Rev. Hodari Kenneth Hamilton is from Sacramento, CA. Before his call to the historic First Baptist Church, the first African American Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, Rev. Hamilton served under the legendary Dr. Lance D. Watson, Pastor of Saint Paul’s Baptist Church. There he served as the Associate Pastor of Children and Youth.
He earned his Bachelor from Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Ga. and his Master of Divinity from the Virginia Union University, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. His formal studies also include; Princeton Seminary Engle Fellow 2009, studies at the University of Alabama and Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently serves with several organizations and is the President of the Board of Barrett Early Learning Center.
As a revivalist Rev. Hamilton has a passion to preach truth to power. He believes preaching should be real, relevant and relational.
He is married to Rev. Khadijah Hamilton, M. Div. She is a certified Project Management Professional. They are the proud parents of Hodari Kenneth Hamilton Jr., Nehemiah Hodari Hamilton, Grace Elizabeth Hamilton and Kendra Simone Hamilton. Rev. Hodari Kenneth Hamilton has a call to equip and encourage God’s people through God’s word. He shares that God has answered his lifelong prayer to serve an amazing body of believers, the First Baptist Church family.
Pastor Hamilton can be contacted at Pastorhodari@gmail.com or by calling the church.
Our mission is- We exist to help people grow in grace and give God Glory. Our mission is taken from 2 Peter 3:18. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. Our core values are taken from four key words;
Grow — Strive to develop,
Grace — Practice excessive kindness,
Give — Share in meaningful ways
Glory — Celebrate Christ in worship.
Our Dream to Grow
We are believers in dreaming big. We dream not despite of the reality but because of reality. Because there are so many unchurched and unsaved in Charlottesville, Virginia and surrounding counties, we have to dream bigger. Because there are so many who are hurting and unhappy, frustrated and forgotten and most of all unsaved, we have to dream bigger.
We have to dream big; dreams for our community and our children. For the fatherless child and the mother who lacks support. We have to dream bigger. For the homeless and the incarcerated and the addicted and the sick we have to dream and then allow God to draw the map for changing our world through us. With this map we will continue our mission to grow and then help people grow in grace and give God glory.
We dream to help people grow deeper in every area of life; in their marriages, ministries, mentality and mission.
We dream so people will grow to be the spouse or single, the best parent or child, the person God has made them to be.
We dream to grow to be 1000 people growing deeper roots in Jesus Christ and the body of First Baptist Church.
We dream to grow 200 people in Bible Studies throughout the week at various times and places.
We dream to grow 100 leaders being built and building this body of Christ with a spirit of peace, passion and prayer.
We dream to grow to impact every area of Charlottesville and its surrounding communities in Jesus Christ.
Prior to 1863, African-American Baptists in Charlottesville worshiped under segregated conditions, attending services in the balcony of the white First Baptist Church on Park Street. Following emancipation, approximately eight-hundred African-American Charlottesville churchgoers applied to form their own congregation. Once approved, the new congregation began services in the parent church under Reverend John T. Randolph. Subsequent pastors were Reverend James H. Fife and Reverend John Walker George, the new congregation's third and final white pastor.
With Reverend George's aid, the black congregation moved to the basement of what was known as the "Mudwall" building, named for its Albemarle clay's tawny hue. This building was originally the Delevan hotel, built by the University of Virginia's Board of Visitors as housing for University students. The Church became known at this point as the Delevan Baptist Church, and the congregation purchased the old hotel on August 20, 1868.
The Delevan Church had two black pastors prior to 1873, a lay preacher named William Gibbons and a West African, Reverend W.J. Barnett. In 1873 Reverend M.T. Lewis became pastor, and under his ministry in 1876 the old "Mudwall" building was torn down and construction of a new Church began on the same site. The new building was completed on October 12, 1883, and worship began there in 1884. The Delevan Baptist Church became the First Colored Baptist Church of Charlottesville. The exact point when "colored" was dropped is unknown.
Between 1870 and 2000, First Baptist Church has had fifteen African-American pastors. The church has been instrumental in educating African Americans during segregation, establishing the local chapter of the NAACP, and integrating patients at the University of Virginia Hospital. Members of the church's congregation have included the first black member on the Board of the Welfare Department and the first African American on the Charlottesville School Board. First Baptist Church joined the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979, becoming the only African-American church in Charlottesville or Albemarle County to hold such a membership. The Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Pastor Rev. Hodari Kenneth Hamilton, M. Div. is the 19th Pastor. The church is now growing in grace and giving God glory! Pastor Hamilton has a heart for growing people; first in relationship to God and then in every other area. The church's short mission is taken from 2 Peter 3:18.