One hundred twenty five years ago, about three hundred worshipers formed the nucleus of what was later named Metropolitan Baptist Church. The first place of worship was located at Vance and Fourth. On the first Sunday in July 1896, the Church was organized with Rev. P. J. Jackson as pastor. A month later the Church met in a new home, a small structure, later derisively designated as “The Cracker Box”, which was purchased and later remodeled. After the resignation of Rev. Jackson in 1902, the call was extended to Rev. T. J. Searcy. The Church soon purchased additional property and organized a number of auxiliaries.
Following the death of Rev. Searcy in 1917, interim leadership was assumed by Rev. John T. Gloster, and later Dr. A. M. Townsend began a tenure that lasted for three and one-half years. Dr. Townsend’s tenure was followed by Rev. T. J. Moore as supply pastor and the election of Rev. J. T. Brown in 1922. On the first Sunday in May 1923, Rev. Samuel Augustus Owen, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Mary Jane Owen and their young son Samuel Jr., began a tenure which was to last more than 49 years. Rev. Owen organized the membership into districts and initiated the formation of training ministries, special annual calendar events, and many more ministries. The new pastor led the Church in adopting a motto “Extra Effort Wins” and purchase of property at the present location. In 1929 members made the historic march to the current site.
In December 1971, Rev. Owen retired and was named Pastor Emeritus. In June 1972, Dr. Fred C. Lofton, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Dorothy M. Lofton, accepted the call to Metropolitan. Rev. Owen passed away in 1974. During Dr. Lofton’s pastorate of 29 years, he served not only on local levels but also on a national level as President of the PNBC. Among the programs and services initiated or expanded during this time were in the areas of transportation, Christian Education, music, counseling service, birth month fellowships, church renovation, community involvement, and many others.
Dr. Lofton retired in 2001 and was named Pastor Emeritus. He was succeeded by Dr. Reginald L. Porter, Sr., accompanied by his wife, Rev. Davena Y. Porter and son, Reginald, Jr. He and Rev. Davena met and married at Metropolitan. He currently serves as Vice-President of the PNBC Southern Region. Projects and services initiated and expanded by Dr. Porter include a Christian Education Retreat, naming an athletic director, naming an archivist, strengthening the Birth month Fellowship Ministry, instituting Disciple Bible Study, creating the Centenarians Club for members who lived to be one hundred, named a webmaster, who established our initial website www.extraeffortwins.com, starting the “20-30” Ministry and the Dance Ministry, reactivating the Youth Choir, Youth Fellowship and instrumental ensemble. Dr. Porter retired in 2019 and was named Pastor Emeritus. He was succeeded by Rev. Dr. Michael L.W. Moore, Sr.
The year 2020 was a defining year for Metropolitan. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Metropolitan had to close it’s physical doors and do ministry in virtual spaces. Dr. Moore led the church to continue to thrive during the pandemic. This has included the development of new ministries, elimination of church debt, and the implementation of several community initiatives.. The church reopened it’s doors on May 2, 2021 after well over a year of being closed. As we celebrate our 125th Church Anniversary, we are still here to testify of the goodness of God and his faithfulness in uncertain times.
As we press forward, we still believe that Extra Effort Wins!