Our History

our history

On June 24, 1849, Reverend Asahel Chapin and forty-two members constituted Second Baptist Church in Holyoke. This young church would live, grow, and minister in the city of Holyoke for the next 137 years.

In 1986 the members of Second Baptist had a vision and a challenge. They made the decision to come “across the river” to South Hadley and be named, Second Baptist Church of South Hadley.

Over the next 20 years the church would grow into its new building and enjoy its new location; during this time, in 1991, the church was blessed to receive Pastor Donald Bradley as its Pastor. In over 160 years of serving Jesus Christ the church has truly built “A Great Heritage”.  Stepping out in faith in 2006, the church made a commitment to grow for the Lord once again by funding an addition to the existing building. The results were 7 new classrooms, storage space, a full-size gym, locker rooms, a fitness room and a new kitchen, which enabled existing rooms to be used for extra purposes. The new addition was dedicated in October 2007.

sbc new gym

The expanding of the building led to growth and the need for an assistant pastor.  Pastor Mark Lawrence was voted in as the assistant pastor in early 2008.  Pastor Mark served at SBC for over a year and began helping the Shutesbury Church where he currently serves as a missionary pastor.  The church was blessed yet again by the voting in of Pastor Ryan Bradley in 2009 as the assistant pastor.  After 30+ years in ministry, Pastor Don stepped down as lead pastor in 2011 to spend more time with his family.  At that time the church voted Pastor Ryan Bradley as the lead pastor.  In 2013, Pastor Don retired after serving Second Baptist Church for 22 years!  We continue to move forward under the faithful leadership of Pastor Ryan.

A new round of changes occurred to the building in early 2010, as the Sanctuary area was expanded by using some of the Narthex area, and then in late 2010 when the Fellowship Hall was split into separate rooms for new Nursery and Pre-School areas. All these changes are needed because God is consistently blessing our church and adding to its numbers!

And we are still going …

In September of 2012, we finished adding more seating to our Sanctuary.  Walls were taken down, new/additional seating was added, a new carpet and new sound system were installed.  We invite you to fill our seats and grow with us in numbers and faith!

Denominational Affiliation

We acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Head of this Church. Its government is vested in its members. The Church affirms its desires to cooperate with other Christian bodies having the same general objectives. We, therefore, affiliate with:

- The American Baptist Churches of Pioneer Valley (TABCPV)
- The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM)
- American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC/USA).