On February 7, 1975, ten (10) people met to formulate what is today, Christ Baptist Church of Coram. This meeting took place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Murphy, at that time the young mission, without a physical home of its own, was allowed to use the NAACP's building at 99 West Yaphank Road, Coram, NY for several months as the first home of Christ Baptist Church. Prayer service and Bible study were held there under the leadership of our founding Pastor, Willie R. Jones, Sr. The ten (10) founding members were Reverend Willie R. Jones, Sr., Mrs. Virginia Jones, Mr. Wilbur Murphy, Jr., Mrs. Bertha Murphy, Mr. Russell Lewis, Mr. James R. Owens, Mrs. Cecilia Dallas, Mr. Phineas C. Perryman, Mr. Joe Davis, Mrs. Darlene Dillard, and Mr. John Nicholson. At 8:00pm on May 31, 1975 at 99 West Yaphank Road, Medford, New York, Christ Baptist Church of Central Suffolk met for the purpose of voting on incorporating the Church. Those subscribers voting at the incorporation meeting included organizer, Pastor Jones, Cecilia Dallas, and Phineas C. Perryman. As a result of the vote the Christ Baptist Church of Central Suffolk, Inc. was born through the legal assistance of attorney John White of Patchogue, NY.
A slate of trustees was elected at the incorporation as follows: Wilbur Murphy, Jr. and John Nicholson would hold office until the first annual election, Russell Lewis and Joe Davis would hold office until the second annual election and James R. Owens and Darlene Dillard would hold office until the third annual election thereafter.
In September of 1975, the Lord again had his way. The doors of Coram's Seventh Day Adventist Church, on Teller Avenue in Gordon Heights opened to become the second home of Christ Baptist Church. Christ Baptist remained on Teller Avenue until November of 1977.
Christ Baptist Church of Central Suffolk, Incorporated became Christ Baptist Church of Coram, Incorporated after documents were prepared on October 29, 1977 through an amendment filed in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York on December 5, 1977. At the time of the Amendment Pastor Jones was the President of the Corporation, James Owens was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Russell T. Lewis was the Corporate Secretary.
Blessings flowed again for the newly named Christ Baptist Church of Coram in November of 1977. Through God's grace and the monetary contributions of its members, Christ Baptist Church was able
to obtain a permanent facility at 12 Windsor Court, Coram, NY located off Route 112 North.
Expressway Federal Savings Bank granted the mortgage for this permanent location.
Our current site underwent renovations from 1998 through 2000. We moved back into the current edifice on January 9, 2000. During the period of renovation we were allowed to fellowship with Faith Community Baptist Church of Centereach, NY where Pastor Arthur Cummings, Sr. served as the Pastor.
Members having served on the pulpit staff and were licensed by Pastor Jones are as follows: Rev. Shirley Saunders, Rev. Tommy Edmond, Jr., Evangelist Lily Garris, Dr. Aaron A. Woodward, III, Elder Johnnie Jones, and Minister Nanette C. Dorsey. Ministers licensed by Pastor Jones; Minister Marc Steven Birthwright, and Minister Willie Chaplin.
The following have also served on the Pulpit Staff: Archie Campbell, Rev. Willie B. Gaskin, Sr., Rev. Charles B. Taylor and Elder Mildred Green, Minister Deon McKenzie, and Minister Joe Louis.
Current Pulpit Staff: Assistant Pastor Dr. Aaron A. Woodward III, Elder Johnnie Jones, Minister Nanette C. Dorsey, Minister Sarah Jackson and Minister Willie Chaplin.
Pastor Shirley Saunders was the first ordained Deacon at Christ Baptist. Other Deacons ordained at Christ Baptist: Quinton Evans; Herbert Orum, Dr. Aaron A. Woodward, III, William Bonner, Wilfred M. Jolly, Sr., Jeffrey Saunders; David Cosby; Willie Chaplin; James Cochran; Frederick Douglas; Sebastian Belnavis; Major Lewis, Wilbur Howell, Kirby George, James E. Howell and Anthony E. Williams Sr.
The following have served as Chairman in order of their service: Quinton Evans, Herbert Orum, Wilford M. Jolly, Sr., Dr. Aaron A. Woodward, III, David Cosby, Moses Hodges, Sr., Kirby George.
Deacons who have served CBC that were not ordained by Christ Baptist: Donald McClurkin, Sr., Moses Hodges, Sr. and Wilbert Howell.
Deacons Orum, William Bonner, Major Lewis and James E. Howell, Donald McClurkin, Sr., George H. Rousseau have gone to be with the Lord.
The following serve as Deaconess of Christ Baptist Church: Julia L. Belnavis, Denise George and Alonda Williams.
Current Chairperson: Julia L. Belnavis
Deaconess Betty Hodges has gone to be with the Lord.
The following have served as Church Clerks: Alma Nichols, Hattie Copeland, Bertha Murphy, Mary Foster, and Marsha Jolly. Pastor’s Secretary: Margaret Cochran.
