Dr. D.M. Hardison founded Tidewater Baptist Temple in 1966, with seventy-two charter members. They met in the Park Elementary School until the sanctuary was dedicated in October 1967. For the last few weeks before the dedication of the building, the members met in a revival tent. Under the leadership of Dr. Hardison, the church grew, people were saved, and baptisms were held every Sunday evening for some time.
In September 1977, Dr. Hardison went into full time evangelistic work and Dr. Paul Hawkins accepted the call to the pastorate at Tidewater Baptist Temple. Not long after, in February of 1979, the church moved from 3400 Berkley Avenue to its present location at 1316 Campostella Rd. In 1986 and 1988 extensions were purchased or built for the property. Pastor and Linda Hawkins served the church faithfully for 27 years.
In October of 2004, Charles Pearson (then assistant pastor) was called as Senior Pastor when Dr. Hawkins was led to move into full-time evangelistic work. Since then the Lord has added various new ministries inside and outside the church walls. Pastor Pearson continues with a strong desire to reach the lost with the Gospel and train the saved to see the redemptive nature of God's Word and reach others with the truth. The Lord has given him a real heart for a Tidewater Baptist Church discipleship ministry.
September of 2011, God brought a trial into our church family. Literally it was a trial by fire. The church auditorium caught fire in the middle of the night, started by an electrical outlet fire. Quickly, the fire spread throughout the church, destroying most of it, but damaging all of it. The entire church had to be rebuilt, a blessing in disguise. They were able to move back into their updated church building in December of 2012.
God has continued to bless the church with a steady growth both in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and in membership and ministry opportunities. In 2013 Tidewater Baptist Temple’s name was changed to a simpler Tidewater Baptist Church. The Tidewater Baptist church family rejoices together in everything that God has done for these many years and looks forward to all the will of God as they continue.