Reverend Weldom M. McWilliams Sr.
In May 1966, Reverend Weldom M. McWilliams Sr., responded to the call and need for a Pastor. Reverend McWilliams was born in Greenwood, Mississippi, raised in Kent, Ohio and later moved to Paterson, New Jersey. Reverend McWilliams accepted Christ early in life and became a member of the St. Luke Baptist Church, where his father was the Pastor. He announced his call to the ministry and was subsequently licensed and ordained by Reverend A.M. Tyler. Before coming to Grace Chapel, he was the Pastor at the Beautiful Zion Church in Newark, New Jersey and was the Associate Minister of Second Canaan Baptist Church in New York, New York.
Reverend McWilliams warm, faithful and humble spirit endeared him to many people. In May 1967, God used him to lead Grace Chapel from 34 Straight Street to the 22-26 Haledon Ave, Paterson, New Jersey. Under Reverend McWilliams’ pastorate, deacons were ordained, officers appointed along with the inception of various auxiliaries/ministries. In addition, many people united with the church and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. As the church financially progressed a corner stone was laid after an official mortgage burning ceremony in 1974. Rev. McWilliams along with his wife Mrs. Ida McWilliams served the congregation faithfully for 24 years until his passing on December 7, 1990
Reverend Zebedee Lawton
In April 1992, Reverend Zebedee Lawton came to Grace as interim Pastor from New Hope Baptist Church, Newark, NJ. Later the same year, he was selected as Pastor. Under Reverend Lawton’s pastorate, Grace Chapel continued to grow with additional deacons ordained and officers appointed. Under his leadership in 1999, two ministers were ordained, our Associate Pastor, Reverend Anthony Cureton and Reverend Sarah Alford. In addition, new ministries commenced, including a food outreach program, the introduction of computer classes and a day care center. Many of the classes and programs started by Reverend Lawton were for spiritual maturity, personal growth and leadership development that continue today. With his wife, Mrs. Margaret Lawton, he worked faithfully until he was called from labor to reward on April 23, 2000.
Reverend F.D. Bellamy
Reverend F.D. Bellamy was ordained under the pastoral care of Reverend A.M. Tyler at St. Luke Baptist Church, which he was a member. While laboring under the leadership of Reverend Tyler, God ministered to the heart of Reverend Bellamy to branch off in an alternate direction. Armored with hours of prayer along with his mission and vision in tow, Reverend Tyler clipped the wing of his spiritual son enabling him to fly. With this spiritual change God gave birth to Grace Chapel Baptist Church on August 4, 1956 and opened its doors at 40-42 Carroll Street in Paterson, New Jersey with 10 committed souls who believed that the bible is the written and inspired Word of God and they were determined to live for Christ.
During the 1950 social change and civil rights era there was an influx of African-Americans migrating from the Southland to the booming manufacturing Silk City hub in hopes of a better life. With the increased population and changing demographics there was a strong desire of many new arrivals to hold fast to their Christian values prompting them to look for a church home. With a host of newcomers and Rev. Bellamy at the helm, the congregation quickly outgrew the small house of worship and moved to 34 Straight Street, Paterson, New Jersey on August 15, 1959.
Rev. Bellamy with his wife Mrs. Genevieve Bellamy served the congregation faithfully until his death on February 18, 1966.
About Our Church
Grace Chapel Baptist Church is one of the leading congregations in the Paterson area. We are a vibrant congregation dedicated to serving the spiritual, educational, and cultural needs of the surrounding community. Our Church is deeply rooted in holy words, and our doors are always open to community members who are looking for a quiet place to worship. Contact us, or visit us to learn more about how to become a part of our congregation.