The Third Baptist Church, brilliantly outstanding because of its achievements, dignity, and the respect accorded it by the community takes pride in its rich history. A long line of pioneers of great commitment, fortitude and endurance established and nurtured the first Negro Baptist Church west of the Mississippi through many prosperous years.

Fielding Spotts

The First Colored Baptist Church, as Third Baptist was then known, was founded in 1852, by a small group of devout Christians –Abraham Brown, Thomas Bundy, Thomas Davenport, Willie Denton, Harry Fields, George Lewis and Fielding Spotts – in the home of Eliza and William Davis of San Francisco.

It is interesting to note that during this time period, Slavery was still in existence, particularly in the South. San Francisco was a roaring frontier town in a state that had recently been admitted to the union and thousands of pioneers from all parts of the world journeyed in the gold fields in search of fortunes. Records reveal that at least one of the founders came here to labor in the gold fields and was able to purchase his freedom and a few others were able purchase the freedom of individual members of their families left behind in the South at $1000-a-head, an (exorbitant price). Some, upon returning from the gold fields, built their homes and established businesses in San Francisco an sought to effect the cultural and spiritual life in the growing city — a city known for its vice, corruption, and lawlessness. Those who did not choose to join in the rush f or gold remained in the city to become part of the work force accepting the racial limitations in employment. It is believed that most of the church founders were in the latter category.

Records show that Rev. James w. Capen, Pastor of the Second Baptist Church, moderated the proceedings at the initial assembling of the group in August, 1852. Rev. Benjamin Brierly of the First Baptist Church preached the recognition sermon and Rev. William Rollinson, Pastor of Second Baptist Church, gave the charge and extended the hand of fellowship in the name of the Council at a meeting convened on October 11th of the same year for official recognition of the First Colored Baptist Church. Because there was no minister available to lead this flock, the source of inspiration and spiritual strength was prayer meetings in the homes, which were fairly well attended. Communion services were conducted by ministers from other Baptist churches who alternated to accommodate the new church. Securing a permanent place for worship — a home for Christians –for the purpose of leading others to Christ and making the church an enduring influence in the community had been a dream of the dedicated members of the church beginning with its founders. To this end, across the years, property was purchased, exchanged, and sold, edifices were built, bought and sold. In 1854, the First Colored Baptist Church of San Francisco bought the old First Baptist Church and moved it to a location on Dupont Street between Greenwich and Filbert Streets.

In 1855, the name of the church was changed for two reasons. One was that the racial designation was deemed out of harmony with the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The other was that no other church in the city included a racial designation in its name. The First Colored Baptist Church became “Third Baptist Church.” This name was chosen because First Baptist and Second Baptist were the names of white congregations in the city. Nevertheless, the legal name of the church, as recorded in the deeds, remained the First Colored Baptist Church until 1908. Therefore, the Articles of Incorporation issued in 1906 by the State of California bore that name. The growth of the church is to a great extend determined by the quality and vision of its leadership. It was unfortunate that for the first four years the new church had no pastor. However, supply ministers (all Caucasians) gave spiritual help to the church until the first Negro minister, Rev. Charles Satchell of Cincinnati, was called in 1856. Rev. Satchell’s ministry was not restricted to the pastoral or priestly concerns for internal church growth. Consistent with the prophetic involvement of his ministry Satchell spearheaded antislavery sentiment in San Francisco.

Following his departure in 1860, a succession of ministers served the small congregation whose membership fluctuated between 13 and 243 during the first 80 years of the church, according to the annual membership reports. The Rev. Thomas Howell, Arnold Medberry, John Francis, J.B . Knight, o.c. Wheeler, John R. Young, George Duncan, J.H. Kelly, J.M. Riddle, Allen Newman, J.A. Dennis, Elbert Moore, and James D. Wilson, in the order named, preceded Rev. F.D. Haynes, Sr., the minister with the longest pastorate in Third Baptist history.

