First United Baptist Church History
On March 16, 1991, a group of 36 Christian friends came together, in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Wheeler. Through prayer and guidance by the Holy Spirit, First United Baptist Mission (FUBM) was organized.
After prayerful consideration, Reverend Robert Samuels was contacted and asked to serve as Supply Pastor for the Mission. On March 24, 1991, it was unanimously voted that Reverend Robert Samuels would serve as Pastor-Elect of First United Baptist Mission. After hearing of the obstacles that faced FUBM, Bishop Joseph Sneed and the congregation of Triumph Pentecostal Church of Deliverance, 3806 Roanoke Avenue; Newport News, consented to open their doors to FUBM for worship and share their facilities with them.
Under the guidance of Pastor-Elect Samuels, the Mission began to grow spiritually, physically and financially. A committee of Deacons, Deaconesses and Trustees were selected. The First United Voices, Ushers, Missionaries, and Nurses were organized and took their proper place in the worship service. The Mission requested that Pastor-Elect Samuels seek recognition for the congregation to become a Missionary Baptist Church. On June 3, 1991, a Recognition Service was held and a Recognition Council consisting of Pastors from area churches was established. The council found that the proper Baptist procedures had been followed, and it was motioned and seconded that our Mission be officially recognized as “First United Baptist Church”. Reverend Robert L. Samuels was installed as Pastor of this new body of Christ on July 21, 1991.
Under the leadership of Pastor Samuels, the church continued to prosper by committing to a pledge drive to pay off the mortgage of the church. In May 1998, to the sadness of the church, Pastor Samuels announced that, due to the decline of his health, he would be retiring as Pastor, effective June 30, 1998. Pastor Samuels will forever be cherished by this church for his leadership during our initial years and the spiritual life he exemplified before his congregation.
Though this was a difficult period for the church, God stepped in at the helm again. Under the leadership of the Deacons and their chairperson, Deacon George Patillo, the church continued to pray and seek an under-shepherd while continuing the mission of the church. During the years that followed, First United experienced many highs and lows, but through them all still kept faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
On January 25, 2014, First United Baptist Church called Reverend William M. Ruffin, Jr. to be the Supply Pastor, as a servant to provide guidance and spiritual leadership to restore our bodies in Christ. We were able to see the work and the plans that God had in store for First United Baptist through our Supply Pastor, Reverend William Ruffin, Jr.
On July 20, 2014, after a spirit-filled Sunday morning worship service, the congregation voted to select Reverend William M. Ruffin, Jr. as the next Pastor of First United Baptist Church. Pastor William M. Ruffin, Jr. was installed on Sunday, September 14, 2014.
We also thank God for the Christian love and spiritual unity he has blessed our church family with. It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to lift us to new heights in Jesus Christ. Our belief at First United today is that we will forget the past, embrace today, and praise God for what He is going to do in the future. Today we can truly say we have “A Fresh Start – A New Beginning”.
We thank you and may heaven continue to smile upon you.
Let the church say Amen.