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Star of Hope Baptist Church



The Star of Hope Baptist Church of Tacony, located in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has a historical beginning dating back to the time of the First World War. 


In the year 1916, the demands for labor were critical.  The Henry Disston and Sons’ Manufacturing Company of Tacony, sent one of its employees, in the person of Mr. Floyd Booker, to Rice, Virginia, to obtain men for work.  A number of men responded to this offer.  As a result, several families migrated from Rice, Virginia to live in Tacony. 


Many of the people that settled in Tacony had strong religious Baptist backgrounds.  It was through their interest and concern that regular organized prayer services were held under the supervision of Deacon Samuel Rice, in the home of Mrs. Vienna Pierce, located at Knorr and Wissinoming Streets.  The need for a stronger Christian Fellowship resulted in the organization of a Mission meeting from home to home.  The first service was held in the home of the Rev, Henry Haskins, located at Wissinoming and Disston Streets.  Within a few months the congregation began meeting in the “Odd Fellows Hall”, located on the second floor of Bell’s Market at Longshore and Edmund Streets.


In 1917, the congregation rented a small brick building with a store front at 6912 State Road.  There was a strong need for a leader and recognition as a Baptist Church.  Through the coordinated efforts of Rev. Tryan and Deacon W. Jackson, Rev. John E. Philpot suggested as a possible leader.   By unanimous vote, Rev. Philpot became the first spiritual leader and pastor.  Mrs. Mary Rice, a faithful member, felt that due to the many trials of our existence, the church should be named “STAR OF HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH”.  The congregation was happy to accept this name.  The first officers were:  Deacon Samuel Rice, Chairman of the Deacon Board; Mr. Samuel Vaughan, Chairman of the Trustee Board; Mr. Garfield Rice, Treasurer; Mrs. Martha Burke, Superintendent of Sunday School; Mr. Floyd Booker, Church Clerk; Mrs. Hattie Shelton, Organist; and Mr. Charles Coleman, Choir Director.


In search for a larger and better building to worship and glorify God, the membership purchased a former elementary school building located at the corner of Wissinoming and Disston Streets for a sum of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00).  In May, 1918, a happy and proud congregation marched into the school building.  It was at this location that the church expanded in Christian fellowship.  In 1920, Rev. Philpot resigned to serve in another field of labor.  He was appointed to the Foreign Mission. 


The extension of the Interstate “95” Expressway caused several property changes in the community.  Because of this expansion, the Star of Hope Baptist Church had to relocate,  a new church site, at the corner of Hegerman and Friendship Streets was purchased, with a mortgage of fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000.00) from the Frankford Banking & Trust Company. 


In October, 1961, a Ground-Breaking Ceremony was conducted by Rev. Thompson with the assistance of Rev. George N. Kenner of Second Baptist Church, Frankford, PA and State Senator William Vincent Mullin.  During the construction of the new building, the membership of Star of Hope worshipped for a period of ten months in the Disston Union Hall located at Longshore and Tulip Streets.   


On Sunday, November 18, 1962, the congregation moved into a new house of worship. At the time of its completion Star of Hope was the first Black congregation in Philadelphia to completely erect a church from ground up in more than fifty years.  The corner stone laying service was held on Sunday, June 23, 1963. 


The Star of Hope Baptist Church was incorporated by the State of Pennsylvania and chartered by the City of Philadelphia in 1963.  The officers were:  Deacon Paul Vaughn, Chairman of the Board of Directors’ Trustee Wallace Randolph; Mrs. Vivian M. Whitmore, Secretary; and Trustee Manuel Fisher, Treasurer.  The church continued to grow under the following pastors:

Rev. Charles Coleman (1920)

Rev. John E. Philpot (1928)

Rev. J.H. Massey (1929)  . 

Rev. Thomas H. Washington (1933). 

Rev. J.H. Marshall (1937). 

Rev. Fletcher L. Patterson 1941

Rev. G.H. Mills (1947)). 

Rev. George N. Kenner (1949). 

Rev. James Phillip Thompson (1959). 

Rev. William B. Glenn (1964)

Rev. Joseph Fuller, Jr. (1968)

Rev. Samuel B. Adkins (1976)

Rev. Dr. Hubert B. Barnes (1986)

Rev. William E. Bounds,  Assist.  


Star of Hope Baptist Church has been blessed with 24 sons and daughters in the ministry –  16 of the sons and daughters have become ordained ministries."


Star of Hope has always felt the need for community involvement and service to mankind. (Mark 16:15)  “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”


SHBC prepared and served food for 200 men and women at Our Brother’s Place, a Homeless Shelter located in Center City.  Since 2009, SHBC has provided a food cupboard to nourish the hungry and those in need of food, even though the Pandemic the Food Pantry never shut its doors.


SHBC has sought the support from and collaboration with schools, churches and civic associations in the Northeast Section of Philadelphia and an active member of NESTCO (Northeast Support Team Co.) ensuring service and involvement in the community. 


Star of Hope Baptist Church has been blessed with a rich heritage.  It is a heritage of GOD first,  faith, commitment, sacrifice, perseverance, love and God’s grace and mercy as the Lord’s church has ministered together to carry on the work of Jesus Christ and to bring glory to God.  Over One hundred and seven years ago Christian men and women met to organize a Church.  Since that small beginning and on-going journey, GOD has blessed Star of Hope abundantly.  Although 107 years have come and gone, the goals of the church remain the same:  to exalt Christ, to edify believers, and to reach out to the community and the world in Christian witness. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,  Star of Hope strived and continued its mission of praising and worshipping God and serving the community.

As we mark our 107th year, we thank and praise God for the opportunity to be a beacon of hope and a friend to all, nurturing the body and guidance to do God’s will and to praise His Holy Name!

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our pastor
Rev Hubert B Barnes

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