Third Baptist on Powell Street (click to enlarge)

In 1866, a down payment of $4500 was made toward purchasing the old Howard Presbyterian Church property. Two years later this property was sold or exchanged for a lot on the corner of Bush and Powell Streets on which was created a building which was dedicated on March 14,1869, at an appraised value of $40,000, under the leadership of the Rev. o.c. Wheeler. The new property included a debt free parsonage in addition to the lot for the new church.

By 1899, the final note of the note was paid by the membership of 160. Also in 1899, The Rev. J.H. Kelly was called as Pastor. His tenure spanned the period beginning seven years before the earthquake and terminating two years after. By 1901, he was Vice President of the General Baptist Convention.

For seven years, the ·church, under the leadership of Rev. Kelly, enjoyed the rare experience of community and pride and worship. Then disaster struck! In 1906, the earthquake (along the San Andreas Fault) which destroyed a section of San Francisco, spared the church structure. The fire which accompanied the quake, however, leveled it to the ground. The membership, undaunted by its loss, within two years, bargained for a new church on Hyde and Clay Streets. With the initial amount of $25,000 from the sale of the Bush and Powell Street property, they erected a new $49,000 church edifice. The church mmbership reached a new all-time high during the building period. During Rev. Kelly’s pastorate a ten-piece orchestra augmented the choir-an evening choir because in the early days most people attended church in the evening.

Two other ministers following this period in the church’s early history recorded as having given distinguished service are Rev. J. A. Dennis and Rev. Elbert Moore. Rev. J. A. Dennis, who was described as a sterling leader in the sacrificial paying off of the church debt and remained from 1917 to 1924 giving the church a stability which it had not enjoyed for many years. Under his leadership the Usher Board and a morning choir were organized.

Rev. Elbert Moore (1924-1927) assisted in the establishment of better business methods. His most noteworthy influence was in the field of missionary giving and education. A scholarship fund was established and the first recipient became an outstanding Christian lawyer. The church, under his leadership, gave in 1924, and for many years thereafter, $1000 per year to the world missionary efforts of the Northern Baptist Convention which later became the American Baptist Convention.

In 1932, Rev. Fredrick Douglass Haynes, Sr., a young man of courage and vision dedicated to serving his fellowman and the Almighty God, came to the congregation of 150 members worshiping in this edifice on Hyde and Clay Streets. A minister of four years of service at the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California, where he established an enviable record, Rev. Haynes, Sr. brought with him his family: his wife, Annette, and two children, Fredrick Douglas Haynes, Jr., and Harvey.

He assumed the responsibilities and obligations of leadership and rose to meet the challenges of the 38-plus years he was to serve through three very difficult periods –the unprecedented depression years which swept the nation bringing wholesale unemployment, the World War II years which brought San Francisco a population explosion unparalleled in history and the Social Revolution of the Sixties, the time when many Americans were demanding social and economic justice. The new World War II settlers were families stemming from various cultural backgrounds and ethnic origins and vocations, whose skills were needed in the war industries located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Such events are not without their social changes and the accompanying social problems.

Upon Rev. Haynes’s arrival in 1932 a few years into the depression, he found the members of the church scattered and discouraged. He began immediately to rebuilt the church –reorganizing the internal functioning, developing a sound financial program –to make it is a spiritual lighthouse in the community.

The organizational structure comprised of a Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, Sunday Church School Department, Baptist Training Union, Women’s Missionary Union, Music Department with a Minister of Music, and Usher Board.

Among the innovations infused in the internal structure were the addition of the following:

1) In 1932, A Board of Deaconess (at a time when the question to elevate women in the Baptist Church had not been resolved);

2) In 1937, the Youth Department to provide specifically designed programs for the mental, spiritual, and cultural development of youth and to maintain and enhance the physical and social dimensions in their lives;

3) In 1940, the Inspirational Chorus was organized to provide gospel music for church services;

4) In 1945, The Board of Christian Education was organized to unify the church’s educational standards and to extend its educational ministry;

5) In 1946, the Laymen’s League, to marshal the manpower in Christian Service;

6) In 1963, the Friendship Committee, to provide hospitality for the membership and guests while the Pastor’ s Aid Society extended courtesies to the Pastor, his family, and visiting clergy;

7) In 1967, the Civic and Social Action Commission, through which the church members and the community are kept abreast of the pressing issues of the day and concerns and needs of the community. (Rev. Haynes involvement in civil rights, education and community service made him aware of the need for such a commission.)

