Central Baptist Church was charted in 1957 by Dr. U.G. Robertson. The first service was held on July 28, 1957, under a tent on Gillis Road in the Craddock neighborhood of Portsmouth, VA, with eight in attendance. Records from the following Sunday show that attendance climbed to twenty, an offering of $9.66 was collected and one couple joined the church, Rev. and Mrs. U.G. Robertson. Central's first baptisms occurred on Sunday, August 25, 1957.
The little church under the tent continued to grow and moved to 1500 Elm Avenue before its first anniversary. The church also decided to begin supporting its first missionary in 1958, Rev. Bobby Finch, missionary to Japan. God continued to bless the church with salvation decisions and baptisms and by 1959, membership had increased to 142. Central also held its first revival and Missions Conference in 1959.
By its third anniversary, attendance swelled to 343 and the need for additional space (and air conditioning) was clear. In 1964, Central purchased 6.5 acres on 1200 Hodges Ferry Road in Portsmouth, VA where the church still resides today. The first service in this new, air conditioned sanctuary was held on Mother's Day, 1965. The 60's also brought about the church's bus ministry. The Educational Building was completed in 1968. In 1969, the church hired its first Associate Pastor, Rev. Gary Harley. Rev. Harley continued to serve God faithfully at Central until he retired from full time ministry in October, 1998.
It was during the 80's that the expansion of Central Baptist was fully realized. The buildings were completed, the buses were picking up hundreds of children each week, and missionary emphasis steadily climbed to over $100,000 given to missions annually. People were continually saved, baptized and added to the church. Four missionary families were sent out to various countries.
In 1997, Pastor U.G. Robertson retired from the pastorate and the church called Timothy Robertson as their new pastor. Central continues to minister to the Portsmouth community from the Hodges Ferry Road location with worship services, Bible studies, children's and youth ministries. The church's missions emphasis supports over 70 missionaries around the world and local missions program in the U.S. Pastor Tim Robertson continues to lead the church with the message that methods may change through the years to effectively reach new generations, but Central's doctrinal position does not.