In 1965 Samuel Pinkston, formerly the pastor of Mt. Pisgah, was approached by Bro. Hubie Pierce and several other former members urging him to help them form a new church and Christian fellowship. He agreed to meet with them to discuss and after two or three meetings the body was organized. At that final meeting, Samuel Pinkston was named as Pastor and all other official Board members, officers and auxiliary members were elected.
After much prayer and several suggestions coming from the members about the name of this new fellowship, Sister Delores Wilson said, “Pastor we are moving totally by Faith. Let us call ourselves “Faith Baptist”. Everyone agreed and the church was formally named, Faith Baptist Tabernacle.
Now that the organization structure and name were established, a place to worship was all that was needed. A neighbor of one of the founding members, Mrs. Mary Burgess, graciously opened her home and allowed the newly formed congregation to meet in her basement. When asked why she opened her home, she told Pastor Pinkston that on a snowy day a few years back her car was stuck in a snow bank; it was Pastor Pinkston who came along and freed her car. She had never forgotten his kindness. They worshiped in her basement for over 2 months while looking for a permanent location. Whenever questions about how God was going to meet their needs, someone else would respond, “BY FAITH".
The former Mt. Carmel Catholic Church & School building was for sale and the current owner, Marc Anthony, was planning to turn the space into apartments while renting out the bottom floor to religious and social groups. He offered the space for $200/month. Pastor Pinkston asked if he would consider selling Faith the entire building and was informed the selling price was $40,000. Before leaving, the two men agreed that the $200/month rent would be applied to the purchase of the building if Faith could complete the transaction in a year.
The members, not wanting anyone living on the property, agreed that they must save to purchase the property. Additionally, Pastor Pinkston inquired about the adjoining houses with a price of $20,000. Pastor Pinkston told the owner, “BY FAITH we will purchase the property”. Mr. Anthony replied, “Because I believe in you, I will fix up the property WITHOUT cost to the church”. Those repairs totaled ~$25,000.
Over the next several months the members of Faith worked diligently fixing up, painting, sewing and cleaning in order to prepare the space for worship.
On the 2nd Sunday in February 1966 (February 13th) the Faith Family ‘Marched Into’ 1209 Bangs Ave, as the new home of Faith Baptist Tabernacle. It rained very hard that day and a member questioned, why would God have it rain on the day we were marching in. Pastor Pinkston replied, “When you plant a seed, God waters it. God is watering FBT today. We will GROW.”
Over the next 6 months, God supplied everything needed to furnish the sanctuary. Through the generosity and kindness of its members as well as other churches and members of the community Faith was gifted a piano, an organ, pews, pulpit furniture, bibles among other things.
As the one-year deadline approached, the Holy Spirit prompted Pastor Pinkston to write a letter to the NJ American Baptist Convention Headquarters to request support. They approved the loan and in August of 1966, Faith Baptist Tabernacle took ownership of 1209-11 Bangs Avenue. Pastor Pinkston said it was impossible to describe the ESTATIC JOY of the members of Faith and the community when the front page of the August 7, 1966 edition of the Asbury Park Press featured a picture of the deed being presented to members of the church board.
The entire properties were now the possession of Faith, 3 months ahead of the deadline. To quote Pastor Pinkston, ‘To God be the glory for the great things he has done!’
At its inception, Faith Baptist Tabernacle had 63 founding members. Four of those founding members are still with us today. Bro. Herbert Jackson and Mother Ellen Jackson, Sis. Joan Cain, and Sis Doris Pierce.
Pastor Pinkston remained as pastor until Dec 1969. The Reverend Nicholas Tate became pastor in January of 1970 until Oct 1972. In Oct 1973, Reverend Wilmore Carter served as pastor until March of 1981. In June of 1981, Overseer Porter S. Brown, Sr assumed the office of pastor, serving diligently with his wife, Co-Pastor Sheila E. Brown until Jan 2017.
At that time, the mantle was passed to our current pastor, Lamont Brown with First Lady Shalon Brown serving at his side.
Today, Faith is continuing to nurture our founding pastor’s declaration that ‘We Will Grow’ through its mission of Evangelizing to the Family While Building Disciples.