The church was organized as the Second Baptist Chapel in 1940, and was incorporated as the Second Baptist Church of Paterson, NJ on January 27, 1941. The first worship service held by the church was on May 5, 1940 at 27 Carroll Street. The incorporated (founding) Board of Trustees consisted of Rev. Robert B. Dokes, William C. Jackson, Abner W. Nash, John L. Best, Henry Hinton, Clifford L. Jackson, John P. Wright and Carolyn Middleton – church clerk and secretary.
The Reverend R. Boston Dokes is the founder and first Pastor of the Second Baptist Church. Rev. Dokes pastored for forty-four years, after which he retired. Under his leadership many auxiliaries were developed to compliment the growth and stability of the church. The board of Deacons and Trustees, Missionaries, Willing Workers, Benevolent, Senior Choir, Gospel Choir, Family Gospel Singers, Young Adult Choir, Youth Choir, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, several Usher Boards, as well as others.
In November of 1985, Rev. Dr. Alexander McDonald III was called and continues to serve as pastor of the Second Baptist Church. Pastor McDonald received the call into ministry in September of 1976. In 1990, the (church) property at 72 Carroll Street was totally renovated and expanded to accommodate its growth. Ten additional properties surrounding the church have also been purchased. Various in-house ministries have been initiated – the E. C. Davis Ensemble, Male Chorus, Voices of Praise, Pastor’s Advisory Council, Audio/Video Ministry, and many others.
In 1993, a Community Library was established in memory of Rev. Robert B. Dokes, with grants from Hoffman LaRoche. In 1996, Pastor McDonald organized the Second Baptist Community Development Corporation. The church has also implemented (formally) The Rising Dove Summer Day Camp, Rising Above Substance Abuse HIV/AIDs Support & Referral Group, weekly AA meetings, Nursing Home / Senior Citizen / Youth Detention / Prison Outreach Ministries, Feeding & Clothing to homeless and needy, a Computer Learning Center, an After School Tutorial ministry and various other ministries.
In 2006 Pastor McDonald led the church in building the “Rising Dove Senior Apartments, Inc.” complex with a $7.4 million grant from HUD.