On behalf of the members of Ritchie Baptist Church, Welcome to our website!
Please join us every Sunday Morning at 9:30am for Sunday School & 11:00am Worship
Our Staff(Rev) Dr. Sterling R. Swann, Jr.
(Rev) Ricky Harris
Assistant to the Pastor
(Rev) Linda Harris
(Rev) Edward Capers, Jr.
(Rev) Jasper Chamberlain, Sr.
Deacon Quinton Jones
Chair, Deacon Ministry
Deacon Gary Carroll
Assistant Chair, Deacon Ministry
Deacon In Training Bro. Willis
Trustee, Deacon Ministry
Deaconess Alberta Chamberlain
Chair, Deaconess Ministry
Deaconess Yvette Savoy
Chair, Women Ministry and Chair, Church Treasurer
Deaconess Carolyn Swann
Deaconess Sharon A. Jones
Deaconess Ministry, Church Admin.
Deaconess Alice Knight
Deaconess Lilly Washington
Deaconess Ministry, Chair Trustee
Deaconess Ethlyn Carroll
Deaconess Ministry, Chair Missions
Deaconess Sheilda Fitzgerald
Chair Ushers, Deaconess Ministry
Trustee Sylvia Spadey-Viney
RITCHIE BAPTIST CHURCH
On Wednesday, August 3, 1966, at 2:00p.m., representatives of the Forestville Baptist Church, the Upper Marlboro Baptist Church, the Parkway Baptist Church, and the D.C. Baptist Convention met to conduct a meeting on the need for a Baptist Church in the Ritchie-North Hampton area. Those present were Rev. Richard J. Sweetman, Pastor, and Rev. William E. Nash, Associate Pastor of the Forestville Church; Rev. Joseph Stover, Pastor of the Upper Marlboro Baptist Church and James Cunningham, a layman of Upper Marlboro Church; Rev. Walter G. Gummelt, Pastor of the Parkway Church, Jim Swann and Donald MacDaniel, laymen of Parkway Church; and Dr. William J. Crowder, Director of Missions and Evangelism Programs of the D.C. Baptist Convention. Rev. Richard J. Sweetman presided over the meeting. In that meeting it was decided that there was such a need and that the Rev. William E. Nash would be the pastor and Mr. Cunningham of Upper Marlboro would be the associate.
The first prayer meeting was held the first week in October 1966 in the home of Donald MacDaniel. The first Sunday School class and morning worship were held on November 2, 1966, with 18 members present and an offering of $60.00. This marked the birth of the Ritchie Baptist Chapel.
In January 1967, Mr. Cunningham became pastor due to Rev. Nash's failing health. In February of 1967, the Chapel purchased the present property on which the church now stands. The new building was occupied in April of that same year. Rev. Cunningham resigned as pastor in April 1969. The Chapel called Rev. Joseph Stover as interim pastor. He served until Rev. Julian R. Mills became pastor in February 1970. Under Rev. Mills’ leadership, the church grew to 207 members. October 31, 1971, the Ritchie Baptist Chapel became the Ritchie Baptist Church, fulfilling the dreams of its organizers.
Over the years the church has undergone a number of changes in appearance and size. In 1971 the area now used as the dining room was added. Also, in 1974 the steeple was donated to the church by J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency of New York, and the vestibule was added on the front of the church in 1975 to accommodate it. The pews upon which we now sit were also added.
In April 1991 Rev. Jasper Chamberlain was installed as Pastor of Ritchie Baptist Church. Under his leadership and by the Grace of God, we continued to add to the body of Christ. He initiated new member classes and Pastor's Classes which were held on Monday's nights, where one can ask the pastor questions. He also organized the Senior Choir, the Singing Angels Chorus, J. C. Spiritual, and the Usher Board. In 1994, the church added an additional restroom, new speakers and mics in the sanctuary, a water fountain, and hot running water. In the same year, the church was painted on the inside and outside, and the members purchased a church van. The parsonage was also renovated and a new sign was mounted on the north side of the church. In 1997, the Kitchenette was added. God blessed Pastor Chamberlain to ordain five Deacons: Bro. Ricky A. Battle, October 6, 1993; Bro. Quinton F. Jones, August 7, 1994; Bro. Vandelibn Taylor, April 28, 1996; and Bro. Robert Johnson and Bro. Terrence Hall on November 5, 2000. Installed later were Bro. Thomas Brown, August 7, 1994; and Licensed Minister, Deacon Sidney W. Samuel on August 10, 1996. Minister Sidney W. Samuel was ordained on April 25, 1998. Pastor Jasper Chamberlain retired on December 10, 2003, and Rev. Sidney Samuel became our interim pastor. Rev. Samuel was installed on March 7, 2004, as the ninth Pastor of the Ritchie Baptist Church. Under his leadership the Women's Ministry was revived, and all weekly services (Pastor's Class and Bible Study and Prayer Meeting) were moved to Wednesday Night (April 2004). In 2005, improvements were made to the exterior and interior of the church. Furthermore, in 2006, a new paved parking area was completed, and a new sound system was installed. In 2007, the church saw a need to purchase a van to bring members who were without transportation to the church to hear the Gospel. Brother Lance Johnson was appointed over this Ministry. Moreover, Deaconess Alberta Chamberlain was appointed Chairperson of the Usher Board Ministry and the Deaconess Ministry. Sister Greta Samuel was licensed to minister the Gospel on July 2, 2012. On October 18, 2010, Reverend Sidney W. Samuel stepped down as pastor of Ritchie Baptist Church. The church was without a pastor from October 18, 2010, through January 7, 2012. However, the members did not stop serving the Lord. Each Sunday Morning Worship Service, different preachers came to bring forth the Word of God. In 2012, the members voted to elect a new pastor. The members elected Reverend Sterling Swann as the new Pastor of the Ritchie Baptist Church. Reverend Swann preached his first sermon at Ritchie as the Pastor-Elect on Sunday, February 5th. His text was Joshua 1:1-9, and the message was titled, “It’s a New Day!” Reverend Swann stated to the members of Ritchie that he wanted to focus on three areas of ministry in 2012: Evangelism and outreach, Christian Education, and the Youth ministry. He is actively pursuing the vision and plan that the Lord has shown him. Reverend Swann was installed as Pastor of the Ritchie Baptist Church on Sunday, July 1st, 2012 at the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. Carl V. Messiah, Sr. is Pastor. Since being elected as Pastor, Pastor Swann has restructured the midweek Prayer, Praise, and Bible Study to include services at mid-day and evening, which has allowed the attendance to increase dramatically. Pastor Swann has also restructured the morning worship service to include the song of invocation, hymn of the month, and the fellowship moment. Furthermore, church attendance has increased under Pastor Swann’s leadership. Four ministers currently serve on the ministerial staff; Rev. Ricky Harris, Rev. Linda Harris, Rev. Edward Capers, and Rev. Jasper Chamberlain, Pastor Emeritus, who returned to the Ritchie Baptist Church early in 2013. In addition, three Deacons have been added to the Deacon’s Ministry, three Deaconess have been added to the Deaconess Ministry, and three Trustees have been added to the Trustees’ Ministry. Also under Pastor Swann’s leadership, the following things have occurred: quarterly gospel concerts have been held featuring many local singing groups, Youth Sunday has been reinstituted and held on the 2nd Sunday of the month, Annual Youth and Fall Revival services have been conducted, Youth Lock-in has been held in 2013, 2014, 2015 prior to youth going back to school, the Men’s Fellowship was reorganized and reinstituted, the Potomac River Baptist Association has held various sessions and congresses at Ritchie, new plush carpet was installed in the sanctuary and fellowship area, new chairs were purchased for the dining area, the Sunday School has been restructured to include classes for all ages, Officers, teacher’s, and membership seminars have been conducted to strengthen the congregation, a luxurious 22 passenger bus was purchased for the church’s transportation needs, Vacation Bible School has been held since July 2013 with great success, the Potomac River Bible Institute officially opened in the Ritchie Baptist Church Christian Education Center on Saturday, April 26, 2014, the SSJ (Sterling Swann Jr.) Liturgical Dance Ministry was organized, the church partnered with the SHARE Food Network to provide food to those in need in the congregation and community, and the church is currently involved in a building program with projections that the new 200+ seat edifice will be completed sometime in 2017. These are just some of the accomplishments the Lord has blessed to occur at the Ritchie Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Swann.
The Ritchie Baptist Church continues to thank God for His tremendous blessings and are anxiously awaiting the good things the Lord has in store for Ritchie and the community as they continue to live up to their motto: “The Ritchie Baptist Church; the church where love is taught and demonstrated!”
