In October of 1956 Reverend Spenser G. Dobson, his wife Estelle Irene, and a handful of "God's people" met in Reverend and Mrs. Dobson's home. They shared a vision and a commitment to develop q fellowship where Jesus Christ would be served under the Baptist denomination banner. Reverend and Mrs. Dobson, their children, and a few others invested their time, their talents, their homes, and their lives.
St. Mark's Institutional Baptist Church was founded at 655 North Bentalou Street in Baltimore Maryland, in a building that formerly was the church home of the German Reformed Lutheran Church. The original mortgage payment over $700/month. Initially the mortgage was paid weekly. Each Monday there was a meeting to assure the weekly payment was met. Often the weekly offering was not enough to cover the mortgage payment. The body of believers would then make up the difference. Through prayer, tithing, and many fundraisers, the mortgage became satisfied in fifteen years. St Mark's then remained mortgage free for the next three decades.
St. Mark's has a rich history of service. In the Gospel of St. Mark (Chapter 9; verse 35) Jesus tells his disciples that anyone who wishes to be first in the kingdom of Heaven must be last, and the servant of all others. St. Mark's nursery school was among the first black church based nursery schools. Under the directorship of Anne Dobson Ware, it served the community for over 25 years. St. Mark's was commited to mission work, locally and nationally. it held recreational and educational summer youth camps anually.
Revern Spenser Dobson Sr. served as pastor until he was called Home in November of 1987. His son, Revernd Harold Dobson Sr., served as assistant Minister, Co-Pastor, and Pastor until his Home going in January of 2000. He was succeeded by Revernd Derek Hart, who acted as Pastor until 2009.
In October of 2009, Reverend Reginald Lawrence was called to be Pastor. Pastor Lawrence was followed by his then congregation from Disciples Bible Baptist Church (a loving church also with a history of service). The congregation's merged together to become one. Once again the hand of God was working at St. Marks. Under the leadership of Pastor Lawrence, enormous financial responsibilities were satisfied and each obstacle that was overcome proved that when you don't put a limit on God, there is nothing He can't do. St. Mark's again is becoming a shining example of stewardship, as emphasized by our after school tutorial program, Wednesday noon-day Bible study, monthly prayer breakfast's, Saturday morning Bible Study, Friday family night's, and the other initiatives.