In the year of 1908, a handful of Christians joined together to organize a church in a little town that had only a few scattered houses. Buying a site at the corner of sixty-first and Central Avenue, they built a one room frame structure which served as the church until the 1960’s. For a while, the church was a mission of Centennial Baptist Church of Washington. In 1910, the church became known by its present name, the First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights. The present building was dedicated on September 28, 1952.
First Baptist Church established Constitution and Bylaws for the efficient operation of the church and established as its Doctrinal Statement the contents of the “Baptist Faith and Message (1936)”.
From 1910 until 1975, First Baptist Church was affiliated with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. In 1975, its affiliation moved to the Baptist Convention of Maryland and the Prince Georges Baptist Association. This change was made to strengthen relationships with the Southern Baptist Convention Baptist Ministries in Prince Georges County.
On January 1, 1991, First Baptist Church burned — the fire was devastating to the inner sanctuary but the foundation stood firm. The Mayor of Capitol Heights allowed the congregation to hold worship services in the Town Hall, keeping the church family together. The first return service in the building was a devotional service on September 12, 1993.
From its humble beginnings, First Baptist Church has sought to be a neighborhood church, even through the racial/ethnic changes of the 1960’s.
Called to Serve:
Mr. William Collins led the church for a period of time until the call of Rev. Austin Authur as the first Pastor. Following Rev. Authur who left in 1917, Rev. Charles Sheets was called and ordained and served until 1920. There were also others called to serve: Rev. R. Duckett, 1920; Rev. Frank Griffin, 1921-1922; Rev. Harley Metcalf, 1924-1936; Rev. Marion Royall, 1936-1938; Rev. Stephen Cranston, 1938-1956; Rev. James Worsham, 1957-1967; Rev. Paul Curry, 1967-1968; Rev. David Hall, 1969-1972; Rev. Robert Scruggs, 1973-1981. Rev. Joseph P. Weaver accepted the call to pastor First Baptist Church on December 1, 1981 and served until January 30, 2000.
Rev. Harold L. Dugger, Sr., the present Pastor, accepted the call in August of 1999 to serve as the Associate Pastor and was elected as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights on October 22, 2000. Pastor Dugger is a devoted husband and father, a skilled Preacher/Teacher and Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.