1740 Forest Drive
Annapolis, MD 21401
As FOLLOWERS of Christ,
We SHARE God's love
And SERVE others.

Heritage Baptist Church 
History of Heritage Baptist

Over a century ago, five dedicated Annapolitans resolved to establish a Baptist church in Annapolis.  This journey of faith is the genesis of today's mission at Heritage Baptist Church.

At the turn of the century, First Baptist Church of Eastport was the nearest Baptist congregation to Annapolis.  In those days, it was outside the city, across Spa Creek and accessible only by boat.  In 1899, five members from Eastport Baptist pledged to organize an assembly in Annapolis and raise $1200 to purchase a lot on the northwest corner of College Avenue and St. John Street, across from the State House.  In 1903, College Avenue Baptist was formally organized.  It flourished at that site until 1972, when the State of Maryland purchased the property for construction of state offices, and the church moved to its current location on Forest Drive, taking the name Heritage Baptist Church.    

The story of College Avenue Baptist and Heritage Baptist, 1903 to 2002, is a story of faith that takes us on a journey through the end of the second millennium and into the beginning of the third.  It was a time of enormous change in every aspect of life.   

The church’s history, as recounted in  “A Centennial History: College Avenue/Heritage Baptist Church” (written by Julie Belding and HBC member Florence Haney), reads much like the history of Annapolis.  Records reveal members’ involvement in the growth of the community, and document significant local and national events, from the 1904 fire in Annapolis that destroyed over 15 buildings, to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

One prominent historical tie HBC has with the community is its involvement with Naval Academy Midshipmen.  Mids were not allowed to attend Sunday School outside the Naval Academy until 1916.  College Avenue Baptist started a midshipmen Bible class that year, and attendance grew to 225 in its heyday in 1925, becoming the largest midshipmen’s class in the city.  In the years since, mids have participated in every aspect of church life.  Many found their spouses among the congregation and serve in leadership roles in the church. Heritage church families continue this rich history of association with the Naval Academy to this day, by serving as sponsors for incoming mids.

As Heritage Baptist enters its second century of service to the Lord, the words of Isaiah 54:2 serve as a guide and challenge:  "Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes." (NRSV) 

A complete history of Heritage Baptist Church,  “A Centennial History: College Avenue/Heritage Baptist Church 1903-2003” by Florence Haney and Julie Belding is available through the HBC Library, the Library of Congress, Maryland State Archives, and the Anne Arundel County Public Library.