next door. The historic purchase of this edifice made the local newspaper, and an article was published entitled, “Methodists Sell Church to Negroes.” (See complete article among church memorabilia in the Community Room.)
In 1954, only two years after Cedar Street had moved to its new location, Rev. Kemp passed. At that time, the congregation voted to change the name of the church from Cedar Street Baptist Church to Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church. The decision to do this was because the church had moved from Cedar Street. Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Robertson joined the Cedar Street Family in 1955 and served this congregation until May 2007.
Under Dr. Robertson’s leadership, the church changed its name from Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church to Cedar Street Memorial Baptist Church of God because “Church of God” is shown in the Bible more than “Church”. During Dr. Robertson’s administration, the congregation built and paid for the 1.25 million-dollar sanctuary that the church has occupied since October 1980. This edifice has a seating capacity of 1488. In 1989, Cedar Street began its first television ministry with a weekly television broadcast from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. each Sunday on Fox Channel 35.
In December 2007, after 52 years of being led by Dr. Robertson, the congregation accepted God’s will to have Dr. Anthony Michael Chandler, Sr., of Baltimore, MD to serve and lead as the new shepherd. His charismatic, innovative, and stellar leadership abilities have led this congregation of 2000 plus to pursue a deeper relationship with God while renewing relationships and leading them in reclaiming their God ordained destiny! With the support of this loving church family where we are Living, Loving, and Learning, Reverend Dr. Chandler is Building ANEW on a Good Foundation. In 2009, The African American Pulpit published one of Dr. Chandler’s electrifying sermons, “There’s a New Kid on the Block.” Dr. Chandler is a nationally renowned minister and is in demand for engagements nationwide. He is also the author of his first book entitled “Blessed with a Burden” (released May 2012).
With the divine and inspirational leadership of Dr. Chandler, we renovated our sanctuary (new lighting, painting, carpeting, new pews and pulpit furniture, enhanced the sound system, replaced the roof of the church and air conditioning unit, painted the fellowship hall, & enhanced media efforts.) These initiatives were paid for in full within the first 2 years of Dr. Chandler's pastorate. Also, during the first 2 years of Dr. Chandler’s pastorate, the following ministries, programs, and activities were instituted: "A New Beginner's Ministry," which meets several times a week orienting new members to our church family and the importance of worship; The Star Academy was established; all administrative offices were renovated; shelter was provided for the homeless (CARITAS and Cold Weather Shelter services) for the first time in the church's history; our first newsletter, "The Cedar Times," was published in May 2012; semi-annual training and leadership conferences for church leaders were instituted; an Emergency Missions Financial Assistance program was created; onsite AA meetings were implemented; an Armorbearer’s Ministry was created; annual revivals (ROTH, Spring and Fall Revivals) began; a missions’ effort of serving meals to the homeless and needy on Thanksgiving Day continued; annual Richmond Night Out Block Parties were successfully hosted; a ribbon cutting for the new church bus was held; a Multi-purpose Center was successfully planned and created; annual Family/Church Homecoming and Tailgate at the Temple activities during 2008-2012 were held; annual Men and Women Retreats were instituted; leadership for new Deacons, Deaconess' and Ministers was provided; new ministers were ordained; a Children's Church was created.
Under Dr. Chandler's leadership and with the direction of our Minister of Music, Minister James Johnson and the Voices of Cedar Street, we participated in the Verizon’s "How Sweet the Sound Competition.” Dr. Chandler also provided insight and leadership in the release of the INDEED CD/DVD; directed annual Vision and Leadership Conferences; served actively as a member of the City of Richmond Police Department’s Faith Leaders Partnership; enhanced Church wide Bible Study; & created effective church administrative policy and procedures in addition to Church Bylaws and a Constitution. Our church family continues to grow by leaps and bounds.