Rev. Haynes brought the message of Christ to the homes, hospitals and other institutions. For several years, a weekly broadcast of the Sunday services reached the homes and touched the hearts of many who for various reasons did not attend church. Under his tireless leadership, the church program embraced all age levels providing, for instance, a nursery, a recreation program for the youth, a comprehensive Senior Citizens Center, bus for youth and senior citizen activities, Prayer League for comfort and inspiration to shut-ins and Friday Noon-Day Prayer Band. Moreover, there were baccalaureate sermons, receptions and scholarships for high school and college graduates, and forums on voter education, civic and community concerns and civil rights issues. An Art and Culture Club was established, and a library of doctrinal and reference materials including a collection of Negro history was added to provide an extended resource for Christian and cultural growth and development. A church-sponsored Girl Scout Troop, A BoyScout Troop, and a state-sponsored credit union (a business entity) were added to accommodate the membership. The church contributed to local, national and international projects and foreign missions such as Bishop College, Mt. Zion Hospital, Beauty Salon at the Youth Guidance Center, a hospital in Korea, the Seuhn Mission in Liberia, West Africa.

For several years it provided the facilities for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People meetings and other activities. In 1968, when the John Muir Elementary School at Oak and Fell Streets became overcrowded, the church facilities were offered to the San Francisco Board of Education. An extension of the school accommodating the sixth grade classes was housed in the Youth building until June 1971. This was an excellent human relations posture. Thus, a positive effect on the attitudes of parents and students toward both the school and the church, and on the conduct of the students. Appreciation was expressed by the school district and the general community.

The Negro population in San Francisco increased from approximately 4,500 to some 50,000 following World War II. Many of them who came to work in the war industries or who were stationed at a military installation in or near San Francisco remained to become residents in either this city of promise or elsewhere in the Bay Area. The church through its community services assisted in the assimilation of this vast new population, some of whom became members of the church. The church membership, during Rev. Haynes’ years of service, grew from 150 to more than 3000.

Upon assuming the pulpit at Third Baptist Church in 1932, Rev. Haynes, Sr. almost at once began to campaign to replace the old structure built just after the 1906 earthquake, with a modern complex. To accommodate the ever-growing membership, a new location more centrally and conveniently situated than the California mission type structure costing a half million dollars at the corner of McAllister and Pierce Streets. This complex consisted of a main sanctuary with a circular patio entrance and tower, a Youth Center and an administration building. In March

1951, the ground breaking ceremonies were conducted by Rev. Haynes with church and state dignitaries participating. Upon completion of the sanctuary the members of the church marched (Dec. 21, 1966) with great fervor–joy at a dream come true, yet with fond memories of the Hyde and Clay Street building to the new. Later the Youth Center for recreational and educational purposes was added. Construction of the Administration Building, the third edifice in the original plan, was delayed due to lack of funds.

For this reason the administrative offices were housed in the Youth Center. Rev. Haynes, Sr. believed a church should be involved in all areas of community life which affected it members. Participation in the community in an outreach program –civil rights and social welfare — was the hallmark of hi administration. His activities and influence were not restricted to the church. He was deeply involved in community affairs, active in civic, political, and fraternal organizations. The Pastor, who had been cited several times by the Board of Supervisors for community service, barely missed being elected to that body. He was the first Black to run for that Board. Mayor Christopher appointed him to the Library Commission ·in 1956. He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1948 in Philadelphia and attended both President’s

Truman’s and President Kennedy’s inaugural ceremonies. For eight years he served as Grand Chaplain of the Prine Hall Masonic Lodge and was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. He was a local and national denominational leader. For seven years he was moderator of the American Baptist Convention, State of California; for six years president of the California State Baptist Convention; and for eight years one of the Vice Presidents of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. At his death he was Director of the scholarship program of the National Baptist Convention.

