THE HISTORY AND LONGEVITY OF

THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH

AND PRESENTLY

LIGHTHOUSE INDEPENDENT BAPTIST CHURCH

To God Be The Glory…

August 23, 1809 – Present Day

   When William Penn founded Pennsylvania in 1682, there was but one Baptist in the state, a little girl by the name of Mary Davies who had come from Wales. By 1698, several Baptist churches had been organized, with First Baptist Church of Philadelphia formed that year, at the corner of Second and Chestnut Streets. In February 1805, Rev. William Staughton of Burlington, New Jersey, became pastor of the 1st Baptist Church, later to become founder of the Third Baptist Church.

   Dr. Staughton was born in Coventry, England on January 4, 1770, was converted to Christ at age 17, and came to America in 1793. He preached four times every Sunday, the first of these services at 6 A.M. under the old beech tree near Old Swede’s Church in Beasley’s Shipyard on the Delaware River. He also preached on Tuesday evenings at Mrs. Bright’s on Lombard Street, between Second and Third, and often in Carson’s school house on Gaskill Stree near Fourth.

   On August 7, 1809, at a regular business meeting of the 1st Baptist Church, a letter was read from 30 members living in South Philadelphia to desire dismissal to form a new church, to become Third Baptist Church. Part of that letter was as follows…"We would not have any one of our brethren harbor a thought that our request arises from any disaffection on our parts, nor from a wish to leave the church of which we are members, from any other consideration than the advancement of the Redeemer’s interest."

   The first meetings were held in the home of Isaac Bacon, with 3 services: 10 A.M., 3 P.M, and "early candlelight". The first pastor of the newly organized Third Baptist Church was the Rev. John P. Peckworth. Two years later on February 23, 1811, the building at Second and Catherine Streets was dedicated by 126 members of this young church. Furnishings for this church was compromised of plain board benches, sanded floors, and candles for illumination with a wood stove hired for six months during cold weather. During his ministry, Pastor Peckworth baptized 237 persons in the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers and received 48 into membership by transfer of letter.

   During the pastorate of Rev. Adam Chambers (1896-1903), property at the corner of Broad and Ritner Streets was purchased, a building erected and dedicated Thanksgiving Day, 1896. With the coming of Rev. Groves Drew in 1903, 100 persons confessed Christ as Savior in 5 months!

  

 

 

 

  Sadly, on August 1, 1964, fire completely destroyed the church building, causing over $400,000.00 damage, with the congregation meeting in several locations, until, on December 8, 1968, the cornerstone ceremony took place for the rebuilding of Third Baptist Church. Architects Mr. Harold Wagoner and John Anderson, worked with the contractor, Mr. P. Agnes. Ground was broken on August 5, 1968 and the Church’s Sevice of Dedication took place on September 14, 1969.

   In October 1993, a merger took place between Third Baptist Church and Open Door Baptist Church, uniting the two congregations into one, with the retaining of Third Baptist Church and the dissolving of Open Door Baptist Church. Due to the recommendation of Pastor Joseph Riggs of Third Baptist Church, a meeting was conducted on September 19, 1993, with Pastor Roger Hickernell of Open Door Baptist Church speaking concerning the merger. With both congregations voting, the merger was approved and on October 10, 1993, a "Marriage Ceremony" was preached by Pastor Hickernell at Third Baptist Church. The two united congregations declared "I Do!" to the acceptance of each other as fellow believers and fellow servants together for the cause of Christ!

  

   In October 1993, a merger took place between Third Baptist Church and Open Door Baptist Church, uniting the two congregations into one, with the retaining of Third Baptist Church  and dissolving of Open Door Baptist Church.  Due to the recommendation of Pastor Joseph Riggs of Third Baptist Church, a meeting was conducted on September 19, 1993, with Pastor Roger Hickernell of Open Door Baptist Church speaking concerning this merger.  With both congregations voting, the merger was approved and on October 10, 1993, a "Marriage Ceremony" was preached by Pastor Hickernell at Third Baptist Church, with the two united congregations declaring "I Do!" to the acceptance of each other as fellow believers and fellow servants together for the cause of Christ!

    Later on July 5, 1998, after the preaching of a message entitled, "A Name Identifies With An Identity", the congregation of Third Baptist Church approved the name change of Third Baptist Church to Lighthouse Independent Baptist Church.

MORE TO COME...

Third Baptist Church continues to shine forth the light of the world, JESUS CHRIST, after more than 200 years of God-blessed existence! TO GOD BE THE GLORY...GREAT THINGS HE HATH DONE, AND IS STILL DOING, UNTIL HIS COMING AGAIN!

Our old church buildimg long before the fire.
ABOUT US

We're an independent, Fundamental Baptist Church in the heart of South Philadelphia. We welcome you to join us for Sunday School and Worship Services on Sundays, and Prayer Meeting and Bible Study on Wednesday evenings.

ADDRESS

215-389-2626

 

2400 S. Broad Street

(Corner of Broad & Ritner Streets)

Philadelphia, PA 19145

 

thirdbaptistchurchphilly@gmail.com

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