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CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE MOUNT VERNON BAPTIST CHURCH

THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE MOUNT VERNON BAPTIST CHURCH IS PRINTED IN THE 75TH YEAR SOUVENIR BOOK

“God’ Power Revealed Through History”

The history of the Mount Vernon Baptist Church began the second Sunday in September, 1931, when members of the Highland Baptist Church assembled together, hopefully, for what they thought would be Sunday morning worship services.  However, there was a lot of skepticism among the members because of the dissension between the pastor, Rev. W. W. Horton and the membership.

Reverend Horton addressed the membership by saying,” If anyone wants to hear me preach, follow me.”  A number of members followed Rev. Horton to a Presbyterian church at 17th and Paradeway.  After organizing, the church was called Mount Vernon Baptist Church.  Rev. Horton gave the (selfsame) name of a church he had formerly pastored in Mississippi giving birth to a new church.  Services continued to be held at the Presbyterian Church.

On the first Sunday in December, 1931, the church moved to the first floor of the U.B.F. Hall located at l4th and Michigan and was there for one year.  In the Spring of 1932, a committee was comprised of Deacon Scott, Deacon Basin and others to find a permanent place to worship.  The committee located a building at 12th and Brooklyn.  Very soon thereafter, the Church marched from l4th and Michigan to 12th and Brooklyn.

Things were going well until the summer of 1935.  Pastor Horton became ill, but carried on until he became too weak to preside any longer. He sent for a young minister, the Rev. O. S. Jones, who impressed him from the beginning of their friendship, to carry on for him, and asked that he keep the spirit in the church (information supplied by the late Rev. Preston Allen, Sr.)   On November 28, 1935, Rev. W. W. Horton passed from labor to reward.  Many things were accomplished under his leadership.  He served from 1931 to 1935.

 1936-1969 ~ Under the Leadership of Pastor O. S. Jones

Without a pastor ninety days, the church held a “Call Meeting” with moderator, the late Reverend Preston Allen, Sr. presiding.  Deacon Scott was the Chairman of the Board.  On February 28, 1936, the Reverend O. S. Jones was elected pastor by the church, lead by God’s direction.

On the third in June 1936, the Mount Vernon membership purchased and moved to 1001 Park Avenue.  It was not until the early part of 1959, when our current building (3935 Prospect) was located by the late Sylvester Perkins, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  The church purchased this building for $58,500.00, erected a double choir stand, a baptismal pool, purchased pulpit furniture, to make ready for worship.  The membership marched from 1001 Park Avenue, on the fourth Sunday in October (October 18, 1959).  This building was dedicated to God for worship service.  The church building at 1001 Park Avenue was sold to the late Pastor C. N. Rucker, Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, for the sum of $16,000.00.

 Reverend Oscar S. Jones – Pastor – February 29, 1936 until February 15, 1969

The late Charlie Burks, Sr. was appointed Chairman of the Board, February 5, 1963, succeeding the late Deacon Jesse Johnson.  The late Ellis Boykins, Co-Chairman.  December 3, 1965, Pastor Jones felt the need for a change in the official board, and appointed Deacon Emanuel A. Johnson, Chairman of the Board, succeeding the late Deacon Charlie Burks; appointed the late W. H. Brooks, Chairman of the Trustee Board, succeeding the late Sylvester Perkins; appointed the late Lee Thompson, Building Fund Treasurer; the late Deacon Ellis Boykins, Chairman of Finance; assisted by the late Donald Carter, Sr.; added the late Alex Ezell to the Board of Trustees.  Deacon Emanuel A. Johnson served until December 31, 1966, at which time, he was called to the ministry.  He was succeeded by Deacon Henry Young, Sr. who was appointed the second Sunday in January, 1967 and served until December 8,1972.  He too, answered the call to the ministry.  He was succeeded by the late George Griffin, who served from December 8, 1972 until December, 1992; he was succeeded by Deacon Joe Dillard, Sr., who served from 12/92 until 6/2003.  Deacon Leon Brown was appointed Chairman of Board on June 1, 2003, and is currently serving.  Deacon Monroe Porter currently serves as Co-Chairman.

Things were going well until November, 1968; Pastor Jones became ill, sent for our Associate Minister, Rev. Emanuel A. Johnson and gave him full responsibility to care for the church.  On February 15, 1969, the Rev. O. S. Jones crossed over, completing 33 years of successful service and many accomplishments.

1969-2004 ~ Under the Leadership of Rev. Dr. Emanuel A. Johnson

Without a pastor for 30 days, the church held a “Call Meeting” on April 18, 1969, and elected Rev. Emanuel A. Johnson to lead the church. Rev. W. M. Overton was elected assistant pastor and served until his death March 6, 1972.