During his tenure, political leaders such as Adam Clayton Powell; African leaders such as Tbm Mboya; civil rights leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois and Martin Luther King, Jr. graced the rostrum at Third Baptist Church.

Under his direction, Third Baptist Church fathered several new Baptist churches. As the population of San Francisco increased and the need for Christian service to the community multiplied, new churches were brought into existence. Several young ministers who served as assistants to Rev. Haynes, Sr. became pastors of new churches. Just as the Caucasian church in the early years gave assistance to the First Colored Baptist Church through supply ministers, so did Third Baptist give assistance to the new churches. Rev. Haynes and the official staff gave guidance and the church at times gave financial assistance to them.

Mrs. Haynes was very active and added greatly to the success of the church program through such organizations as the Women’s Missionary Union and the Board of Christian Education. She was the first Black to be elected members of the Board of Education, San Francisco Public School District, where she served with distinction. She was also chosen a member of the Advisory Committee to the President of San Francisco State University. In addition, she served as Coordinator of Young People Leaders Division of the National Congress Christian Education, Supervisor of Oratorical Contests and Chairperson of the Retirement Fund, National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc.

In February, 1971 the Bay Area, the state and the nation were saddened by the death of Rev. F.D. Haynes, Sr., “a giant”, a local and national leader who will be long remembered. His death brought an outpouring of tributes from a host of friends, and from the lowest to the highest levels of government and religious organizations and bodies through the country. Rev. James E. Spencer, for several years Youth Pastor and was appointed Assistant Pastor in 1970 by Rev. Haynes, Sr. was chosen interim Pastor. In this capacity, he per formed the pastoral tasks and began carrying out the unfinished work of Rev. Haynes, Sr. in the best tradition. He continued with the Broadcast of the Sunday night service, the planning for the Fredrick Douglas Haynes Gardens and the burning of the church mortgage which was accomplished five months after Rev. Haynes death. Thus two of Rev. Haynes dreams came a little closer to fulfillment — paying off the church debt in preparation for completing the building plan (constructing the administration building, the third and final phase), and setting the stage for groundbreaking for the Gardens which would provide housing for Third Baptist Church members and others in the San Francisco community in need of this service.

In February, 1971 the Bay Area, the state and the nation were saddened by the death of Rev. F.D. Haynes, Sr., “a giant”, a local and national leader who will be long remembered. His death brought an outpouring of tributes from a host of friends, and from the lowest to the highest levels of government and religious organizations and bodies through the country. Rev. James E. Spencer, for several years Youth Pastor and was appointed Assistant Pastor in 1970 by Rev. Haynes, Sr. was chosen interim Pastor. In this capacity, he per formed the pastoral tasks and began carrying out the unfinished work of Rev. Haynes, Sr. in the best tradition. He continued with the Broadcast of the Sunday night service, the planning for the Fredrick Douglas Haynes Gardens and the burning of the church mortgage which was accomplished five months after Rev. Haynes death. Thus two of Rev. Haynes dreams came a little closer to fulfillment — paying off the church debt in preparation for completing the building plan (constructing the administration building, the third and final phase), and setting the stage for groundbreaking for the Gardens which would provide housing for Third Baptist Church members and others in the San Francisco community in need of this service.

He served conscientiously and prayerfully, guiding a bereaved congregation until Rev. Fredrick Haynes, Jr. began his pastorate at Third Baptist in June 1972, a little more than a year after his father’s death. The New Leadership 1972 – Rev. Fredrick Douglas Haynes, Jr., who received his early Christian training in Third Baptist Church, began preaching in 1950, was ordained by the church in 1954, and served as Assistant Pastor under his father’s leadership for nine years. Subsequently, he left his post to continue his education at Bishop College in Dallas, Texas. Upon returning to the Bay Area, he was called to the pastorate of Jerusalem Baptist Church, Palo Alto, where he served until he was called to succeed his father as Pastor. He accepted the mantle of leadership and wore it with honor and dignity.

Under his leadership the now famous Cathedral Choir, a combination of the youth and adult choirs, was organized; an Evangelistic Class was brought into being, fourteen additional deacons were ordained and three women trustees (the first women to serve on this board) were elected; in addition, ground was broken for the Frederick Douglass Haynes Gardens and a mini-bus was bought for the transportation of the senior citizens of the church.

