Mount Hermon Baptist Church (Mount Hermon) was birthed out of The Ninetieth Street Baptist Church (90th Street). 90th Street was organized and set apart in the year of our Lord 1930, at the home of Sister Rachel Archer Ham, located at 9008 Harley Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The late Reverend Vernon W. Davis was the Establishmentarian-Pastor. Among the seedlings of the ministry were Brother John Ham, Sister Rachel Archer Ham, Brother Leonard Powell, Sister Martha Powell and family, Brother and Sister Henry Owens and family.
Since the Church had no permanent building at that time, various members volunteered their homes to conduct worship services, and at times (weather permitting), a tent was used. Reverend Davis later left to pastor a church in New Jersey. From that period of time until 1946, many ministers served; among them, the late Reverend Shepard Collins served the longest.
In the early 1940s, members, neighbors and friends helped erect a permanent building, which was completed in 1946. Deacon John Ham oversaw this project. The late Reverend Thomas St. Clair Medley(Reverend T. S. Medley) was installed as the second pastor in succession on March 16, 1946.
The location of the new edifice was said to be an ideal meeting place because of its similarity to a Southern setting. A road was cut at 88th Street and Eastwick Avenue alongside the trolley tracks to conveniently lead the people to the church. Many people from near and far came to worship because the love of God was always present, and many souls were led to Christ. God blessed the church with a congregation that grew to over 200 members through the preaching of His Word. Many brethren within the congregation were ordained as Deacons and many were licensed to preach the Gospel. Of those licensed, three were ordained ministers: (the late) Reverend Paul McCoy, who later established The Ezekiel Baptist Church, (the late) Reverend Charles Medley, who became a successor-pastor of The Bethesda Baptist Church, and (the late) Reverend Charles Russell Robinson, who would later become successor-pastor of Mount Hermon.
During the 1960s, the Eastwick Development Plan went into effect. As part of this plan, the land where 90th Street was located was redeveloped commercially and residentially, making it necessary for the congregation to relocate. The late Deacon Beverly Clarke, who served as Chairman of the Deacon Board for 20 years, suggested that the name of the church be changed to “Mount Hermon” (the most beautiful mountain in Palestine; the landmark of the Israelites) when they moved to the new edifice. The pastor, officers, and congregation voted and ratified on November 18, 1963, that the church be named Mount Hermon Baptist Church. On December 1, 1963, (the late) Reverend T. S. Medley led the congregation to its present location, 6132–34 West Jefferson Street.
After laboring for 22 years, (the late) Reverend T. S. Medley’s health began to fail. During his illness, he one day spoke these words, “Tell the pastor of Mount Hermon to pastor Mount Hermon, because I pastored 90th Street.” On August 26, 1968, Reverend T. S. Medley was called to rest, and the late Reverends Charles Medley, Henry Morrison, and Charles R. Robinson continued the work of the church.
After a year’s time, on August 17, 1969, the Reverend Merland Robert McKnight was installed as the third pastor in succession. He remained the pastor for a period of one year. Upon being called to serve another church as its pastor, he recommended (the late) Reverend Charles R. Robinson as the fourth pastor in succession out of a choice of three candidates from the congregation.
On March 28, 1971, (the late) Reverend Charles R. Robinson was installed as pastor. Under his leadership the church grew spiritually and numerically, as he instructed them with a solid scriptural foundation for thirty-three years.
As his health began to fail, in a meeting with his officers, (the late) Reverend Charles R. Robinson expressed his desire for Reverend Warren Carrington Robinson to succeed him as pastor. The late Reverend Charles R. Robinson stated that “Ministry is a job retired from by death only,” and on Friday, July 12, 2002, he answered “Yes Lord,” as he was called to glory.
The church officers honored the request of the late Reverend Charles R. Robinson, and on Friday, November 22, 2002, the Reverend Warren C. Robinson was installed as the fifth pastor in succession. Reverend Warren C. Robinson prepared the church for spiritual warfare through praising the Lord. Under his leadership the mime, praise dance, and overcomers’ ministries were established.
Reverend Warren C. Robinson continued to encourage the growth of ministries within the church for ten years. On April 7, 2013, he resigned. In a letter to the congregation, he stated that he took the congregation as far as he could take it, and recommended the Reverend Hayward Clemon Smith II, a son of the church, be considered as his successor. On April 20, 2013, the congregation voted and ratified his pastoral election.
The Reverend H. Clemon Smith ll, answered the call, and got right to work as a full-time interim pastor, making himself available to meet the spiritual needs of the congregation and surrounding community. On September 7, 2013, the Reverend H. Clemon Smith ll, was installed as the sixth pastor in succession. On this date he was also appointed Bishop-designate by his spiritual father, Bishop Larry Darnell Trotter, of Chicago, IL. Through Bishop Smith’s preaching and teaching, the church continues to grow in number, in unity and love, and in spiritual maturity.
The Mount Hermon Baptist Church continues to be a sharing, caring and loving church, “endeavoring the more to come into the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, that we may be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 NLT).