Center Road Baptist Church History

Center Road Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental, Baptist church that was founded in August, 1966 by Pastor Barney Lee, with his wife, Lillian, and their three children, Kenny, Patty and Jenny, by his side. While living in Michigan, Dr. Lee originally had planned on going to Chicago, hearing that it was a needy area. When they were unable to go, they heard Buffalo was also a needy place. Dr. Lee followed his calling and on July 4th, 1966, the Lee family moved from Pontiac, Michigan to West Seneca, New York.

On August 14th, the church began in the Old Fellows Hall, 104 Aurora Avenue, under the name

Buffalo Baptist Temple. Ten months later, the building was greatly damaged by fire caused by a teenage gang and it became necessary to change locations. For over three years, the church met in the Masonic Temple at Main and Mill streets. In 1968, the church purchased 6&6/8 acres of land on Center Road and the name of the church was changed to Center Road Baptist Church.

Many notable miracles had been performed in establishing the church, as Dr. Lee has written in his booklet, “Remembering the Miracles.” On Palm Sunday, 1971, the church moved into its own building. Sunday School classes met on the lower level of the building on a crushed stone floor. The upper level had only a plywood sub-floor and the only heating system was an overhead garage-type heater.

In 1973, the average attendance was 325! Nine bus routes brought in most of the people. In September of that same year, the Day Care began and in 1974, the Christian School opened. For almost a year, the goals of the ministry had been aimed at reaching families. The church also supported twenty missionaries and six home mission projects!

Dr. Barney Lee