Church History

Blessed for the last 98 years

Then & Now

Central Baptist Church was the first African-American Church in Kingsport, TN.  Central was founded and organized on May 27, 1918.  The church met in a building on Dale and Center Street. This land is now occupied by Seaver’s Bakery. There were twenty-one chartered members, including the first deacons.   The Church did not have a baptistery so all candidates were baptized in South Holston River.

On February 22, 1922, the Church purchased a building on Oak Street between East Sevier (Walnut Street) and Maple Street. The cost had to be paid in three installments with came due six, twelve, and eighteen months after the purchase date.

Around 1938, by the grace of God, the Church continued to grow and prosper. The Church saw the need for expansion, so efforts were put into action to build a new church home. Kingsport Housing Authorities (KHA) officials approached the Church about relocating. An agreement was reached whereby one lot on Carver Street would be sold to the church for $150.00, and and additional lot would be given to the church.

This new neighborhood had to be named and many suggestions were given. The chosen name was “Riverview.”

The building of this church began in 1941 and as completed in 1943. Our new sanctuary was completed on December 5, 2004.

centralbaptistChurch History