Little Rock Baptist Church: 68th Anniversary Church Program
Subjects: Church Services
Description: Program for the celebration of the 68th 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 7, 2004
Original Format: Church Program
Rights Management: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributing Institution: Array
Relation: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributor: Icee Griffin
Transcript: The Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
The history of Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church is preserved with the hope of inspiring our present and future congregations. It is our prayer that they will protect the vision of those who labored and endured many hardships for the church, its members and the community.
Little Rock Baptist Church was organized in 1936 by Rev. Robert E. Tate at the home of Brother and Sister Hooks and seven members. The church's pilgrimage began at 1314 E. Willis and later moved to 3834 Russell Street.
We give recognition to the Pastors whose faithful leadership has been instrumental in the progress of this great church.
Rev. Robert E. Tate, Founder 1936 - 1953
Rev. Theodore R. Provost 1954 - 1959
Church moved to 7369 Mack
Rev. Walter L. Labeaux 1960 - 1962
Rev. John Bussell 1963 - 1967
Rev. Clarence L. Townsell 1968 - 1971
Church moved to 4903 Maxwell
On June 9, 1973, Rev. Jim Holley was called to pastor Little Rock Baptist Church. After years of faithful service and continued growth at the Maxwell location, in August 1978, the congregation moved to our present location at 9000 Woodward Ave.
We thank God for the beautiful edifice he has blessed us with. In 1992, its beauty was enhanced by the installation of hand blown stained glass windows, which depict the Fifteen Stations of the Cross, and are listed in the Michigan stained glass census at Michigan State University. On June 22, 1994, the church was give national, state and city historical designations. The name of the church was amended and the church is now known as The Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church. We are only one of five African American churches having donated our archives to the Burton Historical collection of the Detroit Public Library.
A new air conditioning system was installed in 1996; an electronic marquee was installed in 1998 to keep the community informed of upcoming events at the church; and the parking lot was extended in 1999. In 2001, approximately $600,000 was spent restoring and renovating areas of the church building. The high Gothic ceiling in the sanctuary was cleaned and the alter and the communion table were replaced. The audio system was updated and new TV monitors were installed. Other work included the purchase of a new handicap stair track; a partial roof replacement; a new handicapped accessible bathroom; remodeled loungers; and walls were painted throughout the church.
In 2002, the Church formed Rock Property Management. The building of Rock Plaza strip mall on Woodward Avenue was completed and opened to the public. Members of the church's SHIP Ministry have ownership in the Subway restaurant located within the mall, and all of the various stores and restaurants in the mall service the community's needs.
During 2003, inspired by Pastor Holley, we saw a vision of salvation, education and economics. Through our ministries, we conducted Christian development and leadership conferences, and enhanced our community outreach. To encourage continued education we offered general equivalency diploma courses. As an extension of the renovation campaign that began in 2001, two new spiral staircases were completed allowing direct access to and from the back balcony and the main sanctuary and two additional stained glass windows depiction the Black Madonna and Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane were installed. We also announced the development of a new housing project on which we will break ground March 2004. On November 2, 2003, we opened the Carpenter Shop Bookstore, which provides current, relevant and scripture focused reading material.
Advanced adult classes, with the possibility of earning an Associates Degree, are available on site at the "Rock" though the "Education in the Hood" program sponsored by Wayne County Community College. Career development and training opportunities were available through our affiliation with Jackets for Job, Inc.
Pastor Holley established the Shoes for Children project in 1978, and each year thousands of pairs of shoes are provided for needy children. In 2003, the Shoes for Children program was expanded to provide shoes for children in all counties of the Detroit Metropolitan area in addition to Wayne County. The Little Rock Food Pantry provides food for the hungry throughout the year.
Educating the youth and instilling a set of spiritual and economic values has been practiced throughout the years. Youth Church is held on the second level, in the newly remodeled classrooms. Fourth Sundays, the youth participate in the 10:45 a.m. Worship Service in the main sanctuary, displaying their spiritual training by reading and interpreting scriptures, praying, singing and ushering.
The church has sponsored trips for our youth to various places, including the historical landmarks of Washington, D.C., Historical Black colleges located in Atlanta, Georgia and Africa; the space center in Alabama, museums of Chicago and theater in Toronto.
Little Rock's charter school, The Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences, has two locations. the Jefferson Campus has grades K - 5 and the Medbury Campus has grades 6 - 12. In 2003, improvements to the building structures as well as the surrounding landscape were made. The school will have its first graduating class in June, 2004.
Ministries at the church are designed to promote salvation and faith, heightened worship and praise, win souls, and perform biblical teaching. These ministries include: Deacon, Deaconess, and Trustee Boards; Christian Education Board; Music Ministry, Usher Boards, Health Unit; Mission Ministry; Seniors Ministry; two Prayer & Bible Study Classes; Sunday School; Soul Winning Action Team (SWAT); Women's & Men's Ministries; Young Adult Ministry; Youth Ministry; Mime Ministry; Married Christian Soul Mates; Prison Ministry; Church Historical Ministry; Deaf Ministry; Media Ministry; Carpenter Shop Bookstore; and the Self Help Investment Program (SHIP).
We praise God for all of His goodness through the years and pray that our accomplishments and service are a Reflection of His Glory.
Greeting from The Pastor
My Beloved Church Family,
It's Celebration Time! A great occasion in The Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church as we reflect on God's goodness and how He has blessed and kept this church for 68 years. We have come a long way, but, there is still work to be done. I thank God for each of you and for the contribution you have made in the progress of this church. I also thank God for the saints who have gone on to be with the Lord - for it is their labor that has helped to make this celebration possible.
This year's Anniversary theme: "Reflecting God's Glory" is very appropriate for the family of Little Rock. As we continue striving to move to another level in the Lord, we should all focus on our commitment to the ministry of this church. Can we truly say as individuals that we are "reflecting God's glory?" Can the world see Jesus in us? Are we using our Talents, giving our Time, and paying our Tithes as the Lord has instructed us to do as His children? If you are not involved, get involved. If you are involved, get more involved. There is something for ALL of us to do in building God's kingdom.
I am so glad to be your Pastor and I love each and every one of you. I try every day to improve in all phases of my life, and as i grow, I want you to grow with me. See the Vision that God is giving to us and let's make The Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church the best that it can be!
Because of Calvary,
Rev. Jim Holley, Ph.D.
With Our Sincerest Appreciation Thank You
We humbly thank Reverend Holley and The Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church Family for allowing us to show our love by serving as the 68th Church Anniversary Committee. We were blessed with this privilege to do God's will, to reflect our love for Him and to reflect our love for each other. Indeed, we will cherish this opportunity forever.
A special thanks goes out to our Guest Pastors and Churches. We are honored by your enduring love and support. With ever anniversary celebration, we look forward to your loving presence.
We thank all of your brothers and sisters in Christ for your prayers, offerings, and service. We receive them for the Praise and Glory of God.
May God continue to bestow blessings upon you!
The 68th Church Anniversary Committee
Sis. Taiyia Griffin
Sis. Kenyata Rogers
Sis. Calandra Jackson
Bro. John McQueen
Sis. Yolanda Trust
Bro. Larry Walker
"O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever."