History of The Messiah Missionary Baptist Church
On Sunday, November 26, 1978, Rev. Lee A. Mullen made the decision to establish a church where he could pastor all of the people, all of the time, rather than just some of the people, some of the time. With a dedicated and determined group of worshippers, he gathered in an old brick Church building, located at 2390 Chelsea Avenue with one purpose, to become the founding members of a newly formed congregation. The congregation became known as the MESSIAH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.
The indoctrination of this organism into a Baptist Church was carried out by Reverends Moody, Raney, Young and Donson at that service and with Reverend Lee A. Mullen as our Pastor.
With mops, brooms and various other cleaning supplies in hand, we began the journey of preparing our building and the Sanctuary for Sunday morning worship services. On December 3, 1978, with our slogan, ‘THE GOD WE SERVE IS ENOUGH”, we held our first Sunday morning worship service.
As the Lord added to the membership of the Church such as should be saved, we continued our efforts to modernizing our Church. We were able to purchase a piano, organ, PA system and Church van. Real estate was purchased at 2389 Chelsea Ave., a duplex apartment at 1425 and 1427 Harrison St., and a parsonage at 1430 Harrison St.
In 1991, due to declining health, Pastor Mullen required assistance in his ministry and brought in Reverend Jerry J. Randolph. In 1995, Reverend Randolph became the Assistant Pastor and took over the leadership role of the Youth Ministry. In April of 1997, when Pastor Mullen realized that his health would prevent him from carrying his vision any further, he asked the membership to accept Reverend Randolph as Pastor and Pastor Mullen assume the position of Pastor Emeritus. Pastor Mullen knew that Reverend Randolph loved the Messiah Church family as much as he did and would be the one God anoints to carry forth the work of the Ministry into the next millennium.
It was fitting that Pastor Mullen would select someone like Reverend Randolph to continue the vision God had given him 19 years earlier and on Sunday, April 20, 1997, Reverend Jerry Jerome Randolph was installed as our new Pastor. Having fought a good fight, finishing the course and keeping the faith, our beloved Pastor Lee A. Mullen answered the master’s call and went to his eternal rest on August 7, 1997.
With the theme, “Totally Committed”, Pastor Jerry Randolph wasted little time in securing the people of God for we installed an alarm system and beautiful fence around the property. The evidence of his love for God’s people produced the addition of an elevator to accommodate the sick, the elderly and the disabled, enabling them to access the sanctuary for services, that they may worship the Lord. A new PA system was installed at about the same time.
After securing the people, Pastor Randolph was then prepared to tackle the task that he was called to perform, that is to preach and teach the Word of God. New Bibles were placed in every pew of the church, mid-week Bible study begun, a renewed push for Sunday Church School, training, access to the various Christian Education Congresses, workshops and leadership seminars were just some of the ways that Pastor Randolph went about accomplishing those tasks. Knowing that where there is light, there is life and darkness cannot exist, we replaced all the wooden entrance doors with glass, installed chandeliers in the Sanctuary and purchased two new air conditioning units. The growth and beauty of the plants on the pulpit, today, is the evidence that light and life are present, and darkness is defeated.
Outreach ministries began such as Mid-week prayer service, Youth, Young Adults, Angel Food, Alpha 100, Summer Day Camp and Media. Computers have been added, an email address, a new organ, carpet, seating in the balcony and choir have been replaced. We purchased the last 4 parcels of property (three on Chelsea Ave. and one on Harrison St.) needed to complete the shared vision of Pastors Mullin and Randolph.
In 2009, scenes from the Christian motion picture, “The Grace Card”, were filmed here at Messiah. Pastor Randolph along with other members of the congregation had small but significant parts in the film. We have so much to be thankful for because the Lord has blessed us over the last few years to give birth to the sponsorship of a health fair, social media pages on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, as well as the development of a world class website which is accessed daily by viewers from 28 different countries.
We implemented specialized leadership training sessions for Messiah’s leaders were everyone learns the difference between mere church membership and Kingdom citizenship and what is required to be a Kingdom leader and Kingdom builder. And in the fall of 2012, we gave the lower level of our main facility a makeover including but not limited to new window treatments, tables, paint, floor tiles, an organ.
On Sunday, January 7, 2018, God anointed and appointed, and the Messiah church family welcomed Rev. Jeffrey L. Harden as Pastor. Rev. Harden has been commissioned for such a time as this to lead Messiah into our next phase of ministry with the theme, “LIVING THE LIFE FOR CHRIST”.
In the nearly 5 years that Rev. Harden has served as Messiah’s Pastor, the Lord blessed the ministry in the area of spiritual leadership in that one deacon has been ordained, three trustees were added to the church board, and several new Sunday School teachers accepted the call to teach God’s word.
In addition, the Lord has also added to Messiah’s ministry an additional parcel of land on Chelsea Ave., a world class security system including cameras and wireless handheld communication devices, a new sign in front of the church, a keyboard for the music ministry, mixer board and PA system, laptops, online giving avenues (Givelify, CashApp and Paypal), office furniture, and a video camera and spotlights for streaming worship services via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook.
Today we give God the thanks for His abiding love. We thank His Son for our formation and mission. We thank the Holy Spirit for the power to go forth with our service to God. “We have come this far by faith” and are ever prayerful that we will die empty and be found faithful upon our Savior’s return.
A YEAR OF REACHING OUT
At Messiah, we are ever dependent on the power of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to guide us in serving our congregation and the community around us.