On Friday night, November 12, 1897, thirteen people met in the home of Mr. B.W. Nalls to organize a church in the town of Del Ray. The people of this small community, numbering less than a dozen homes, had long felt the need for a church of their own, as the nearest and only Baptist church was located in the city of Alexandria. Rev. James. H. Butler, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Alexandria, assisted in the organization of Del Ray Baptist Church. The church called Rev. James Godwin Council at age 90 to pastor the new church for one year.
On Thursday, December 16, 1897, Del Ray Baptist Church began meeting twice a month at the Del Ray Methodist Church and later met in a carpentry shop room specially prepared for holding worship services. By 1899 the church purchased an unfinished school building from the Catholic Church, fitted it for services and began meeting there. After Rev. Council resigned, churches in Alexandria and Washington, DC, provided supply preachers to assist Del Ray Baptist Church with their worship services. This continued until January 6, 1901 when Del Ray Baptist Church called Rev. Robert Harlan to pastor the church and preach two Sundays a month. In 1904 the church recorded 28 members and 60 attending Sunday School with preaching services held on the first and third Sundays of each month. In September 1907 Rev. C. Kelly Hobbs became Pastor and preaching services were held each Sunday for the first time.
In 1915 Del Ray Baptist Church moved into its first building constructed as a church located at the corner of Mt Vernon Avenue and Del Ray Avenue and met at this location for 35 years. Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Julius Paul Gulley from 1941 until 1957, the church grew, relocated in 1950 to new building at 105 West Del Ray Avenue, and founded two new mission churches: Sunset Hills Baptist Church in 1953 and Virginia Hills Baptist Church in 1957. On May 21, 1961, the church relocated to its current building on Russell Road. That year the church co-sponsored a church plant in West Springfield, which is now Westwood Baptist Church.
Since moving into the Russell Road building, Del Ray Baptist Church has continued to share the gospel in the community of Del Ray, Alexandria and northern Virginia. The Church has sponsored a Hispanic Church from 1987 until 2012, a Korean ministry that is now a church plant meeting in Alexandria, and has provided space for Alexandria Presbyterian Church to meet since 1997.
In May 2007 the pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church resigned and God in his providence brought Paul Douglas, an Army National Guard Chaplain, to be the Interim Pastor in June 2007. In 2008 Del Ray Baptist Church called Paul Douglas as the full-time pastor without salary, as the church could no longer afford a salaried pastor. Under his leadership Del Ray Baptist Church voted to partner with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia in a Watch Care agreement in order to strengthen the church’s ability to fulfill the Great Commission for the glory of God and with the goal for Del Ray Baptist Church to once again become a self-sustaining biblical witness in the community for God and to lead people to become followers of Jesus Christ. On February 2, 2011, the church held a business meeting and decided to partner with Capitol Hill Baptist Church for the revitalization of Del Ray Baptist Church. Of the 22 members present, 20 approved this motion.
Since February 2011 members from Capitol Hill Baptist Church as well as from others from Alexandria and northern Virginia have joined in this work to continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to lead people to be followers of Jesus Christ in order to bring glory to God. On August 19, 2012, the church called Garrett Kell, associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, to become the full-time Pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church. Garrett Kell became the Pastor on September 1, 2012.
Today, by the grace of God Del Ray Baptist Church continues to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching and teaching salvation by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, encourages members to share the gospel with unbelievers, and challenges members to encourage each other and make disciples in their communities.