NEW JERSEY S OLDEST AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCH USES HISTORIC ANNIVERSARY TO EMBARK ON NEW LEGACY FOR CAMDEN

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1 Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church 9 th & Kaighn Avenues Camden, NJ (856) Rev. Dr. Britt A. Starghill, Senior Pastor Press Release Contact: Leslie Patterson-Tyler Phone: (609) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 23, 2011 NEW JERSEY S OLDEST AFRICAN-AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCH USES HISTORIC ANNIVERSARY TO EMBARK ON NEW LEGACY FOR CAMDEN AS CRITICAL BUDGET CUTS LEAVE THE CITY OF CAMDEN, NJ WITH LITTLE HOPE, the state s oldest African American Baptist church is taking optimistic steps toward creating a new legacy of greatness in its hometown. Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church, located at the corner of 9 th Street and Kaighn Avenue in Camden, is celebrating its 155 th Anniversary this year. Part of the celebration features a Pastor s Legacy Concert where all of the proceeds go to the church s Nehemiah Project plan to build a community center. The concert will take place on Saturday April 2, 2011 at 2:00pm at the church and will feature musical selections by by Rev. Dr. Britt Starghill, Kaighn Avenue s Senior Pastor, along with Rev. William Heard under the direction of Minister Michael Gittens. There 1

2 will also be musical selections by Subito Sound, the jazz band from the Creative Arts School, under the direction of the world renowned director Jamal Dickerson. Then on Sunday April 3, 2011 at 6pm, the Pastor s Legacy Concert weekend will culminate with a Vesper Service featuring the sounds of the combined choirs of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church and the Princeton Theological Seminary Chapel Choir and Seminary Singers. The motto for the Pastor s Legacy Concert borrows a quote from the late great Booker T. Washington: Success always leaves footprints. The legacy concert is the first celebration in a series of footprints toward greater things. This community has been so devastated by various crises over the last 40 years, says Rev. Britt Starghill, Senior Pastor of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church. Our congregation wants to leave the community well prepared to blaze a trail of excellence for the next generation that will not have the opportunities that many of us have had and enjoyed. Tickets to the Pastor s Legacy Concert on Saturday April 2nd cost $25 and benefit the Nehemiah Project the project planning to build a new community center in Camden. For more information contact Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church at (856) All media inquiries should be directed to Leslie Patterson-Tyler at or (609)

3 About Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church In 1838, a group of God fearing people came together to worship the Lord the only way they could in those days, meeting in someone's home. The Colding family was the first to open their doors for the series of prayer meetings. Reverend Sampson White conducted these meetings, which later turned into a large Sunday School. Consequently, this Sunday School became the nucleus for the first black Baptist Church in the State of New Jersey. Through many hardships and setbacks, the people banded together with the grace of God, the congregants continued to multiply, forcing them to move to different locations under various church names. The baton was passed from pastor to pastor, each one serving God's appointed time. The Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church became an established church in In April 1997, Rev. Britt Armando Starghill answered God's call, becoming the 14th Pastor of the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church. Pastor Starghill is a young, energetic God fearing man who has been truly anointed by God. His dreams became the church s dreams with the Nehemiah Project. What better time than this to look to the future to see what each of us can do to strengthen God's Kingdom in the Twenty First Century. Many disciples have 3

4 come out of Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church, teaching all nations as scripture says: Matt. 28:19 (KJV), "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". The oldest Baptist Church in New Jersey; multi cultured and still growing to meet the needs of the young, the seniors as well as the entire community. Great people have walked through this Church of God. To name a few: Walter Gordon, first black Dean of Camden County College, Ms. Lottie Johnson, first black female Principal in the Camden City School System, Doug Holmes, first black Camden Police Chief and Bruce Gordon, current President of National NAACP. In addition, Dr. Marilyn Gordon- Owens, staff doctor at Cooper Hospital, Dr. Deborah Stanley- Smith Doctor of Pharmacology and Dr. Timothy L. Rhyme, Newcomb Medical Center, Vineland, New Jersey. The pillars of the past that formulated our beginnings can rest knowing that God's ministry is still going forward spreading the gospel to the lost; visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the needy while maintaining the legacy of loving, caring and encouraging one another through Jesus Christ. 4

5 Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church Mission Statement "It is the mission of the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church to advance the kingdom of God and manifest the love of Jesus Christ through developing spiritual enlightenment, social awareness, economic empowerment, saving souls and reclaiming the lost through loving, forgiving and healing; using Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible as our foundation". 5

6 About Rev. Britt Armando Starghill The Reverend Dr. Britt Armando Starghill is a visionary leader for the twenty-first century. He believes in transformational ministry, where spirituality promotes holistic living. Reverend Dr. Starghill promotes Christian life wherein ministry, community, and economic actualization are encouraged. He believes in cosmopolitan urban ministry, where his ministry is experienced and celebrated. Pastor Starghill believes that his calling is for the transformation of all people, the conversion of urbanization for meaningful ministry, and the reconstruction of community and family. Moreover, he believes that peoples lives can be drastically improved by the message and ethics of Jesus Christ. Pastor Starghill is galvanizing the church and community to believe in the vision of the Nehemiah Project. The Nehemiah Project involves making Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church a template church for equipping and liberating ministries of and for the people throughout the world. Pastor Starghill s vision is to increase ministries that advance spiritual redemption and socioeconomic salvation. Reverend Starghill is a fourth generation Pastor. He earned 6

7 dual bachelors in Economics and Religion at Virginia Union University (Richmond, VA). He also earned a Master of Divinity from the Union Seminary (Dayton, Ohio). Most recently, Reverend Starghill earned a Doctorate in Ministry from the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School - the oldest Baptist Seminary in America and alma mater to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Rochester, NY). Reverend Starghill is married to the former Catherine Lynn Frugé of Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Starghill is an attorney and Executive Director of the New Jersey Government Records Council. Reverend and Mrs. Starghill have a son, Britt Andrew and a daughter, Brie Alexandra. 7

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