Main Street Community Projects
Main Street Baptist Church has a long rich history of supporting and providing for the community. Below are some of the projects Main Street Baptist Church has had a hand in developing.
Church Manor Apartments is a fifty unit garden apartment complex built in 1970 when the congregation at Hill Street Baptist Church recognized the need for affordable rental housing in the town of Smithfield. During the pastorate of the late Reverend Samuel Williams, the church created a subsidiary 501(c)3 entity and fifty units of apartments were built utilizing HUD financing, (236-D), and in 1991 a (202) HUD loan was secured to do senior housing. Main Street Baptist Church was doing faith-based affordable housing before the concept became politically popular. From the beginning the church has supported the property financially and the residents with a variety of social programs. Several residents send their children to the Main Street Learning Center and the tutorial program, which is operated next door to the apartments in the church.
Dr. Hoffman Brown had a vision in 1988 in terms of improving affordable housing opportunities in the Smithfield, Virginia area for the elderly. He felt that Main Street Baptist Church through his long experience with Church Manor Apartments could spearhead this effort. Further, he felt that property currently owned by the church might be available for this purpose. The Marshall Black Group and its affiliated companies were invited to be co-partners with Main Street Baptist Church to develop a “Master Plan: that would provide development and ownership potential for the future. As co-partners, MSBC and MB Housing worked together to bring these dream to reality. A non-profit corporation, MB Housing Foundation, Inc. joined with Main Street Baptist Church in forming a non-profit corporation.
Early in the 1950’s, it was the vision of the Reverend Samuel Richard Williams that the Hill Street Baptist Church expanded its program of ministry. The facilities at the edifice on Hill Street were not adequate, therefore the congregants embraced an ambitious plan to purchase 40 acres of landing fronting West Main Street. It was the pastor’s vision that the new site would provide space for an edifice, housing for persons in the low to middle income range, and lots on which individuals would build private homes. The purchase was made in 1956 and Church Manor Apartments, a fifty unit garden apartment complex was completed in 1972. The congregation of Hill Street Baptist relocated to its new facility and edifice in September 1974 and the vision was two-thirds fulfilled.
School House Museum
Isle of Wight County and the Town of Smithfield were selected as two of five pilot communities, by “Jamestown 2007”, to develop projects of interest to encourage tourism during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding and settling of the first permanent English Settlement in 1607 at Jamestown. The convention and Visitors Bureau, led by Diane Wooley, chose a project that has been described as broadminded. We recognize the providence of God in this decision. We further recognize that other cultures and peoples were involved and responsible for the settlement of this land, namely, the native American “Indians” and the Africans. Participating in the Jamestown 2007 celebration provides for an opportunity to tell these stories as well and especially in developing projects such as the rehab of the Christian Home School.