Second Baptist Church
Name Second Baptist Church
Church Type Baptist
Address 9614 River Road
City Richmond
Zip 23229
County Henrico
Web Address

Second Baptist Church has served Richmond for over 185 years. Located on the corner of River Road and Gaskins Road in the West End, Second Baptist is home to a wide variety of local and international ministries and community outreach programs.

Worship Service Schedule


  • Early Service: 8:45 a.m. in Powell Chapel
  • Sunday School: 9:45 a.m.
  • Morning Service: 11:00 a.m. in Sanctuary
  • Russian Congregation Service: 11:30 a.m. in Powell Chapel
  • Brazilian Congregation Service: 7:00 p.m. in Spence Hall

International Congregations

A Russian congregation meets weekly for worship services in the Russian language. Many of the members are recent immigrants from Russia. There is a worship service held at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays in Powell Chapel. Other Bible study and prayer meetings are held on Tuesday evenings and Fridays.

A Brazilian congregation meets weekly for worship services in Portuguese on Sundays at 7:00 p.m.


Richmond's second Baptist congregation became Second Baptist Church in 1820. Sixteen members of First Baptist Church withdrew to form a new church which conducted a Sunday School and supported other Christian concerns. Famed Luther Rice was among those who led in the formation of the church on July 12, 1820.

Second Baptist Church has been a seedbed for Virginia Baptist Work. The First meeting of what is now the Baptist General Association of Virginia was held in the church in 1823. The state Baptist paper, the Religious Herald, was established by a Second Church member, William Crane, in 1828. During the meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia in 1820, held in Second Church, an Education Committee was formed which led to the opening of what became the University of Richmond.

At its beginning the church had both white and African American members. The black members withdrew in 1846 to constitute the Second African Baptist Church with the support of the mother church. Second Church contributed to the establishment of Third (now Grace), Leigh Street, Pine Street, Bainbridge Street and Walnut Grove Baptist churches.

Second Church has had a high missions interest since its beginning. Luther Rice, Adoniram and Ann Judson went to India as missionaries in 1812. The congregation contributed to Rice, who returned to America in 1813 to raise funds to support the Judsons. The church's first woman's missionary group was organized in 1823 as the "Richmond Female Judson Society of Second Baptist Church." In 1815 two members volunteered for overseas missionary service: William Mylne to Africa and Mary Frances Davenport to Siam (Thailand). James B. Taylor, second pastor of the church, was the first Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, SBC.

Across the years Second Church has ministered from five different locations:

  • A rented house at 11th and Main, 1820-1822.
  • East side of Eleventh Street between Main and Cary, 1822-1841.
  • Southwest corner of Main and Sixth streets, 1841-1905.
  • Southeast corner of Franklin and Adams streets, 1905-1967.
  • River and Gaskins roads, 1967 to present.

A spirit of harmony pervades the congregation in all areas of the church's life. It was described over a century ago by Henry K. Ellyson in an address on January 17, 1883. Mr. Ellyson aptly said: "I have yet to name the crowning grace of this church, that which endears it more to me than its fair record of public service for Christ, or than all in us the outside world would most commend. That grace is brotherly love whose sacred ties have so bound heart to heart that from the beginning until now we have ever had this unmistakeable evidence that we are the sons of God. Out of it have grown that oneness of purpose and harmony of action which made us strong to will and to do for God. Into the presence of this spirit of fraternal affection, no demon of discord ever dared to enter. So that through all these years we have known how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity, and have had within the sacred circle of our inner church life a beautiful counterpart of the Psalmist's bright vision of the communion of saints."

That spirit is still present and alive in Second Baptist Church.