Little Rock Baptist Church: 72nd Anniversary Church Program
Subjects: Church Services
Description: Program for the celebration of the 72nd 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 2008
Original Format: Church Program
Rights Management: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributing Institution: Array
Relation: Little Rock Baptist Church
Contributor: Icee Griffin
Transcript: Page 1
Pastor Holley and the 72nd Anniversary Planning Committee take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the entire Historic Little Roch church family and our special guest who contributed so much to making this annual event a great success.
Trustee Willie Warren
Rev. James Hilliard, Advisor
The Health Ministry
Trustee Wanda Stallworth
Trustee Francine Montgomery
Deacon Rodney McDowell
Rev. Gregory Pryor
Deacon Craig Hill
James Ella Irvin
Trustee Calandra Jackson
Trustee Larry Walker
The Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church History
The history of Little Rock Missionary 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 protect the ideals and dreams of those who labored for so long enduring many hardships while working in this area of our 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 by his spirit.
The Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church was established in April 1936, under the pastorate 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 1314 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 a new 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 with the church until 1959, when he was called to pastor in San Francisco, CA. During the next decade, the church experience several changes in leadership, beginning with Rev. Walter L. La Beaux, of San Antonio, TX, who pastored from June 1960 to 1962. Rev. John Bussell was called to pastor on April 10, 1963 and through many hardships and sacrifices led the congregation until July 1967. On March 20, 1968, the call was extended to Rev. Clarence L. Townsell, and under his pastorate, the congregation relocated to 4903 Maxwell Street. He continued his good works until December 22, 1971.
On June 9, 1972, Rev. Jim Holley, our present pastor, was elected to become our Shepard. 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 were not enough for the rapid growht 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.
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. 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 the 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 had both a radio and TV ministries.
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 communion table and alter were replaced. The audio system was updated and new TV monitors were installed. Other work included of a new handicap stair track; a partial roof replacement; new handicapped accessible bathrooms; remodeled lounges 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 S.H.I.P. 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 complete allowing direct access to and from the rear balcony and the main sanctuary. Two additional stained glass windows depicting the Black Madonna and Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane were installed. 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 Associate Degree are available on site at "The Rock" through the "Education in the Hood" program sponsored by Wayne County Community College. Career development and training opportunities are available through our affiliation with Jackets for Jobs, 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 was established and for three years provided food for the hungry throughout Detroit. In May 2004, Pembroke Nursing Center, 9146 Woodward Avenue was purchased, renovated and maintained by the Church. It was renamed the Little Rock Baptist Church Christian Care Center and provides medical care for the sick and the disabled.
Educating the youth and instilling a set of spiritual and economic values has be practiced throughout the years. 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, GA and trips to Africa; the Space Center in Alabama, museums of Chicago and theatre in Toronto, Canada. Little Rock 's chartered 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. improvements to the building structures as well as the surrounding landscape were made. The school had its first graduating class in June 2004.
In 2005, the Church opened Detroit Hope Hospital located at 801 Virginia Park. For 2006, plans were underway for the installation of an elevator that would enable barrier-free access routes to any level of the Church, In addition, the Church entered into a twenty-five year partnership with the city of Detroit to operate and maintain the Considine Recreation Center that is located next door to the church building. The facility was renamed the Historic Little Rock Considine Family Life Center and include and Olympic size swimming pool, gymnasium, and bowling alley.
In 2007, a state of the art elevator and wheelchair lift were installed. Despite economic hardships within our community and across the nation, the membership preserved and the church continued to service the needs of the congregation and surrounding community. Pastor Holley continued to spread the Good News preaching 131 sermons during the year. Marriage ceremonies were conducted; babies dedicated and homecoming services for our dearly departed members were celebrated. Our membership continued to expand taking in 216 new members of which 40% completed our New Members Assimilation training and began making important contributions within the carious ministries of the church,
In 2008 we continue to praise God for his infinite grace and mercy which has brought us successfully these seventy-two years and pray that through A Vision for Victory we will carry on the good fight of encouraging the masses through salvation, education and economics until the return of our sovereign Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
A Message from our Pastor~
Rev. Jim Holley, Ph.D., Pastor
As we enter into our 72nd annual celebration of the Historic Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church I am truly grateful to have served as your Pastor and Spiritual Shepard for the past 35 years. Building on the rich history of those who faithfully served from our humble beginnings we can reflect proudly on our many contributions which have added richly to our heritage. However, as we move forward into a new year, the work of the Lord and the legacy of this great church continue. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a Vision for Victory with tenets deeply rooted in salvation, education and economics and a congregation committed to serving God there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.
Ministry Leaders continue to stand your watch and do not become weary or impatient, instead position yourselves to receive and embrace the divine message. God will not disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait to hear what he has to say to them. Though, at times, the promised favor seems deferred, wit will come at last and abundantly reward us for waiting. Scripture teaches us that Habakkuk learned the true lesson of faith - to trust in god's providence regardless of the circumstances. Do not bet deterred by those who distrust or despise god's all sufficiency for they will not walk uprightly with Him.
So my beloved people, be encouraged! continue to walk and work, as well as live by faith, preserve to the end, and be exalted to glory. The just shall live by faith in these precious promises, no matter how long the vision is deferred, no matter how long it takes. Only those made just by faith shall live and be happy in His love, no and for ever.
In all things, To God Be The Glory!