In the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Butts a weekly prayer meeting convened on Wednesday evenings in 1916. As attendance began to grow, Rev. John Augustine became the spiritual advisor for the weekly group. A mission was organized with Rev. Augustine as presiding moderator, with the name Second Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church. By 1922, the attendance had grown and they had to seek a larger place. The members decided to rent a storefront building at the corner of Darien and Buttonwood Streets. Here a young minister from West Philadelphia, the Reverend George Allen was called as the first pastor
In 1927, the Reverend Leonard Carmichael was called and became the second pastor. Under his leadership the church grew spiritually and financially. Also, the membership increased under his realm. Reverend Carmichael went from labor to reward in 1931.
In July 1931, Reverend R. L. Thomas was called to be pastor. Rev. Thomas exhibited a special spiritual ability and many people would turn to him for prayer, and leadership. In October 1945, following the vision of Rev. Thomas, the church marched into their new and present edifice 854-860 North Fifteenth Street. Rev Thomas organized many ministries and programs that were very influential to the church such as, the Thomas Gospel Chorus, the Widows Club, the Matrons Club, just to name a few. He was dedicated to God, his family and the service of the church. After 38 years of tremendous service his health prevented him from serving further. As a result, he was made Pastor Emeritus. On January 12, 1974 he was called home from labor to reward.
In 1969, Reverend John Franklin Jones who was serving as Assistant Pastor, under Reverend R.L. Thomas was called and became the fourth pastor. Through Reverend Jones’ leadership, many souls were saved and sick bodies were healed. Many auxiliaries were organized under his leadership, the Jones Gospel Chorus, Jones Specials, Junior Deacons, Junior Trustees, Traveler’s Club, Building Fund, Youth Church and the Credit Union. God blessed him to do many things for the expansion of the Church, spiritually and financially. The Sunday School and Dining Room were refinished as well as installing new pews and carpets in the main sanctuary. After a brief illness, he was called to rest on March 11, 1977.
In 1978, the Lord blessed us with a very good gospel preacher, the Reverend L.V. Johnson, Sr. from South Carolina. Rev Johnson was a great preacher and a gifted singer. Under his leadership the membership increased greatly with new ministries and programs to meet the needs of the people. In addition to the advancement spiritually in the church, a church van was purchased, new air conditioning was installed, and renovation of the basement and property around the church was secured. In 1987, we began our New Church Building Fund and Give God Your Change Program. Reverend L.V. Johnson, Sr. was pastor from 1978 to 1992.
In November 1992, Reverend William J. Scott, Jr. was called and became sixth Pastor. Under the leadership of Reverend Scott an 8:00AM Early Morning Worship Service and Church Orientation was initiated. Reverend Scott served as pastor until May 1998.
In April 2000, Reverend Donte` L. Hickman was called as the seventh pastor. Reverend Hickman, a spirited gospel preacher was known for his ability to preach about daily situations giving biblical foundation, instruction and guidance. Reverend Hickman instituted the following ministries: Renewing Our Mind Through The Word, Pastor’s Administrative Liaisons (PAL), God’s Anointed New Generation Choir (G.A.N.G.), Evening Communion and Baptismal Services, Monthly Theme Ministries, and Ministers In Training (M.I.T.). Under the leadership and spiritual guidance of Rev. Hickman, church membership and youth church involvement increased greatly. Rev Hickman served as Pastor until 2002.
In November 2006, Reverend Daniel E. Sutton was consecrated as our eighth Pastor. Pastor Sutton was an anointed, innovative, energetic, teacher and preacher. Pastor Sutton was blessed with a unique gift to effectively communicate the Word of God, so that all who heard him were able to understand and apply the Word of God to their lives. Under his leadership, the church experienced phenomenal growth while new ministries were added, a new computer lab installed and a renovation project completed.
In February 2017, Rev. Isaiah M. Banks was elected as the Senior Pastor of the historic Second Pilgrim Baptist Church. He was installed on Sunday, May 28, 2017. In just a short period of time, he has gained experience and knowledge about leadership. Pastor Banks has initiated several church conferences for the leaders and members to teach about stewardship and working together for the advancement of the church. Under his leadership, afternoon bible study has been established for the seniors and the Youth Ministry has grown significantly. Pastor Banks is loved genuinely by our congregation because of his passion to see our church thrive and because of his genuine care and love for all those who are a part of our church. At present, Reverend Banks is enrolled at Eastern University. Future educational goals involve Theological Seminary acceptance where he plans to major in the field of Theology and Religion.