We are living in a fallen world, and our mandate and assignment from the Lord is to reach the lost, the left behind, and the left out for Jesus Christ. We are to bring hope to those who have lost hope, and care for those who have hurt and neglected. We are to lead men, women, and children to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Mission is to obey the Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Our vision is to impact the immediate Upper Marlboro area, and Northern and Southern Prince Georges County for the cause of Jesus Christ—leading men, women, and children into a healthy and meaningful relationship with the Lord. It is our vision to create an atmosphere of unity and cooperation amongst the churches, organizations, and denominations in the body of Christ. It is our vision, prayers, and desire to grow into a multicultural, multiracial, multinational congregation meeting the spiritual and physical needs of all of God’s created peoples. It is our vision to meet the needs of the whole individual: physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and spiritually.
Ritchie Baptist Church Ministries:
Christian Education – This ministry oversees and supports all of the teaching ministries of the church. It develops new curriculum and provides ongoing training for bible teachers.
Sunday School – This ministry provides biblical teaching and evangelistic ministry for the church. Sunday School is for all ages, not just children.
Discipleship Ministry – This ministry encourages and develops church members to become effective disciples of the Lord. This is accomplished through bible teaching and biblical mentoring.
Youth Ministry – This ministry works with the youth and young adults of the church and community to teach, train, and develop them into sincere disciples of Jesus Christ and useful citizens in society.
Missions Ministry – This ministry manages and oversees the evangelistic ministries of the church including domestic and foreign mission’s efforts.
Men Ministry – This ministry works with the young and adult male members of the church to strengthen and develop them into effective disciples and leaders in the body of Christ.
Women Ministry – This ministry works with the young and adult female members of the church to strengthen and develop them into effective disciples in the body of Christ.
Usher Ministry – This ministry officially greets visitors and members, and welcomes them to the church. They are responsible for seating worshippers and seeing to their needs throughout the worship service.
Counseling Ministry – This ministry provides biblical counseling to members of the church who desire or need guidance in various matters.
Administrative Ministry – This ministry takes care of the day to day administrative duties of the church.
Pastor Concern Ministry – This ministry looks out for the welfare and needs of the Pastor and his family.
Music Ministry – This ministry provides all of the music for the worship services and other services. All choirs, musicians, and choir directors are under this ministry.
SSJ Liturgical Dance Ministry – This ministry leads the congregation in praise and worship through dance.
IT Ministry – This ministry oversees the technology used by the church such as AV, PCs, Internet, Telephones, and other business equipment.
Culinary Ministry – This ministry oversees all activities involving the kitchen to include preparing food for worshippers, and/or providing meals for the hungry. Those in this ministry are licensed and certified by the County and Board of Health.
SHARE Food Network – This ministry provides groceries to those in the community who are needy. For $21.00 SHARE provides meats, vegetables, fruits, and starches. This is held monthly.
Clothing Ministry – This ministry provides used clothing to the community for those who are in need.
Family Life Ministry – This ministry supports the families of the church and encourages unity, wholeness, health, and wellbeing.
Benevolence Ministry – This ministry reaches and provides help to the members of the church who are sick and shut-in, and disabled and unable to attend worship on a regular basis.
Wellness Ministry – This ministry ministers to the whole person; body, soul, and spirit. It is holistic in its approach ministering to the spiritual man through bible teaching and training, and the physical man through exercise, proper eating, and strength training.
Senior’s Ministry (Coming Soon) – This ministry will work with the senior citizens of the church and surrounding community providing various daily activities such as games, shopping, movies, exercise, book readings, etc…
Singles Ministry (Coming Soon) – This ministry will work with the single members of the church and community encouraging celibacy until marriage, and following the biblical principles of dating.
Couples Ministry (Coming Soon) – This ministry will work with the married and engaged members of the church and community encouraging fidelity and faithfulness in this union, reminding couples that God instituted marriage, not mankind.
Divorce Recover Ministry (Coming Soon) – This ministry will work with divorce members of the church and community and helps them to recover and gain their footing after going through a divorce.
Before and After Care Ministry (Coming Soon) – This ministry will provide school age children with the opportunity to be involved with biblical activities prior to catching the bus to school in the morning and being picked up by their parents at the end of the school day.
Christian Academy (Coming Soon) – This ministry will provide educational training for children ages 5 yrs old (Kindergarten) through 10 yrs old (5th Grade) initially.