Rev. Haynes, Jr. was intensely interested in the evangelistic mission of the church. Consequently, he began an extensive outreach program which included being involved in a prison ministry in Vacaville, and became the first Black Baptist minister to preach behind these prison walls.

The goals of his ministry were: A Learning Church, A Stewardship Church, an Evangelistic Church. His ministry was one of abiding love, warm friendship and fellowship. With Pastor Haynes, Jr. as he discharged the functions of his pastorate were his wife Lynetta and two children, Frederick III and Michelle. The first lady took a very active part in church affairs as a member of the Board of Christian Education, Business and Professional Women’ s Circle #1 and the Cathedral Choir. Her talents were recognized by both the California State Congress of Christian Education and the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education, U.S.A., Inc. where she served as faculty member.

Rev. Haynes, Jr. served faithfully, willingly, and enthusiastically for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days, until his sudden death on September 3, 1975. His untimely death cast a pall over the congregation for the second time in a f our and one-half year period.


Rev. Johnny Robinson was appointed interim pastor as the search for a new Pastor began. Rev. Robinson, like Rev. Spencer, brought to the assignment the experience of Youth Pastor and Assistant Pastor.

The first three sermons preached by him “The Work Must Go On” (text Neh. 6:3, “All Things Work for Good” (text Romans 8: 28) and “Lights in the World” are indicative of his sensitivity to the needs of the congregation during this period and to the service he rendered to lighten the burden of the loss suffered.

A dedicated, sincere, and devout young man, he continued to hold the congregation together, performing all the pastoral duties pertaining to his office. The church was fortunate to have him to continue the spiritual ministry, the work of his predecessor, Rev. F.D. Haynes, Jr. in a commendable manner.

 

The Rev. Amos Cleophi1us Brown, Sr. was chosen and began his Ministry at Third Baptist Church in June of 1976, following several months of diligent searching for a minister with the training, ability, and leadership qualities to lead the congregation in this age. Rev. Brown had earned his B.A. from Morehouse College in 1964, and had earned his Master of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary in 1968. (Rev. Brown later earned his Doctor of Ministry at United Theological Seminary in 1990). Rev. Brown, a scholar, writer, and dynamic speaker, brought to the pulpit not only his experience as a Pastor held in high regard by many who know him.

An avid servant for social equality and civil rights, Dr. Brown had served as Youth Field Secretary for the NAACP in the South from 1962 to 1964. In 1959 he had served as National Chairman of the Youth and College Division of the NAACP and had presided over the Youth Session at the 51st Annual Meeting of the association in St. Paul, Minnesota. While a student at Morehouse in 1962, he led a “Kneeling” demonstration which resulted in the desegregation of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia. He was one of the founders of the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, which resulted in the student sit- in movement in Atlanta. He also had the honor, in 1964, of participating in the travel-study project,”Operation Crossroads – African.” Rev. Brown had also worked intimately with Martin Luther King, Jr., Clarence Mitchell, Medgar Evers, and Jesse Jackson to promote non-violent activism.

Upon assuming the pastorate of Third Baptist Church, he immediately led the congregation to assess the social and spiritual needs of the community. Similar to Rev. Haynes, Sr., Rev. Brown believes in order for the church to minister to people spiritually, it cannot leave out the social, economic, or political welfares of the people — it must address the whole person and be involved in all areas of community life which affect the people of God.

Under his leadership, a Blue Ribbon Committee spent considerable time studying the needs of the church and community. One finding was that educational opportunities needed attention among Blacks in San Francisco. On the heels of this successful study, direction was determined for the future. From this successful effort, the church was inspired t o establish a Summer School Program for students K-12.

In his new community Pastor Brown became involved immediately in community service, civil rights, denominational and international work. His involvement continues with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as other organizations, i.e. San Francisco Ministerial Alliance, National Council of Church, Black Ministers Conference, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, San Francisco religious Council. In addition, he has participated in the American Baptist Conventions, as well as the local and state meetings.

