Our History


The mission of Bright Side Baptist Church began July 6, 1980 at the urging of Brother Robert Thomas. On July 10, 1980, the original congregation of six members elected Rev. Louis A. Butcher, Jr. as its Pastor, and met at St. Paul’s Church of God in Christ (formerly St. Paul’s AUFCMP), 14 E. Farnum St, Lancaster, PA.

On August 22, 1980, Bright Side was able to obtain its own storefront location at 15 S. Prince St. and on October 11, 1980 the Central Baptist Association Council “set apart” the mission as a Missionary Baptist Church.

The church was dedicated on October 19, 1980.

October 18, 1981 marked the historic march from 15 South Prince Street to Bright Side’s next home, 215 South Queen Street, with more than 200 in attendance.

Rev. Ronald Taliaferro conducted Bright Side’s first Spring Revival, spring of 1981.

The first Deacon’s Ordination Service also took place in 1981.

April 16, 1982 was both joyful and sorrowful. We purchase property at the corner of Christian and Locust Streets and we lost our beloved Spiritual Advisor, Rev. Louis A. Butcher, Sr.

August 1982 the church held its first Sunday School Picnic and September 19, 1982, the property purchased on April 16 was dedicated as a prayer garden in memory of Rev. Louis A. Butcher, Sr.

April 23, 1983, we hosted a “Spring Teen Debut” and on June 19, 1983 our Nurses’ Unit was formed under the direction of Dr. Harold White, Sr.

November 20, 1983 marked the beginnings of our Annual Sunday School Promotion Day; and in December 1983 we held what is now our Annual Christmas Concert.

The first Homecoming Service and dinner was held September 9, 1984; and on September 16, 1984 the church voted to begin renovations of the social room, restrooms, and baptismal pool.

September 25, 1984 marked our first Women’s Day Services; and on October 20, 1984 work began on the baptismal pool with a “bucket brigade” formed by Building Chairperson, Sis. Betty Hurdle.

June 1, 1985 began Phase II of the renovations of our Social Room, Nurses’ Unit, Choir Robe Room and Pastor’s Study. The baptismal pool was completed and dedicated in October 1985 and our first baptism was held.

November 19, 1985, we held our fist Harvest Home Services, and on December 15 we voted to establish a Christian Care Committee.

October 1990 the mortgage for 215 South Queen Street was liquidated and burned.

In 1995 the Building Committee, with Bro. Paul Wright as Chair was reactivated to begin the search for a new House of Worship to replace our current obsolete building.

In 1996 Phase I of our Capital Campaign began and Phase II of the Campaign began in 2000 for our new structure rich in architectural beauty, representing elements of the Roman Revival, Italianate, Gothic and Queen Anne. The land on Hershey Avenue was purchased to erect this new House of Worship.

The Ground-Breaking Service for the new Bright Side Church was held at 515 Hershey Avenue in October 2002.

In 2004, the church became and Purpose Driven Church and reorganized into seven ministry centers to serve the congregation and community more effectively.

By God’s grace, we dedicated our new sanctuary on September 2004.

The dedication for the Bright Side Opportunities Center took place in November 2004.

In 2005, Bright Side hosted the annual Session of the Central Baptist Association.

In 2006, Bright Side Opportunities Center held its first Summer Fest covering the entire campus with activities and entertainment.

The entire complex was installed with wireless internet service in 2009. 

Also, in 2009, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra performed in the Sanctuary during worship service.

In 2010, by the grace of God, Bright Side is still on the move; and for this we are very, very thankful!