Church History

Agape Baptist Church (ABC) formerly known as “Agape Christian Ministries Worship Center, Inc. (ACMWC)” is truly a ministry designed on spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world and genuinely loving others. ACMWC was founded under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Craig Russell Jackson affectionately known as “Pastor J.”  On September 23, 2013, Pastor J was commissioned and installed by the Board of Directors of ACMWC as the Pastor of the Agape Christian Ministries Worship Center, Inc.


Agape believes in the multiplication of churches.  Agape is designed to plant churches wherever the Lord sends Agape. Agape, believes in the Great Commission where Jesus says, “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NIV)


The Founding Board of Directors for ACMWC are Rev. Dr. Craig R. Jackson (President), Shelia Jackson (Secretary) Keisha Dinkins (Treasurer), & Renee Rean (Board Member).  The other founding members were Elisha M. Jackson and Esasis R. Jackson.


Under the direction and encouragement of Rev. Dr. Bernard W. Savage, Pastor of the New Eden Baptist Church (Newark, NJ) Pastor J along with wife (Sheila a.k.a. “Lady J”), family, and friends of Agape held 3 Pre-Launch Services at the New Eden Baptist Church.  These services were held at 6:30pm on December 5th, 12th, & 19th, 2013.


Even though Agape had went through an unfortunate situation to their original startup date without a facility to hold their service, God still made a way through a connection that Lady J came about.  Through God using Lady J, Agape was able to hold their first official worship service on February 2, 2014 at 571 Central Ave. (2nd Fl.), Newark, NJ at 12pm and their 1st Mid-Week Power Service on February 5, 2014 at 6:45pm. Now Agape Baptist Church is located at 119 Camden St. Newark, NJ.  Agape holds their service every Sunday at 12:30pm and fellowships with other churches throughout the day. Agape held its Church Dedication Service on Sunday, October 19, 2014 in fellowship with New Eden Baptist Church of Newark, NJ under the leadership of Pastor Bernard W. Savage.


On February 8, 2015, Pastor J along with Lady J & Family celebrated his 1st Pastoral Anniversary. Pastor Bryant Ali of the New Psalmist Worship Center and Congregation came together in Worship on this day.


On October 14, 2015, Rev. Ronald Slaughter and the St. James AME Church helped start off the celebration for "Agape's" 1st Church Anniversary.  On Sunday, October 18, 2015, Agape officially celebrated its 1st Church Anniversary. Rev. Dr. Bernard W. Savage and the New Eden Baptist Church family joined in the celebration. Many dignitaries, associations, family, and friends sent in their congratulations and support for the ministry. Also on this Sunday the name of the Agape Christian Ministries Worship Center was changed and will forever be known as “Agape Baptist Church” and will still complete the mission and ministry plans that God has desired for this ministry to complete.


Under the leadership and vision of Pastor J, this ministry has a desire to participate in the community to make a positive impact.  Agape has formed connections with the Division of Goodwill Rescue Missions, ADAPT (Family Connections), Strengthening Families, Jersey Cares, Innerfaith Performing Arts Center, Project Redirect Youth and Family Services, & a host of other agencies to provide any service as needed.  Pastor J and congregation are looking to connect with other community service agencies and non-profit organizations to spread the gospel and to be of any assistance.


Agape Baptist Church continues to build upon their ministries.  To this date Agape has the following ministries: Pastoral Care Ministry, Nurses Ministry, Stewardship Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, Music Ministry, Social Media Ministry, and Evangelism Ministry.  Under the Evangelism Ministry it includes: Church Planters, Mission Team Leaders, and Mission Team Members. To further Agape’s Outreach Ministry, under the leadership of Pastor Jackson, Agape has established CJ Community Development Center, Inc. (CJCDC). CJCDC is a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization looking to support the community in their needs. CJCDC is looking to establish a daycare center, a re-entry program for ex-offenders, afterschool programs, and a host of other entities that will assist in the revitalization of Newark.  Agape Baptist Church is affiliated with NJ Network of Churches (NJNet), which is affiliated with the Baptist Convention of New York & Southern Baptist Convention. On March 22, 2017, Agape Baptist Church became a member of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association and in the same month became a part of the General Baptist Convention of New Jersey.


God is continuing to bless Agape through the good and challenging times because Agape believes John 15:7-8 (NIV), where Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Agape knows that God ordained this ministry to seek, save, and love the lost. We believe and know that as this ministry continues to grow we know that God will be pleased and that the community will be blessed.




Office Phone: 908-293-2119