In September 1969 Rev. Samuel Simpson, then Pastor of the Bronx Baptist Church, and his family relocated to the Wakefield section of the Bronx. He soon noticed an attractive church building in the neighborhood.
To his surprise it was closed. Surmising that the community was definitely in need of a church, he contacted the Pastor of the church and offered to work with him to revive the ministry. While this offer was not accepted, his offer to rent the building was.
Dr. Simpson shared his vision for establishing a mission in the Northeast Bronx with the Bronx Baptist Church family, and with their blessing would serve as pastor of both congregations. He also shared the vision with Greenwich Baptist Church in Connecticut, and they agreed to assist with the mission, and assumed rental obligations for the first two years.
With God’s guidance and direction, an inaugural service was held on May 2, 1972, and a new mission, the Wake-Eden Community Baptist Chapel, was born.
By January 1975, the need to provide a safe supportive learning environment for children became evident, and The Wake-Eden Community Baptist Chapel Nursery School, now the Wake-Eden Christian Academy, was organized to provide early childhood education and Kindergarten.
In 1979 the church was incorporated, and affirmed its affiliation with the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association, the Baptist Convention of New York, and the Southern Baptist Convention. In that same year Wake-Eden contracted to purchase the entire property – the sanctuary, education building and parsonage – from the Lutheran Church of America.
With a mission to live the Gospel by serving the total person, Wake-Eden became actively involved in the socio-political life of the community through partnerships with organizations like the Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corporation and the Clergy Coalition of the 47th Precinct.
In 2006 we completed a 4-year facility expansion project that increased the size of the sanctuary, added offices, a fellowship hall, and classrooms that would serve to expand the Academy to the 3rd Grade. In 2017 we expanded the School to the 5th Grade.
From its inception, Wake-Eden’s foundation has been built on prayer, Bible Study and the initiatives of laypersons. In addition to evangelism, discipleship, and missions programs, our top priorities have been and continue to be community engagement and education.
Community engagement initiatives include: monthly food distributions, weekly Nursing Home visitations, and our annual Wake-Fest Community Fair. Our educational outreach includes: youth mentorship programs; a Summer Camp; affordable year-round Early Childhood; an Elementary School; an After School Enrichment Program, that includes private piano lessons, dance, taekwondo, etiquette training, leadership development, and a chess club; and a Scholarship Program for college students. Globally, our outreach has enriched the lives of orphans in Jamaica, and schools in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Togo, Africa.
After the retirement of Dr. Simpson in 2011, the church called the Reverend Frank Williams, Dr. Simpson’s protégé of 20 years, to serve as the Interim Pastor. In March 2013 Reverend Williams was installed as Senior Pastor.
Under the leadership of Rev. Frank Williams, Wake-Eden continues to “Communicate the Changeless Christ in a Changing World.” Our mission pursuit is “to know the Love of Christ, to Love the Christ We Know, and to Serve the People He Loves”.
We give all honor and praise to God for all He has done and continues to do through the prayer, commitment, outreach, and service of His people here at Wake-Eden.