Our congregation was formed in 1974 with the merger of two other local churches: Shiloh Baptist Church and Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Shiloh Baptist Church, formed in 1869, stood at 29 School St, and Mount Olivet at 79 Thames St. was founded in 1897. Those two congregations joined in 1974 to form Community Baptist Church, with the Rev. Robert L. Williams as its first pastor. Ralph James, a deacon of the church who attended Mount Olivet Church before the merger, recalled how it happened. “Members of Shiloh and members of Mount Olivet got together and decided that there should be one church,” he said. “We were all in the same community and they wondered why we should have two churches when one would suit both of our needs. So that’s what happened.” Our second pastor Rev. Dr. Vincent L. Thompson Jr. retired after 29 wonderful years, faithfully leading our congregation. Rev. Lauri Smalls served as the transitional pastor from 2018 - August 2021. Our new pastor is the Reverend Glen S. Leverette. Rev. Leverette was a member of CBC when his parents were stationed in Newport in the 1970's. He served as the Minister of Music for the Voices United in Praise in the early 1990's. He married his wife, Marian, at Community Baptist in 1992. Marian has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. They are the parents of one daughter, Kalea. Pastor Leverette served as interim pastor for Congdon Street Baptist Church twice 1997-1998 and 2009-2010. He is a Captain in the U.S. Navy with 35 years of service. He was licensed as a Baptist Minister in Jacksonville in 1992 and ordained as a Reverend in Jacksonville on June 18, 1995. Pastor Leverette's Pastoral Philosophy is: Reaching the Lost, Teaching the Saved. His Favorite scripture is Psalm 1.
1.Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he mediate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth is fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4. the ungodly are not so but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The Five Star Souper Kitchen runs every Saturday in the church’s annex. It is open to anyone who is hungry. Each week, upwards of 60 people receive a free dinner meal. Also on Saturdays, the church holds its Community Grocer, where local residents can get groceries for free. Other programs include church school on Saturday mornings, Bible studies are held on, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Prior to Covid we had a dance ministry and three choirs.
Pauline Perkins-Moye, a trustee and usher at Community Baptist, said the Souper Kitchen started 31 years ago using money from a federal grant. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was running a program addressing hunger issues across the country and the local community action program, then known as New Visions for Newport County, was to receive some of the money. “They started the program in different spots in Newport, and we were chosen as one of the spots,” said Perkins-Moye, Director of Resident Services at the Newport Housing Authority. She is the former Director of Community Organization for the East Bay Community Action Center in Newport, the organization that succeeded New Visions of Newport County. “We have been going ever since with FEMA assistance and other resources,” she added.
The church works in cooperation with two other organizations: Turning Around Ministries assists those who were formerly incarcerated with job searches, skill building, and other resources. The Housing Hotline provides guidance to people needing shelter and/or housing.