Current Church Clerk: Marcella Collins
Current Church Secretary: Julia L. Belnavis
The following have served as Church Treasures:
Freda Grant, Sharon Terry, Erma Saunders, Cornelia Scott, Jacqueline Walker, Carol Edmond, Julia L. Belnavis, and Tracey Pelissier.
Current Church Treasurer: Monica Campbell
The following have served as Chairperson of the Trustee Ministry: James R. Owens, Jr., Dr. Aaron A. Woodward III, Frank H. Chong, Sr., Jacqueline Walker, Bernadette Hernandez, Karen Thomas, Russell Williams and David Alexander.
Current Chairperson: Vacant
Over the years a number of members have been associated with Christ Baptist in various roles. Our first Church Mother was Mother Elizabeth Day, Mother Eldora Brown and Mother Addie Fuller, Mother Bertha Cofield, and Mother Cecilia Dallas have gone to be with the Lord, our current church mothers are; Mother Eura Harris (relocated) and Mother Virgie Tinsley.
Sunday School Superintendents served in the following order: Rev. Shirley Saunders, Rev. Tommy Edmonds, Jr., Dec. George Russo, Dec. Herburt Orum, Rev. Tommy Edmonds, Jr., Joan Woodward, and Elder Mildred Green.
Current Superintendent: Joan Woodward
Organist-Minister of Music for the Sunday services from the beginning in order are as follows: Sister Jackson, Diane, Sarah Jackson, Melvin Robinson, Marvin Palmer, John Campbell, Rev. Willie Gaskin, Curtis Moore, Alice Williams, Dec. Robert Wilson, Vivian Coxum, Phyllis Bostic, Marguerite McClurkin, George McKenzie, Jimmy Saunders, Gene Butler, Elder Mays, Clarice Bowman, and Minister Joycelyn Howell, Steven McGuire, Anthony Robinson, Minister Sarah Jackson.
Over the years Christ Baptist has been involved in the following activities:
Tutoring in Math and Reading for Children and Adults Scholarship Committee, Several Cotillions, Computer Learning Center, Senior Citizens outreach, Photo/Video Ministry, Thespian Ministry, The Betty J. Hodges Hospitality Committee, Clothing Outreach, AD Meetings, Sr. Usher Ministry, Youth Ministry, Jr. Usher Ministry, Praise Dance Ministry, Adult Choir Ministry, Junior Choir Ministry, Sunday School Ministry, Pastors Aid Ministry, Sister to Sister Ministry, Travel Ministry, Missionaries Ministry, Praise Team, Trustee Ministry, Music Ministry, Deacon Ministry, Deaconess Ministry.
Christ Baptist Church and Pastor Jones are affiliated with the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship of which Pastor Jones served as the Suffolk County Overseer from 1995 – 2008. Christ Baptist has prior affiliations with the Eastern Baptist Association, The National Baptist Convention and the Hampton’s Ministers Conference.
The following members of Christ Baptist Church have been called home.
Willie Spence, Aldonia Thomas, Elizabeth Day (Mother of the Church), Dorothy Brown, Carleton Edmond, Valerie Bridgett, Stacy Burke, Mildred Greene, Cora Rickenbacker, Deacon Herbert Orum, Deacon William Bonner, Mamie Cole, Deacon Major Lewis, Loretta Francis, Nysheen Evans, Michael Jones, Deaconess Betty Hodges, First Lady Virginia Jones, Roger Brown, Deacon James C. Garris, Deacon James E. Howell, William Edward Fowler Jr., Isaac Green, Barbara Brown, Mother Eldora Brown, Mother Addie Fuller, Edward Drumgole, Geraldine Howell, Mother Bertha Cofield, James R. Owens, Jr., Elder Mildred M. Green, Deacon Wilber Howell, Timothy Moore, Philip Penalver, Hattie Mae Turpin, Mother Cecilia Dallas, Melvin Robinson, Sr., and Eunice Sullivan Moore are all in the presence of God. They have been greatly missed, but our memories of them inspire us to continue to go forth with the love and gospel of Jesus Christ
Elder Willie R. Jones, Sr., is the Founder, Organizer and Pastor of Christ Baptist Church of Coram, NY and continues to serve as this Church History was added to the corner stone laying ceremony on August 12, 2001 at 3:30PM. Pastor Andy Lewter, Hollywood Baptist Church officiated. The ceremony was also attended by Deacon Charlie Jones (the brother of Pastor Jones) and his wife Louise along with founding members Wilbur and Bertha Murphy. Approximately 200 people attended the ceremony. A brief fellowship with finger sandwiches was served at the conclusion of a very spirited worship service. Due to rain, the corner stone was not permanently placed until Tuesday August 14, 2001. Mr. John Plunkett the primary individual, who renovated and completed the current Christ Baptist Church building, installed the corner stone.