The Scarsdale Community Baptist Church began in 1928 when a group of people met to discuss their conviction that Scarsdale needed a new church. Many in the group were Baptists, and many others represented other Christian denominations. Their common vision was to create an inclusive church in which all would be welcome without regard to previous religious affiliation or practice.
The first meeting place was the town theatre.
The new congregation decided to affiliate with the American Baptists as one link to the broader Christian community. In part this decision reflected convenience because the American Baptists desired to sponsor a congregation in Scarsdale and helped the new congregation. It also reflected the group’s vision because Baptists demonstrate great freedom in worship, belief and practice then and now, and remain one of the most diverse religious groups in the United States.
The Scarsdale Community Baptist Church building is a replica of an English “village church,” and was completed in time for worship at Christmas, 1931. The sanctuary was built to replicate the dimensions of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, its interior beams were hewn from Cedars of Lebanon, and it is full of early Christian symbolism. An educational wing was added and dedicated in 1950.
The building is used for the church’s programs of worship, outreach, fellowship and education, and is also used by a wide range of community groups including a music school, a Chinese Language program, self-help groups and is the home of the Scarsdale Community Baptist Church Nursery School. The church therefore functions as a “village church,” but also draws members and participants from around the metropolitan New York City area.