First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church
In the year of 1895, a small group of Blacks felt the need of religious training and decided to purchase a place where they could put their dream into reality.
Reverend John T. Pullen, serving as a pastor of a church called “The Little Mission Church” located at 751 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, agreed to sell this property to this small group of Blacks. The building was small but large enough to accommodate this small membership of 16. On August 1, 1895, an agreement between W. H. Matthews, party of the first part; and H. T. Mitchell, T. B. Edwards, Prince Crenshaw, Joseph High, and Sylvester Jeffries, Trustres; parties of the second part, was executed. The church building was purchased for the sum of $800.00 with $50.00 down and $700.00 to be paid with payments of $100.00 per year for a period of 7 ½ years. The church was named “Fayetteville Street Little Mission.”
The following persons served as pastor: Reverend Robert Blake, Reverend Edwards, Reverend A. T. Price, Reverend R. S. Johnson, Reverend M. S. Elaw, Reverend W. H. Mitchiner, Reverend Dozier, Reverend Alston, Reverend M. F. Jones and Reverend J. W. Jones. Many other men and women of God served Fayetteville Street Baptist Church in the roles of clerks, trustees, deacons, organists, choristers, ushers, auxiliary organizers, fundraisers and members.
Initially, the Sunday School was the only organized group in the church. The deacons and trustees carried monumental responsibilities during the church’s embryonic stages. Senior Choir #1 was organized in 1895. Later, the Olivia Circle was organized by Mrs. Carrie Haywood and Mrs. Corinna Jeffries. The Usher Board was organized by the late Mr. Samuel Harris in 1912. Later, through the untiring labor of Deacon H. S. Baker, Sister Carrie Haywood, Brother Alex McNeil and others, the Captains Club, which we still have today, was organized. Around 1935, Choir # 2 was formed. With the expansion of membership, the Church Clerk became an integral part of our church’s organization and by the late 1940’s; music was provided by the Male Chorus.
After the death of the Reverend J. W. Jones, Reverend W. B. Lewis accepted the challenge as pastor in 1964; taking up the legacy of pulpit strength, strong teaching of God’s Word and fervent evangelism and power in the Holy Spirit. Many new organizations were formed under his leadership. Dr. Lewis and his family provided the leadership that resulted in the building fund goal of $100,000.00 being accomplished during the first 2 ½ years.
Later, the church purchased 9 ½ acres of land at 1515 Cross Link Road. The membership moved into the current structure, renamed First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, on Sunday, July 12, 1970.
As our membership has grown, so have our internal organizations increased to encompass a full church program. A day care center was organized in 1973 with an enrollment of 90 students. Our commitment to the elderly, Cosmo-Lewis Estates, became a reality in 1989. Thus, the Little Mission Church at the Fayetteville Street Crossing has struggled over 100 years and is enjoying many accomplishments.