Rev. Brown has also served in the following capacities: Vice President of the Governing Board of San Francisco Community College, from 1987 to 1988; National Chairman of the National Baptist Commission on Civil Right s and Human Services; Chairman of the Bay Area Ecumenical Pastors ‘ Conference; and Member of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches of Christ. Pastor Brown’s commitment to the spiritual, the educational and civic aspects of the church program was reflected in his participation as Chairman of the NAACP (local branch) Program Committee to present Benjamin Hooks, its newly appointed national director to the San Francisco and West Bay communities at Third Baptist Church.

On the occasion of the Church’s 125th Anniversary, Pastor Brown brought to Third Baptist Church and the Bay Area many national personalities to celebrate the involvement of Third Baptist in inter-denominational work, educational pursuits, political activities, and church work. Among the personage s were the late Dr. B. E. Mays1   Ambassador Andrew Young , the late Rev . Ralph Abernathy , Dr . Bernelee Fason and Jesse Jackson . It was also under his leadership that San Francisco rallied to support the candidacy of the Rev . Jesse Jackson for the Presidency in 1984 and 1988.

The Christian Education program a t Third Baptist has greatly improved with the scheduling of outstanding Christian Development Institutes and seasonal training events to prepare a more abled leadership .One novel educational program, along with the aforementioned 1 which Pastor Brown inaugurated, was the “Story Time” on Sunday morning . This feature has been well received by the children and the entire congregation as a great experience of meeting the children at their own levels of religious understanding.

During Pastor Brown’s tenure, the membership has increased each year with ·an average yearly increase of 200. The operational income has quadrupled. Mission giving also tripled to American\Baptist and National Baptist causes. In 1980, Pastor Brown was invited to preach for the Southern African Baptist Convention. This fourth tour of Africa also took him to Swaziland, Kenya , Ethiopia and Egypt. A strong advocate for Africa and liberation of Third World peoples, he led the Bay Area in raising $68,000 for the Somalian Relief Effort in 1981 . The Women’s Missionary Union and Youth Department have also conducted a humanitarian service of sponsoring children from Tanzania to receive heart surgery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In June of 1984, Pastor Brown led in the funding of B.A.R.A.C. (Black American Response to the African Crisis) which resulted in $300,000 being raised for the Ethiopian Famine Crisis. He led an air-lift in March 1985 to Ethiopia under the auspices of the National Baptist Convention.

In January, 1984, Rev. Brown was awarded the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Ministerial Award” for outstanding leadership and contributions to the Black Church in America.

 

The San Francisco Business and Professional Women, Inc. presented him with the “Man of the Year” Award for 1985. This award was given for community service and outstanding leadership.Like Martin Luther King, Rev. Brown is a civil rights leader, an ecumenical activist who opens his pulpits to women and, in fact, licensed the first woman to preach at Third Baptist Church. In addition, Rev. Brown introduced a pulpit exchange program, bringing Rabbis to speak at Third Baptist and Black Pastors to speak in synagogues. It is significant that Third Baptist, under the leadership of Rev. Brown has provided varied ministries that serve the needs of persons from the cradle to the grave, crossing racial, social, intellectual, and cultural lines. Third Baptist is proud of the following programs it provides:

 

