Mount Aery Baptist Church draws its name from the Biblical Mount Ararat where Noah's Ark is believed to have come to its final rest. The church had its beginning in the home of Mrs. Simon Woods at 36 Wallace Street, in 1923. From Mrs. Woods' home, the group moved to a storefront on Hurd and Goodsell Street. The original members were Reverend James D. Wilson, his wife, Mrs. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Gomes, Mr. and Mrs. David Thomas and Mrs. Jessie Steward Edwards. In the year 1925, the group was compelled to move because of the lack of space. A site at 86 Wallace Street was purchased. How proud the congregation was to march from Hurd and Goodsell Streets to the Wallace Street site.
The church was incorporated January 15, 1926. As time passed and more room was needed, the lot across from 86 Wallace Street was purchased and in 1938, the congregation marched across the street to 73 Wallace Street. Reverend Wilson passed in 1941 and Reverend Arthur C. Bass was called as the second pastor. The mortgage of 73 Wallace Street was burned in 1943 under his leadership. Also under his pastorate, rental property next to the church, 63-65 Wallace Street was purchased. Reverend Bass served as pastor for 30 years. He went home to be with the Lord in 1972. The Reverend David Smalls was called to pastor the church on January 21, 1973 as the third pastor. The church benefited educationally by reactivating classes in Bible and Baptist Doctrine. The residence of the late Reverend Bass at 386 Greenwood Street was purchased for use as a parsonage. Reverend Smalls passed in 1975.
In December of 1975, the congregation called Reverend Fredrick Jerome Streets to serve as pastor. The building fund was instituted, and a property was purchased from Kaufman Electronics for $169,000 at 73 Frank Street. Under the leadership of Reverend Fredrick Jerome Streets, our new church was a reality. A consortium of seven banks namely; Bank One of Connecticut, Lafayette Bank and Trust, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, Connecticut National Bank, Union Trust Bank, State National Bank of Connecticut, and Peoples Bank financed its construction. With God's blessings, on April 28, 1981 the groundbreaking for 73 Frank Street church site took place.
The design for the new church building was inspired by Mark 15:38, "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom." The architectural design, a square, divided by the windows from top to bottom, allows the focal point, the cross, to be visible from the interior of the main sanctuary. The cross was raised on Maundy Thursday, April 8, 1982. On Easter Sunday, 1992, after seventeen years of diligent labor, many hearts were broken when God called Reverend Streets to the larger community of Yale University to assume the post of University Chaplain.
In April of 1994, Reverend Anthony L. Bennett was called as the fifth pastor. Under the gospel teaching ministry of Pastor Bennett, Mount Aery has seen a significant increase in spiritual growth and leadership development. Additional attention has been given to the training of officers and leaders in the church. Mount Aery has deepened its commitment to extend itself to the Bridgeport community. Various ministries are being established to meet the growing needs of the church and community. On Resurrection Sunday 2002, by the divine principle of Faith Claiming the Mountain, Not Equal Giving But Equal Sacrifice, Dr. Bennett and Mount Aery gave a sacrificially to successfully complete its 1996 goal to liquidate the balance of the church mortgage, which at that time totaled over $777,000. Mount Aery honors its founding disciples for without their sacrifices, prayers and faith in God, this current triumph would not be possible.
Mount Aery Baptist Church has served and continues to serve as a strong beacon of hope to its congregation and to the community by providing sound spiritual leadership and charitable support for many religious, civic, and community efforts. Through the consistent commitment to improve the lives of others, the disciples and ministries of Mount Aery Baptist Church will continue to help expand the cause of Christian Faith. We diligently strive to advance the work of the church, serve others effectively to sufficiently meet the needs of the community.