the year 1882, some significant beginnings were birthed.
on January 30, 1882, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the
thirty-second President of the United States was born.
On the first Monday in May, the Tidewater Metro Baptist
Ministers' Conference was organized.
the early part of the year, and before this time, there
was no organization of Colored (Black) pastors in the
area. The Reverend J.M. Armstead, upon assuming the
pastorate of Zion Baptist Church, Portsmouth, March
1, 1882, expressed the idea, "That it would be
profitable and helpful for Colored Pastors to affiliate
with their own group." So, Reverend J.M. Armstead
along with Reverend Richard Speller and Reverend Holland
Powell brought together a conference of Colored (Black)
Pastors. They discussed the feasibility of forming an
organization for Colored Pastors.
conference was held on the first Monday in May in 1882.
At the time of its birth, the Conference was not named
the Tidewater Metro Baptist Ministers' Conference, its
proper name now. Several other names have been used.
Reverend Harvey N. Johnson, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist
Church, Portsmouth, proposed the present name.It was
adopted the latter part of 1967.
the goal of the conference was "To be of mutual
help (to pastors) and to protect the pulpits from imposters,"
it has manifested strong support with outreach ministries.
Included in the history of the Conference is strong
support for: Virginia Seminary and College (Virginia
University at Lynchburg, VA), the School of Theology
(Virginia Union University), Shaw Divinity School, Children's
Home of Virginia Baptists (Petersburg, VA), Lott Carey
Baptist Foreign Mission Convention (Washington, DC),
Rogers Alcohol and Rescue Mission (Norfolk, VA), Kirk-Cone
Rehabilitation and Handicap Center (Norfolk, VA), and
EVMS Medical School (Norfolk, VA).
1980, the Conference took a giant step in support Christian
and Theological training for ministers. Guided by the
advice of Dr. James Powell, a non-profit organization,
The Theological Scholarship Foundation, was founded
separate from the Conference.
Milton R. Blount, pastor of New Mount Olivet Baptist
Church, Portsmouth, VA, serves as the current president
of the Conference.
Conference publishes, separately, its goals, and objectives
for the conference year. These, along with the constitution
and by-laws, serve as a guide to the Conference's presence
in the Hampton Roads area and beyond.