  1. Senior Citizens center – Each Wednesday, the Seniors hold a meeting from 11:00 am to 1:30pm. Lunch is served each week $2.00. Time for lunch is 12:30 p.m. This program provides stimulating activities and nutritional and affordable meals senior citizens in the community who might otherwise not be able to have.
  2.  Feed The Hungry Program – Each Thursday, volunteers from the Feed The Hungry Program provide food for homeless and needy people from the community. The food is free to all who come, and is served from 12:30 – 1:30 p .m.
  3. Summer Academic School – Provides San Francisco children and youth in grade levels K through 12 with an intensive six week summer school program which enhances their reading, writing, computation and critical thinking. The program, which is accredited by the San Francisco Unified School District was established in 1978 and has met the needs of children, youth and their families for the past 14 years. During this time, as many as 200 students annually have been enrolled. (In 1988, Rev. Brown was honored by Phi Delta Kappa Society for his outstanding contribution to education as Founder and Leader of the Accredited Third Baptist Summer School since 1977)
  4. The Ethiopian Resettlement Project- This project has the distinction of sponsoring over one-thousand refugees from Ethiopia , Eritheria, and Hati, more than any local congregation in the nation.
  5. Back on Track Tutorial Program- This tutorial program for elementary through high school students is designed to: assist them with remedial, grade level or enrichment skills in their individual schools; improve performance on standardized tests; acqu ire and practice effective study habits to complete school assignments; develop and exhibit confidence in the ability to succeed; learn to think critically; and practice es that expand skills . One of the students in this program received the National Presidential Academic Fitness Award for outstanding academic achievement. This program is a joint venture with Congregation Emanu-El.
  6. Charles Tindley Music Academy – provides an enriching cultural experience for Bay Area children and youth who otherwise would not experience a high quality music program. This music academy helps inner city youth realize their creative potential through cultivation and performance.
  7. Narcotics Anonymous – This drug and alcoholism rehabilitation program is offered to the community on Monday evenings.

In July of 1989, Pastor Brown delivered a paper at the First International Conference on Human Rights in the Soviet Union, and in the Spring of 1990, he toured Israel and met Nelson Mandela in South Africa upon his release from prisons. In the spring of 1991 he was among the clergy leadership that helped Dr. Leon Sullivan convene the first International summit on African/African-America affairs in Abijan, Ivory Coast

.Dr. Brown has played a key role in the Development and Expansion Program, a housing and community center for San Francisco’s low to moderate-income citizens. He initiated and developed the multipurpose West Bay Community Center, the only redevelopment venture developed by an African-American Institution in the New Fillmore Center. This two-story, 2 2, 000 square-foot community service center which was opened in July, 1992 is designed to meet the needs of all community members, from the cradle to the grave.

Dr. Brown also was successful as Chair of the Social Justice Commission of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. in unifying all of the twenty million Black Baptist to oppose the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the u.s. Supreme Court. His testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was cited by the Chairman of the Committee as being, possible the most eloquent, convincing, cogent and damnable bill of particulars as to why Clarence Thomas should not serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The influence of Pastor Brown’s leadership is being felt in the community as well as the church. He continues to call people to live up to their preachments and continues to work in the struggle of justice and equality for all people.

By his side as he serves are his lovely wife, Jane, and children, Amos Jr. David, and Kizzie Maria who was born September 30, 1977 during the second year of his administration. The first lady received her Masters Degree in Business Administration with emphasis on corporate finance, management and accounting from the University of Minnesota. She was a participant in the Internationa1 Living Homestead Program in France. This gifted woman is a member of the Cathedral Choir where she appears as soloist.

In the discourse of events of significance in the life of the church have been recorded in relation to the Pastor under whose leadership they were initiated, completed, or made a great impact on the lives of the church members and the community. It must not be forgotten, however, that through these one-hundred forty-one years the church continues to be blessed with many competent, experienced, dedicated and willing lay leaders who in cooperation with the Pastor have led in the planning and implementation of the ever-expanding church program.

As one reflects on its 160 plus year history, it is evident that Third Baptist Church, organized during the Gold Rush, surviving through the Depression; and expanding during and following World War II and the Social Revolution of the Sixties and Seventies; the Reaganomics of the Eighties; and the many crises we are currently faced with in the Nineties (all historic events which had a tremendous impact on the lives of the San Francisco Bay Area population and the lives of others around the world) has done exceedingly well against seemingly impossible odds . As the citizenry of San Francisco and the Bay Area communities approach the future, they look forward to the church, which was for a long period of time, the only Black Baptist Church in San Francisco, continuing its leadership role to the community, state and nation. It cannot afford to rest on its noble heritage. It must think of the achievements wrought thus far to the honor and glory of God for the betterment of humanity, yes. But it must also think of how great this impressive landmark in the City by the Golden Gate can become. There is much to be done in accomplishing the tasks begun and addressing the critical issues of the new millennium and beyond.