On January 16, 1948, Mrs. Marcella A. Stewart, Mrs. Ethel Sims, Miss Emma Mae Watkins and Mr. Harry Brooks met with Rev. Collis O. Stewart, at the home of Mrs. Lena Wyche. These Christian visionaries organized the United Faithful Prayer Band. Rev. Stewart was elected to serve as president, Mrs. Bobbie Crawford, secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth Lynch, treasurer, and Mrs. Ethel Sims, chaplain. As the prayer band’s membership grew, it was decided to reorganize as a mission. The mission held several meetings at the Norval School, located at Arndt and McDougall.
On April 29, 1948, led by the Holy Spirit, the members of the United Faithful Prayer Band met with several area pastors to establish and form a church. The Rev. U.S. Golsby, pastor of the Cyrene Baptist Church, was elected Moderator and Sister Mary Hope, Secretary. Sis. Ethel Sims suggested the mission’s name be changed to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. It was moved and seconded by Sis. Mary Carvin and Bro. Thomas Butler to change the name of the mission.
“Rev. Collis O. Stewart was called to serve as pastor of the newly formed Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church. The first members of Mt. Pleasant were Sisters Ethel Sims, Emma Mae Watkins and Lena Wyche who joined by Christian experience. Bro. George B. Nelson, Sr. was appointed by Pastor Stewart to serve as deacon, the first of many fine officers of Mt. Pleasant.
The first officers of the Official Board were:
Deacon Board: Deacon Burnest Carruthers-Chairman, Deacon George B. Nelson, Sr.-Co-Chairman, Deacon Luther Arnold, Sr., Deacon Walter D. Crawford, Sr., Deacon Wesley Curtis, Sr., Deacon John Ferman, Deacon William McGee, Deacon Clifford Nichols, Sr., Deacon Enoch Sherman, Sr., Deacon Ray Stewart and Deacon James B. Ward, Sr.
Trustee Board: Trustee Sam Sherman-Chairman, Trustee John Howze-Co-Chairman, Trustee Walter Bridges, Trustee Dave Jones, Trustee Lynn Nails, Trustee Porter Watkins, Trustee Felton Werdlow and Trustee James Werdlow.
Ministerial Staff: Rev. Willie Jackson and Rev. George Moore.
In answer to the prayers of the Pastor and members, the edifice at 3712 Preston was purchased in 1950. The mortgage was burned in 1955.
Rev. Stewart came to Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church with prior pastoral experience. He
pastored the Second Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio from 1935-1940. He was highly respected as a leader in the ministry and was the only black member of the Ministerial Alliance of Lorain County, Ohio. He was also affiliated with the Race Relation Committee of the Elyria Chamber of Commerce.
For 37 years, Rev. Collis O. Stewart was pastor until God called him home on February 18, 1985.
On November 16, 1986, Rev. Redmond received notice that he had been selected to serve as Pastor. He was installed on December 14, 1986. Rev. Redmond served as Vice-President and later President of the Calvary District Congress of Christian Education. In 1991, he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from the Tennessee Bible College.
Trustee Robert Walton, the church’s realtor, had been given the charge by the Building Committee to secure a larger building while Rev. Collis O. Stewart was Pastor. Pastor Redmond reiterated that same charge and on May 15, 1988 we moved into our beautiful church edifice at 21150 Moross Road. The mortgage was burned in September 1991.
Under Pastor Redmond’s leadership, the following ministries were instituted into our church program: Bethel Day Care Board, Planning Commission, Beautification Committee, New Members Class, Golden Age Fellowship, Women of Victory Christian Fellowship, Feed-the-Needy, Board of Christian Education, burial and will planning, computer camp, youth mentoring and family crisis prevention workshops.
In 1995 we purchased an eleven-unit apartment building, the Stewart Manor, named after the late Rev. Collis O. Stewart.
On June 9, 1999 our beloved Pastor Redmond was stricken with a very serious illness. He and the entire membership’s faith were tested. We saw God’s miraculous healing powers work through Rev. Redmond. Deacon Solomon Rush, Chairman of Deacons, Trustee Henry Jones, Chairman of Trustees and Rev. James Minnick, Pulpit Chairman met the challenge set before them. The church membership voted to accept Rev. Redmond’s retirement request.
Pastor Minnick joined Mt. Pleasant as a teenager under the leadership of the late Rev. Stewart. Pastor Minnick’s educational background is extensive. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Lawrence Technological University. He has Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates of Divinity Degrees (Major Theology) from the Tennessee School of Religion Seminary.
Under Pastor Minnick’s leadership, the following ministries were birthed into our church:
Children & Youth Church Services (1st & 3rd Sunday, Youth Council, Mighty Men of the Mount, Marriage Enrichment, Tape & Media, Physical Enrichment, Men & Women’s Annual Health Seminars, Ministry First Leadership, Positive Influence, Pressing Toward the Mark New Membership Class, Women of Purpose, Bible Study 101, Single Ministry,Boy Scouts/Venture Troop 334
We have been blessed through the years to have a ministerial staff, official board and auxiliary officers filled with the spirit and zest to do God’s work. Among those we must recognize Deacon Sylvester Powell, Retired Chairman of Deacons and Trustee Isom Borum, Retired Chairman of Trustees.
In conjunction with celebrating our 55th Church Anniversary, Pastor Minnick ordained three (3) Ministers: Thomas L. Denmark, Tommie Hollingshed and Darren L. Harville; and one (1) Deacon, Melvin Bridges.
Rev. Hollingshed was called to pastor the Shay Lake Nondenominational Church in January 2004. Rev. Harville was led to begin the New Life Ministries Worldwide in May 2004.
Under Pastor Minnick’s leadership Mt. Pleasant’s Ministerial staff continues to grow. Pastor Minnick ordained seven (7) additional Ministers: William Flournoy, Lynette Harper, Lisa Howard, Royce L. Johnson, Tonya Larsosa, Sandra Sanders and Shirley Thomas; and five (5) Deacons: Marvin Harper, Gary Lemon, Eugene Purry, Darren Smith and Joshua Williams.