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CPBC History

The history of Clifton Park Baptist Church (CPBC) is a story of people believing, dreaming, planning and building in the name of Jesus - Savior and Lord.

CPBC began in the heart of the people of Calvary Baptist Church in the Nation's Capital. At the suggestion of their pastor, Dr. Clarence W. Cranford, the members decided to offer to Christ a special gift for Christmas in 1949. A committee was then formed to determine how the gift could bring honor to the Lord. Mr. Carl Bogardus, a member of Calvary and also the Chairman of the Mission Committee for the D.C. Baptist Convention, recommended that the money be used to start a mission church in the Greater Washington area. The committee unanimously accepted this proposal and proceeded to set in motion the machinery to select a site. After much searching and prayer a site was purchased for $42,000 in Clifton Park, at the intersection of Old Bladensburg Road (now University Boulevard) and Piney Branch Road. The Property included almost two acres of land and a large white frame two-story colonial house, which served as a meeting place for the congregation in its earliest years.

Opening services in the "Chapel on the Hill" were held on December 3, 1950. Dr. Cranford convened the Sunday School that morning with forty-five persons in attendance, and Dr. William J. Crowder, the church's first interim pastor, and Director of Missions and Evangelism for the D.C. Baptist Convention, presided in the worship service with sixty-one persons present.  Under the leadership of Dr. Crowder and his successor, Dr. Howard Rees, the congregation established roots and grew. It soon became apparent that the chapel would not be adequate for the needs of the growing congregation, and that the time was rapidly approaching when the church would need a full-time permanent pastor. And so, with foresight and faith, the church appointed a building committee and called the Reverend William J. Millar, who began his pastorate on October 21, 1951.

In 1952, the church approved a long-range building program and proceeded with the first phase. This building, which was dedicated on April 26, 1953, included a sanctuary and church office on the main floor and four classrooms and a boiler room on the lower level. The $65,000 cost was borne by the parent church, while the mission congregation assumed the responsibility for the 32,000 debt, which remained on the property, and the $19,000 owed on the recently purchased parsonage at 723 Forston Drive. Under the leadership of Pastor Millar and dedicated laypersons such as Mr. Bogardus, the congregation became fully constituted as a church of 193 charter members. The new church became a member of the D.C. Baptist Convention and thereby, affiliated with both the American and Southern Baptist Conventions on January 1, 1954.   

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    Clifton Park Baptist Church
    8818 Piney Branch Road
    Silver Spring, MD 20903
    301-434-2456
    301-434-4114 (fax)
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