Under the leadership of Pastor Johnson, the church underwent extensive remodeling and expansion.  Improvements have included the additions of a nursery, First Aid Room, Choir Room, enlargement of the choir stand, a custom built Baptistery, handicapped accessible restrooms, a finance office, improved office space, purchase of new computers, a grand piano, organ, new seats, four vans, two parsonages, installation of a sensormatic cable power video security system, a new P. A system, custom exterior signs and numerous interior and exterior decorations, renovations & equipment designed to enhance our worship service.

In September of 1981, the church mortgage “was burned on the 50th year anniversary.  The garage (now known as the E. A. Johnson Fellowship Hall) was completely renovated.  In renovating the old garage, the kitchen, dining area & lounges were completely furnished, as well as the lower level remodeled for a “Fitness Center,” named in honor of Pastor Johnson.  The mortgage on the Fellowship Hall was burned September 7,1986, eight years ahead schedule.  The church purchased & remodeled the KFC building.  Originally, it was converted for a Fellowship Hall, later Library and E. A. Johnson Learning Center, and in 2004,  Pastor Emeritus Johnson’s Office.  It too, was paid off ahead of schedule.  The church purchased the Doctor’s office; it was completely renovated and furnished, housing the Pastor’s study/office,  the secretary’s office, a lounge, copier and class rooms.  Mortgage was paid out seven years ahead of schedule, leaving the church debt-free.

The following real estate property was purchased: 3909-11 Prospect, 3915-20 Prospect, 3930-38-40 Prospect, 3931-35 Prospect, 3939-40 Prospect, 4003 Prospect, 2602-04—08-12 E. 40th Street.

The church published its first church membership directory, August 1999.  Lola Hall was Chairman.  Published its first Newsletter, entitled, Mount Vernon Epistle, directed by Renee Marshall, Director of Christian Education.

Pastor Emanuel Anderson Johnson retired June 24, 2004, but retained an honorary title as “Pastor Emeritus” after having completed 35 years of loyal and dedicated leadership.  Let us be grateful to God for Emanuel Anderson Johnson, the leader placed at Mount Vernon, where many, many lives have been saved, many accomplishments attained, many spiritual and financial blessings too numerous to count.

 2004-Present ~ Under the Leadership of Rev. Donald W. Givens

 July 1, 2004 Marked a New Beginning for Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church

Reverend Donald W. Givens was appointed Pastor of the Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church.  He assumed “Pastoral Duties” on July 1, 2004.  With our prayers, support and God’s will he will take the church into the new century.

Under the divine leadership of Pastor Donald W. Givens, the Lord is truly blessing.  Mount Vernon is maintaining its Spiritual and Financial blessing of the Lord.  There has been addition to the church family, by Christian experience and candidates for baptism.  Pastor Givens gives of his time to visit the sick, regardless of the time and place and is concerned about the needy, and wants to know about the parishioners that have been placed in his care.

 The Guidance of the Holy Spirit ~ Leadership on the Move

Pastor Givens appointed Ann Johnson as Youth Director.  The following were appointed to the Finance Committee:  Gussie Snyder, Deacon Burnell Williams and Bro. Elijah Bolton.

In 2007, real estate property was purchased at 2610 E. 40th Street, and a new computer and printer for the secretary’s office.  A new roof was put on the E.A. Johnson Learning Center.

In May 2007, the 3 air condition units were stolen from the E.A. Johnson Fellowship Hall.  In June 2007, all 3 air condition units were replaced with new units.  Deacon Curtis Jones, Jr. and Brother Elijah Bolton built a concrete platform and installed wrought-iron cages around the new units.  CD and DVD recorders were purchased and Mt. Vernon began making DVDs and CDs.  A 10 tray DVD/CD duplicator was purchased along with a new video camera. 

June 22, 2007, Mt. Vernon suffered a great loss in the home-going of our beloved Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Emanuel A. Johnson, who was the pastor of this great church for 35 years.  

In 2006, the Mt. Vernon In-Touch ministry was established to minister to new members. In November 2007 the Faith and Hope Health Ministry was established to bring awareness to health issues.   Mt. Vernon’s first web site Home Page was developed and enhanced throughout the year.   Woman II Woman was established to enhance relations with the women of the Church and address issues specifically related to them.   Mt. Vernon began having EMT (Enriching Marriage Teams) workshops once a month to enhance marriage relationships.

July 2008, the Nursery was completely remodeled/converted into a new men’s and women’s restroom facility with numerous stalls, including a handicapped stall in each and numerous sinks.   A kitchenette was also added.    A new central air condition and heating unit was purchased for the restroom facility and will also heat and cool the vestibule area.   The nursery was relocated to the building with the pastor’s and secretary’s office.  Mt. Vernon began having noon Bible study each Wednesday in January 2009.  Rev. Tommie Dillard and Pastor Donald Givens served as instructors.

