Haddon Heights Baptist Church began as a community Sunday School gathering of about 39 individuals in November of 1896. As the fellowship grew, money was raised to construct the first building. Benjamin Lippincott donated the land, just north of Station Avenue on the White Horse Pike, and the first service was held in the completed chapel in January 1898. The next month, on February 26, Haddon Heights Baptist Church was officially incorporated.
As the church grew so did its need for space. Small additions were added but in 1921 the church building was completely renovated and enlarged. Unfortunately for the people of HHBC this new place of worship was not to last. At midnight on June 2, 1929 a fire broke out and consumed the entire building and reduced it to ashes. This did not deter the people from their mission and after land was given at Third and Station Avenues a new, stone, edifice was erected in 1930.
The 1930’s brought new fervor in missions and evangelism with the help of a new pastor, Rev. George A. Palmer. Pastor Palmer had a burden to see the Gospel reach as many people as possible. In 1932, the same year he came as pastor, he began a daily Gospel broadcast over WRAX Philadelphia which soon came under the name of “Morning Cheer”. Pastor Palmer also began summer evangelistic tent meetings in Haddon Heights. He, along with many well-known evangelists and Bible teachers of the day, attracted thousands each summer with the simple message of the Gospel and the theme of “Jesus Never Fails”.
The emphasis on missions and evangelism continued on into the next generation of HHBC under the leadership of Rev. Kenneth Masteller. During his 32 years at HHBC the church saw the creation of many new ministries focused on strengthening the local church and equipping its members to “go and make disciples”. Some of these ministries continue faithfully to this day. Vacation Bible School has continued to reach children every summer since 1941, our Shepherds class has been lovingly reaching those with mental handicaps since 1962, and our AWANA program has given children a week-night opportunity for games and Bible lessons since 1971. A burden for church planting has seen the creation of a number of local churches in South Jersey and the burden for worldwide missions saw many from our own pews take up the call of the Great Commission.
Once again, a need for equipping believers was realized but this time through Christian education. Originally begun as a High School, Baptist Regional School held its first classes in September of 1972. BRS was founded to educate the children of parents who desire that their children be taught based on the principles of God’s Word and it continues this mission today.
“Holding Forth the Word of Life” has been a constant refrain in the life of HHBC. How appropriate then that it is taken from Philippians 2:16 as God’s word has been central to the life of HHBC for over 120 years. Through trials and triumphs, the purpose of Haddon Heights Baptist Church is, and always will be, to glorify Jesus Christ through the equipping of the saints and evangelization of the lost.