our story

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.  

what we believe

About God
We believe there is one, and only one, true and living God. While the Godhead is indivisible, He exists in three separate persons—God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These three persons make up what we call the Trinity. Each person of the Trinity is equal in divine attributes and executes distinct, but harmonious, offices in the work of creation and redemption.

About Jesus Christ
We believe Jesus Christ is the eternal, only begotten Son of God; was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary as no other man was ever nor can ever be born of a woman. He is “God manifest in the flesh.”  He lived an absolutely sinless life, and in His death, He made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, dying voluntarily in our place. Three days after He died, He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, interceding and preparing a place for us. We believe that at any moment, He will appear in the air to rapture His saints, and after seven years, will come again with the saints to set up the throne of David and establish His millennial kingdom.

About the Church
We believe  the local church is a congregation of baptized believers; associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel. The church observes two ordinances given by Christ; baptism and communion. We believe the Church is called to worship, disciple, fellowship, edify, evangelize and bring others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

About Creation
We believe the Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally. God created the world in six literal days and he rested on the seventh day. We believe man was created in God’s image; not as a result of evolutionary change.

About Salvation
We believe Jesus Christ died for the whole world and through the Holy Spirit’s drawing man to Christ, anyone can come to know Jesus as Savior by trusting in His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation has nothing to do with being a good person. Rather, it is received only by faith in Christ and is seen as a change in one’s life. Everyone who accepts Christ as Savior is guaranteed new life and an eternity in Heaven with Him.

Important Symbols
We believe  the church is to observe specific ordinances that were commanded to us by Jesus Christ in His Word. We observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis in remembrance of the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples before His death. We also believe every believer should be baptized by immersion, following the method John the Baptist and Jesus baptized in the New Testament.

If you desire a more in depth understanding of what we believe, click here.