The Co-op City Baptist Church was founded by the late Rev. Julius Sasportas on Sunday, November 21, 1971. The first worship service was held at 177 Dreiser Loop, Room 4 at 11:00 a.m. and nine (9) persons joined at that time.
As news of the presence of a Baptist Church spread throughout the Co-op City community, the congregation grew. In the following weeks, a Senior Choir was organized, but due to the fact that we did not have a piano and no funds in which to purchase one, rehearsals were held in the Pastor’s home.
Our First Lady, at the time, the late Sis. Lola Sasportas, purchased the first set of hymn books for the choir. She was instrumental in initiating many of the ministries of the Church.
Our membership grew and we moved to a larger space at 2049 Bartow Avenue, Room 29. Our first major goal to purchase a piano was successfully accomplished through fund-raisers and cheerful donors.
Our Sunday School opened its doors and still continues to serve our youth and adults through classes and activities. The late Sis. Edith B. Codrington was the first Superintendent. Deacon Joyce Hamilton-Williams is our current Superintendent. Rev. Grace M. Emanuel is our first Minister of Christian Education.
The Missionaries were organized in the spring of 1972 under the direction of the late Sis. Florence Phillips. A Senior Usher Ministry was also established and the late Sis. Lula Thompson was the first President.
In 1973, we moved to our present location here at 135 Einstein Loop, Room 50. During that year, the Trustee Ministry was set up and the Church was incorporated. Since we have resided here, various ministries were organized which included the Deaconate Ministry, the Deaconess Ministry, the Inspirational Choir, the Junior Usher Ministry, the Newsletter Ministry, the Pastor’s Aides Ministry, the Rev. Julius Sasportas Chorus, the Scholarship Ministry, the Willing Workers Ministry, the Youth Choir, and we began our Building Fund efforts.
On March 7, 1982, the late Bro. Henry Profit became the Church’s first ordained Deacon. He served faithfully until his death in 1985.
Under the leadership of the late Rev. Sasportas, our membership increased and the Church prospered financially. We began a mini-bus ministry outreach in an effort to further the gospel of Jesus Christ in our Community.
In March 1992, the Rev. Dr. Sheldon E. Williams was elected by the congregation to become the second Pastor of the Co-op City Baptist Church, after the retirement of our Pastor and Founder, the late Rev. Julius Sasportas.
On October 4, 1992, Dr. Williams was installed as our new Pastor. Under his leadership, the Co-op City Baptist Church has continued to grow spiritually, financially and in membership. Additional ministries have been added under his pastorate such as the Building Fund Ministry, the Care and Support Ministry, the First Lady’s Ministry, where our First Lady, Sis. Marilyn C. Williams is the Advisor, the Fresh Flowers Ministry, the Hospitality Ministry, the “Just For Men” Ministry, the Lay Shepherds’ Pastoral Care Ministry, the Male Chorus, the Mass Choir, the Ministry Presidents, the Nurses’ Ministry, the Praise Dance Ministry, the Praise and Worship Ministry, the Prison Ministry, the Steppers, the Sunrise Choir, the Video and Audio Tape Ministry and the Young Adult Usher Ministry.
In order to service the growing congregation, Dr. Williams began an 8:00 a.m. worship service in September 1995. On April 30, 1997, we purchased property on Erskine Place, here in Co-op City. On November 2, 1997, the property was dedicated. On May 14, 2005, we had our ground breaking service and began planning construction of our new church edifice, to more effectively meet the needs of God’s people.
In September 2005, under the direction of Dr. Williams, the Co-op City Intergenerational Outreach Center was organized and incorporated. The Intergenerational Outreach Center will allow the church to provide the community with even more outreach programs, those especially designed to help today’s youth. The Intergenerational Outreach Center will also implement services which will assist in the proper care of young children, senior citizens and the continuing growth of spiritual education to meet the needs of God’s people both inside and outside the Church.
In the beginning of 2006 the Co-op City Baptist Church, launched its own web site, www.coopcitybaptistchurch.org, where you can go and obtain further information about the church and their upcoming events.
In August of 2008, we began the first stages of construction on our new church edifice and outreach center. We look forward to continuing the work and completing construction in the near future.
In spring of 2009, we began a Wednesday noon day worship service. This service continues to grow and has become a blessing to the community.
For several years, Dr. Williams hosted The Principle Centered Life radio show on WMCA 570 AM on Fridays at 1:30 p.m.
On October 18, 2012, our founding Pastor Rev. Julius Sasportas went home to be with the Lord. He will always be remembered as a visionary and a great leader both in the Church and in the community. He is greatly missed.
We pray that God will richly bless each and every one of you as you continue to support us in these endeavors.
November 8, 2015