Churches in Philadelphia - Finding a Church Home
On November 11, 1969, Pastor Hall and sixty-three (63) committed Christians met in the basement of Mt. Sinai Tabernacle Church at 28th and Lehigh Avenue with the purpose of praying and seeking God's face in the organization of a new church. At this meeting, six other ministers attended. They were Reverends William Anderson, E.A. Walker, J.I.Philips, John White, B.J. Small and Lester C. Smith. These ministers came to give support and advice in the structuring of the newly organized church. Rev. William Anderson presided. The 63 chartered members, who were in the organizational meeting, came with letters from their former churches and were committed to the establishment of this newly organized church.
At this meeting, three names were suggested for the new Church: Beacon, Triune and Triumph. The name Triumph was unanimously accepted. It rang clear that it gave hope for the struggles through which we were passing. Since the word triumph meant victory, the members decided to use "Victory" as a greeting and we adopted "Victory in Jesus" as the theme song for the new church.
Pastor James S. Hall, Jr. was elected as the Pastor of Triumph Baptist for life. After encouraging words from the ministers who attended, Pastor Hall gave an overview of the kind of ministries the Triumph Baptist Church would embrace. The emphasis was on evangelism (soul winning) and discipleship (training). He was very clear that he would not follow the traditional path that was typical of most established churches, but would search the Bible for biblical reasons for ministries that the church would carry on. At this meeting, persons for the Deacon and Trustee ministry were chosen. Appointments were made for three other heads of ministries such as Usher, Choir and superintendent of the church school. The first ministries started were the Daycare Center and the Triumph Baptist Federal Credit Union.
At this first meeting, financial pledges were made which amounted to a little more than $5,000. An offering of $1,100 was given that night and was banked in the name of the newly organized church by Brother Willie Walker and Brother Robert Middleton, Chairmen of the Trustee Board.
We worshipped for four Sundays at Mt. Sinai Tabernacle jointly and on the first Sunday night in December 1969, we came to 16th & Wingohocking Street to occupy the Mt. Herman Church of God building which had been vacated by a white congregation. We were led to this facility by Rev. Joseph Gilmore, a precious friend and dear brother. Here we stayed, here we have ministered, here we have witnessed, here we have grown and here we have been blessed by the power of the Almighty God! Since we've been established at this place, we have initiated outreach ministries that have impacted the surrounding communities and have won many souls to Jesus Christ.
On February 18, 1978, fire destroyed Triumph Baptist Church. We had to regroup and rebuild. For three years, we were out of our home church and we worshipped at the Boys and Girls Club on Wayne Avenue. Our Church School was held in 15 homes of members. In March of 1981, the building was rebuilt and we once again worshipped in our own Church on the first Sunday in March. Since that time, we've witnessed the power and presence of God in a mighty way.
By God's grace, we continued to grow and later we purchased 2 houses on 16th Street and demolished those to build an educational wing that later housed our Daycare, Christian School, Senior Citizen ministry, a food distribution ministry, and an off-street chapel for small weddings, meetings and worship overflow. We purchased property at Broad and Wingohocking Streets, which is now our Shop and Bag Supermarket. We purchased a building at 18th & Courtland, which was originally going to be the site for our new church. But, God lead us to build our new edifice at Germantown and Hunting Park, and we have been enjoying the beauty and comfort of our new edifice since October, 2007.
The St. Paul's Baptist Church of Brooklyn, New York, and the Triumph Baptist Church formed a partnership to purchase a hotel site in Mannheim, PA, Lancaster County. This was to be a hotel/resort center. This property was later sold and the benefit from selling this property was used for the purchase of our Germantown and Hunting Park location.
The School District of Philadelphia has deeded the property adjacent to our parking lot to Triumph Baptist Church, which will be (in the near future) our Family Life Center.
We support the Foreign Mission Bureau of the Progressive Baptist Convention and the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention. We are monthly supporters of the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention and we also support and feed approximately 500 people annually in Haiti. We provide regular support to missions, ministries and churches pastored by "sons of our Church". Triumph also contributes annually to several Black colleges. We are life members of the NAACP and we have endeavored to support every cause that would benefit humanity with special emphasis on helping our children.
Over the past 40 years, from November 11, 1969 to present day, the Triumph Baptist Church has seen many victories. We've had our many struggles and trials, but they came to make us strong and victorious. Our motto is "Victory through Christ" and our theme scripture is..."but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"(I Corinthians 15:57). From 63 members in the beginning to more than 5,400 members today...thanks be to God for the Victory!