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The Majority Baptist Church started out as an idea to educate the youth in St. Albans about Jesus Christ and over the last 50 years has expanded into a spiritual family that is 300 members strong.
This week, the congregation kicked off a month-long golden anniversary celebration that looks back at its legacy and looks forward to the new ways it will help enrich the community. The Rev. Darryl Frazier, the pastor of the church, at 115-21 Farmers Blvd., said he and his congregation have been anticipating the milestone for some time.
“We’re in a stage where we are rejoicing,” he said.
On Sunday, the church had the first of three celebratory services in which congregations from other city Baptists churches visit the sanctuary and join in for prayer. Majority Baptist is well-known among the church groups in New York, according to the pastor.
“They just come over and celebrate with us as one big family of Christ,” he said.
On Oct. 22, the church will hold a special banquet at the Sandcastle banquet hall in Franklin Square, L.I., that will feature music, games and a dinner for reflection from anyone who was ever associated with the church.
“We’re going to eat and celebrate our fellowship,” Frazier said.
Two days after the banquet, the church will culminate its celebration by honoring its founders with a special event. Former pastor Walter Jones, his wife and other original members will reunite and be given special plaques.
Frazier, who has been a member of the church all his life, said their work went a long way to shape the community.
Jones worked as a pastor at another Baptist church in Harlem, but moved to St. Albans in 1960 to accommodate his growing family. Despite being away from the pulpit, Jones did not stray from his spiritual calling and immediately worked to create a Bible study class for the children living in the community.
“He noticed that there really wasn’t that type of thing for young African-American kids,” Frazier said.
The Majority Baptist Church had its beginnings that year when Jones, his wife, five other women from the area and 13 children established a small congregation, according to the pastor. Within months, it received support from the Baptists and was able to find a home on Farmers Boulevard for weekly services.
Getting up and running took a lot of work, according to Frazier, but the congregation did not do it alone.
“We had a lot of times donated, like pews and a piano,” he said.
The church’s spirit, however, spread to countless families and has kept growing ever since, according to the pastor, and it will use its newfound prosperity to continue Jones’ vision.
The church already has after-school programs for children and night programs for adults that involve lessons in computers, job training and other useful skills. It has purchased a property next door to the church and in the coming months plans to remodel it as a multi-purpose center for the neighborhood to use.
“The plan is to open up to the community and foster new projects. We want to develop a place where people can gain some experience for work,” he said.
City Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) spoke highly of the congregation’s strength both in and outside the church.
They believe in service and outreach. I’m never surprised to see a member of Majority Baptist come up to me at a social event or a community event,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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