Little Rock Baptist Church: 65th Anniversary Church Program
Subjects: Church Services
Description: Program for the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church. Included is a summary of the churches history and a message from the pastor Rev. Jim Holley.
Date: March 4, 2001
Original Format: Special Event Program
Rights Management: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributing Institution: Array
Relation: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributor: Icee Griffin
Transcript: Page 2
The Historic Little Rock Baptist Church History
The history of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church is preserved with the hope of inspiring our present and future congregations during this new millennium. It is our prayer that they will preserve the ideals and dreams of those who labored for so long enduring many hardships while working in this area of the Lord's vineyard. Certainly, God has been our shield and strength. He has guided us with his counsel; blessed us by his providence and inspired us bu his spirit.
The Historic Little Rock Baptist Church was established in April 1936 under the pastorage of Rev. Robert E. Tate. At that time there was a small but faithful band of six worshipers, who all attended worship services regularly in the home of Brother and Sister Hooks at 1214 E. Willis Street in Detroit. (There were in addition to Brother and Sister Hooks, Brother and Sister Ernest Robinson, Mother Della Brown and Mother Gaillard.) In this small, but adequate Christian home, the word of God provided the light to guide their path and the love to inspire fellowship. The membership steadily increased and recognizing the need for a larger church home the congregation moved to anew building at 3734 Russell Street. Rev. Tate continued to pastor until his death on July 17, 1953.
On February 15, 1954, the Rev. Theodore R. Provost was installed as the new pastor, and under his leadership, the church relocated to 7639 Mack Avenue. Rev. Provost remained pastor with the church until 1959, when he was called to pastor in San Fransisco, California.
During the next decade, the church experienced several changes in leadership beginning with Rev. Walter L. LaBeaux, of San Antonio, Texas, who pastored from June 1960 to 1962. Rev. John Bussell was called to pastor on April 10, 1963 and through many hardships and sacrifices lead the congregation until July 1967. On March 20, 1968, the call was extended to Rev. Clarence L. Townsell, and under his pastorage the congregation relocated to 4903 Maxwell Street. In less than a year, Rev. Townsell, in his role as pastor inspired the church to purchase the adjacent parsonage. He continued his work until December 22, 1971. on June 9, 1972, Rev. Jim Holley, our present pastor, was elected to become our shepherd. He came with a mission of saving souls and spreading the good news and many souls were saved. The congregation grew until soon it was evident that even renovation and expansion was not enough for the rapid growth of the congregation.
On August 13, 1978, the Little Rock Baptist Church relocated to our present home, at 9000 Woodward Avenue, where our church's membership continues to multiply and prosper.
During the twenty-one years that we have been at our present location, under Rev. Holley's dynamic leadership, vision and zeal to do the work of the Lord, he as initiated a host of specialized programs and outreach ministries designed to enhance and enrich the spiritual and educational growth of our church and community.
Throughout the twentieth century we did "Great and Mighty Things." Through Rev. Holley;s financial proficiency we succeeded in the burning of the church mortgage March 15, 1987. The magnificent stained glass windows which were designed by our pastor were installed and dedicated March 29, 1992. Expanded and updated the air conditioning system in the spring of 1996. In August 1998 the electronic marquee in front of the church was dedicated and in 1999 the church parking lot was extended and paved, providing additional safe parking spaces for our members. A beautiful new bookstore was created along with additional classroom the same year.
In this year 2000, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we achieved our goal of 2000 students at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Science; gave $10,000.00 in scholarships; took 200 students on a tour of Historical Black Colleges; and we have both a radio and TV ministries.
Our goals for 2001 are: Strip Mall Phase I (Kenilworth & Woodward); Country Preacher Restaurant; New Parking Spaces; 1000 New Souls; Five Apartment Buildings; Strip Mall Phase II; Direct TV and 300 rehabilitated homes.
To God be the Glory.
Greetings From Our Pastor
it is my pleasure to greet you on the occasion of our 65th Church Anniversary Observance! We've come this far by faith and God has blessed our congregation immensely. Our founding members planted those seed of faith though which God is blessing us today. This congregation has a glorious past and God has shown me that His expectations of us are even greater today. As our theme for the year states, we are "Conforming to His Image" and in doing so we give all praise and honor to God alone. I acknowledge His divine influence in all that we do and the active power of the Holy Spirit in every step we take. As the leader of this great congregation, I am acutely aware of the greatest leader in history, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As a leader, Jesus stuck to his mission. Just as with Jesus, our adversary tries diversionary tactics to make us stray from the mission that God has given us. But as we "Conform to His Image", we must do as Jesus did and avoid any activity or venture that does not relate to our mission of spreading the gospel and service to our people. As the Pastor of an empowered congregation such as ours, I am presented with literally thousand of opportunities we could pursue. But Jesus, who had all power stuck to his mission, which he directly related to His Father's business and nothing else. As we move forward through 2001, we must follow the example of Jesus and steadfastly adhere to our God given mission.
As a leader, Jesus formed a team. Just as Jesus did, we get our work accomplished through the relationships and teamwork of our members. He wasted no time in forming a team by simply saying, "Follow me". He made room for diverse people of different skills and backgrounds. Even Jesus knew he could not change the world alone. So it is with the church leadership today. If we want to achieve anything of significance it takes brilliant ideas, noble intentions and miraculous discoveries that come from working together. Jesus said if two or three of us join together then he will be there also; the perfect team for total success. Our Church Anniversary team, Mrs. James Ella Irvin and Usher Board #1, have conformed to this image and this magnificent celebration is a splendid example of Christian teamwork in action.
As a leader, Jesus saw his people as his greatest accomplishment. He said of his disciples, "It is in them that I am glorified." Of all the miracles Jesus performed, in the end he considered the growth of his people to be the most important. Just as Jesus did, we must celebrate the changes made in the lives of our people as our greatest accomplishment. As a pastor, it is only when souls are saved that I have been successful. Yes, we should be proud of the many tangible contributions we have made to this community over the years. But as Jesus did, let us claim our lasting legacy as the souls we lead to God, the families we encourage and the lives we touch in a positive way.
On this occasion, I proudly accept the challenge of our theme and encourage each and every one of you to accept it as well. Take this challenge and study it, embrace it, and live it daily as we move ever higher in God's will for our congregation, our city, our nation and the world.
"...and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." Colossians 3:10
Rev. Jim Holley, Ph.D.
Message From Our Church Anniversary Chairperson
Greeting s in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
For the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, our 65th Anniversary is a tremendous milestone. Today we celebrate a rich history and the promise of a brilliant future. God has blessed us and is continuing to keep His arms around us. As we remember the cherished deeds of the past, let us not lose sight of the brilliant vision for tomorrow. When we "Conform to His Image" God can use us even more in His awesome and miraculous plan.
I was excited and honored when asked to chair such an important even because I am grateful for every opportunity to serve God and to serve my beloved church family. It is with this sense of gratitude that I would first like to thank Pastor Holley for having the confidence in my ability to lead such an important phase of this year's activities. Secondly, I am grateful to this outstanding committee, Usher Board #1 for putting words into powerful action and making this one of the mist pleasurable projects I have ever experienced. Thirdly, I must thank the many members and friends of this church for joining in this celebration and for supporting us abundantly. Finally and most importantly, I must thank God for answering prayer and I will forever praise Him for divine inspiration that never fails. I am grateful to the Holy Spirit for leading me to humbly submit to this remarkable endeavor and for revealing the right path to take with joy and thanksgiving.
"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake"
(PSlam 115:1 KJV)
To God Be The Glory!
James Ella Irvin
Church Anniversary Committee Chairperson