The history of Judson Baptist Church has been traced to a small group of citizens who had a desire to establish a place of worship in the community of Carson, CA. In the early 1950’s, the group began meeting in their homes to fellowship and worship our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Sometime later, Minister D. S. Bennett, under the auspices of the American Baptist Los Angeles City Mission Society (LACMS), sensed the ministerial need of the people and gave leadership to the group. The church moved its worship services to the Towne Avenue Elementary School where it received encouraging prayers and assistance from notable men of God as well as a personal visit from Evangelist Billy Graham.
Under the assistance and guidance of LACMS, a newly constructed building was erected at 18101 South Avalon Boulevard, Carson, CA. This site became Judson’s permanent home. On June 26, 1953, the church was officially incorporated and named in honor of the late great missionary Adoniram Judson.
Dr. Paul Garrison, along with his wife Jeannine, pastored at Judson for approximately four and one-half years. Dr. Garrison was a graduate of Eastern Baptist Seminary. He also earned degrees in Sociology and Psychology at the University of Redlands. After the passing of Dr. Garrison, Minister Bernie Yorton served as interim pastor.
On December 6, 1970, Dr. James Luther Ford, Jr., was installed as the pastor of Judson. Dr. Ford’s educational training and qualifications for the ministry included degrees from Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Pacific Christian College, and Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. Over the next twenty years, the church expanded more than three times its capacity to accommodate worshipers. As the church grew, expansion became a major consideration.
In early 1983, the church considered the availability of Avalon Village Baptist Church (formerly known as Carson First Baptist Church) located at 451 East 223 Street, Carson, CA. Contract negotiations began immediately and the site was purchased. On June 26, 1983, Judson relocated to its new church home. The cornerstone was set on Sunday, September 29, 1985, with the unveiling of the dedicatory plaque. Our new home included a Christian Day School and enough space to share our building with Hispanic and Filipino Ministries.
On December 24, 1996, after 27 years of service, Dr. James Ford was called home to be with the . LORD. For the next two years, Judson remained without a Shepherd. After much prayer and prevailing, God answered our prayers and blessed us with an anointed man of God. In May 1998, Dr. Johnny V. Baylor became the pastor of Judson Baptist Church. Dr. Baylor’s preaching and teaching ministry has received national as well as international recognition.
The Judson church family has grown spiritually and numerically under Dr. Baylor’s leadership. Judson’s outreach ministries include a Praise-in-the-Park Worship Service and Resurrection Worship Service that were held at the Carson Community Center and Nursing Home visitations. Also, Dr. Baylor has expanded the Christian Education Ministry to include the Children’s Church Ministry, leadership training, ministerial training, a Youth Minister, Speak Life Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and Bible Study; two pastoral Bible Studies, diverse Bible enrichment classes (Panning for Gold), workshops for spiritual growth and bi-annual Spiritual Emphasis services for church renewal.
With the faithful work of our Media Ministry, the church has been blessed to upgrade its media equipment to state-of-the-art sound systems, cameras, and video screens. Other ministries established under Dr. Baylor’s leadership include the Music Ministry (Voices of Praise) with the addition of a full-time Director of Music and staff, Youth Music Ministry (Vision), Vessels of Praise Liturgical Dance Ministry, Sign Ministry (Hands of Grace), Decision Counselors, Senior Support Ministry, Parking & Security, Prison, and Culinary Ministries. The transportation needs of the church are conveniently met given the availability of one 25-passenger bus and two 14-passenger vans. Judson worshipers also enjoy the comforts of a beautifully renovated, refurbished, and decorated sanctuary and fellowship hall and manicured church grounds.
Dr. Baylor’s vision for Judson is far-reaching and continues to evidence itself through his very capable gift for leadership along with his spirit-filled wife and helpmate Lady Sarai. Lady Sarai serves as Director of Christian Education and gives leadership to the Prayer Ministry.
All praises to God! With His Divine guidance and the meticulous shepherding of Dr. Baylor, the church is moving to new levels under the banner of its motto, “A Church Called and Committed to Spiritual Excellence” (Phil. 3:12-15).