 Ministers Accepted & Ordained

Reverends Johnie Howard, Louis Taylor, Willie Taylor, Gerald Ballew, James Everage Solomon Wright, Ronald Hindsman, Tommie Dillard,Sr., Greg Washington, Mitchell Wilson, Greg Stevens, James Johnson, Theester Johnson, Sr., DeMarco Brown, Sidney Rolls, Henry Young, A. F. Chrichlow, Louis Hurtt, Joseph Beasley, DeWayne Woods, Kim Gladney, Charles Bruce, Frankie Collins, Robert Smith, Melvin Dorsey, Olan Butler, Clyde Williams, Donald Givens, Carl Bowman, Dimitri Brockman, Andrew Byas, William Adams, Clayborn Jones, Corey Scott, Delaron Douglas, Anthony Fletcher,  Christopher Williams, Eric Lindsey,  Nick Andre Jenkins, Joe Dillard Sr., and Floyd Wiggins, Frank Henderson & two adopted sons, Troy Brooks & O’Kon.

The following ministers who have passed from labor to reward, but will remain a part of the history of Mount Vernon:  Earl Prewitt, William Overton, W. H. Potts, Larry Trent and Andre Jenkins.

 Deacons on Trial, Accepted & Ordained 

Curtis Jones, Jr., William Jackson, George McCall, Sr., Theester Johnson, Solomon Wright, Anthony Chandler, Tommy William, Joe Dillard, Sr., Charlie Henley, Leon Brown, Tommie Smith, Marcellus Robinson, Leslie Maxwell, Wilbert Moreland Sr., Staten Heard, Benjamin Brown, John Trigg, Ronald Bell, Clyde Williams, Phillip Bradley, Will Blunt, Frankie Collins, Jeff Lewis, Hosea Ramsey, Mitchell Wilson, Eddie Cope, Monroe Porter, Thurlo Prater, Charles Durham, William Adam, Jeffery Lauderdale, Willie Jones, Terry Riley, Ace Singleton, Jefferson Williams, Donald Givens, Carter Wrice, Delaron Douglas, Glenn Winn, Joel Holden, Christopher Williams, Eric Lindsey, Charles Hayslett, Michael Frazier, Solomon Aumua, Cameron Perkins, William Smith and Michael Ramsey.

The following deacons have passed from labor to reward, but will remain a part of the history of Mount Vernon:  Earman Wright, James Williams, James Hart, James Jones, Otis Tate, Eugene Johnson, L. B. Morris, W.M. Forest, Willie Young, Hosea Ramsey, Richard Hardiman, Will Blunt, Wilbert Moreland, Sr., Thurlo Prater, George McCall, Sr., Tommy Williams, and Jefferson Williams.

On June 1, 2003, Deacon Leon Brown was appointed chairman of the Deacon Board and Deacon Monroe Porter, appointed co-chairman.  They are currently serving.

 Trustees Appointed to Board of Trustees

 Harold Brisco, Jackson Ware, Sr., Eddie Fletcher, Staten Heard, Elijah Bolton, Lonnie Word, Gussie Snyder.

The following trustees have passed from labor to reward, but will remain a part of the History of Mount Vernon: Donald Carter, Sr., James Marshall, W. H. Brooks, Eddie Raines, David Carr, Lee Thompson, and J.V. Echols.

On December 10, 1982, James Marshall was appointed, Chairman of Trustee Board and served until his death, March 14, 1996.  Eddie Raines, appointed co-chairman and served until his death, July 7, 2002.  Donald Carter, Sr., was appointed church treasurer and served until his death, December 27, 2005.

 Secretaries Who Have Served

Alice Miles, Fairy Kirkland, Teresa Jefferson, Beadie Henderson Johnson, Maxine Walker, Ruby Jamison, Ruth Taylor and Gussie Snyder, who retired January 31, 2005, after having served 40 plus years.  Currently, Gwendolyn Johnson.  Assistant Secretaries:  the late Minnie Muller.  Currently, Loretta Stewart and Linda Bluett, Youth & Assistant Secretary.

Treasurers Who Have Served

W. A. Duberry, Will Rix, N. B. Richardson, Jesse Johnson, William Overton, W. H. Brooks and Donald W. Carter, Sr.

Let us be grateful for all of the leaders that God has placed here at Mount Vernon.  We thank God for our spiritual and financial blessings and additions to our church family.

“Let us continue to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” as we move toward a higher calling being led by Pastor Givens, whose motto can be found in Revelation 2:10b; “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Let us love one another as He loves.

May this church stand for years to come, under the leadership of our current pastor, Rev. Donald W. Givens, as it has the past, lighting the way for those who are lost. Let it be a living monument for our Savior who died on the cross, that all men might be free.

Condensed history compiled and submitted by church secretary/clerk, Ms. Gwendolyn L. Johnson.