A Historical Overview 1915-Present

And in the Beginning… We owe the birth of our church to three former members of Mount Carmel Baptist Church – Mother Sallie Griffin, Brother Ed Tucker and Sister Melinda Kellum- who are the founders of our spiritual heritage. After leaving Mount Carmel Baptist Church, these three members met each Wednesday night in the home of Mother Sallie Griffin with a determination to serve the Lord.

A Parallel, A Union…

glutinously While these faithful servants were meeting in Mother Griffin’s home, Reverend E. D. Florence was conducting night services in a tent in his backyard. While meeting in Mother Griffin’s home was rewarding, the three members felt and saw a need for a church in their community. They approached Reverend Florence several times requesting his assistance and guidance in organizing a Church in the community. He finally consented and on a Wednesday night in April 1915, the three members along with Reverend Florence met at 55 Markham Street and organized a church with Reverend Florence as the official pastor. At that meeting, Reverend Florence’s mother-in-law asked that she be given the honor of naming the newly organized church. Her request was granted and she named it the Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Thus, we were established.

Flourishing on the Wings of Faith… With such a dynamic leader and gospel preacher, the church continued to grow and within two years, the little storefront church became too small to house the membership. In 1918, the members of Mount Vernon Baptist Church purchased a large and beautiful church valued at $50,000, located on the corner of Mangum and Hunter Streets. On a beautiful Sunday morning in July 1918, the membership of Mount Vernon Baptist Church began worshipping in its new sanctuary. Rev. Florence would continue to lead Mount Vernon until his resignation in 1929.

buy Lyrica online cheap Having been blessed early in her history, Mount Vernon was able to call upon one of her son’s, the Reverend C.H. Pickett, to hold the reigns of spiritual leadership until the church called the Reverend W.G. Bivins in 1932. Mount Vernon realized growth in the Women’s Ministry, with the first Women’s Day Program ever held at Mount Vernon and the Youth experienced their first Harvest Day celebration. The Sunday School was reorganized; attendance nearly tripled, church membership reached 1,000, a new financial program cleared all the church debt and for the first time Mount Vernon became active in the local, state and national conventions.

Canary Wharf Rev. Bivins died in 1945 while still pasturing Mount Vernon and six months later, the church called the Reverend E.M. Johnson as pastor.

Mount Vernon continued to prosper spiritually and physically. For the first time, Mount Vernon hosted the General Baptist Convention in 1946. Rev. Johnson led the establishment of the church library and the membership increased from 1,000 to 2,000 members. Rev. Johnson died April 4, 1952 in office as pastor of the Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

Reverend J.R. Lovett was called in October of 1952 as pastor. The church underwent extensive remodeling and all auxiliary funds were brought under a general church treasury. In 1955, the church received a letter from the Commissioner of Roads and Revenue indicating that a new location must be found because of the planned West-By-Pass Project. In July 1957, the members purchased the property on the corner of Haynes and Hunter Streets and Northside Drive. This property cost $90,000 and was paid in full in two years and four months.

Mount Vernon Joins in Fellowship with Saint Stephens…

On the second Sunday in June 1960, with a twenty-four hour notice, the members of Mount Vernon Baptist church were forced to move and leave their beloved church edifice. They were blessed in that; the pastor and members of Saint Stephens Baptist Church opened their doors to the Mount Vernon Church family. This was the first of many joint worship services. The Mount Vernon Church family worshiped with Saint Stephens until May 1963.

Groundbreaking for the New Church…

On the third Sunday in May 1961, the Mount Vernon Baptist Church family held its Ground Breaking Services. Reverend Marcus Williams preached the sermon for this occasion. Several months later, construction began on the half-million dollar structure that now stands as a monument for God and to Reverend J.R. Lovett, as a great Ambassador for Christ.

Mount Vernon Returns Home…

On the second Sunday in May 1963, the Mount Vernon Church family returned home. This was truly a great day! With a touch of sadness and overwhelmed with gladness, the Mount Vernon Baptist Church family gathered at the old church site which is now a part of the Techwood West By-Pass (now named Centennial Olympic Park, Dr. NW.) and formed their line for the march. The march proceeded to the church and stopped at the steps of the new sanctuary. Reverend Ernest Wilkerson gave a prayer of thanks. Mrs. J.R. Lovett cut the ribbon. The keys to the church were presented to Deacon Troy Goodrum who in turn gave them to Deacon Luther Wilder, who opened the doors and the weary travelers marched in. Oh, what a sight to behold as one’s eyes beheld the beauty and grandeur which could only be surpassed by a glimpse of Heaven itself.

Reverend Cameron Alexander preached the Entrance Day Sermon-the first sermon preached in the new edifice. During this period, the Mount Vernon Church family was without an under shepherd due to the death of Reverend Lovett.

Standing on the Promises of Jesus…

After one and a half years, the Lord answered the prayers of the faithful. On November 6, 1963, Reverend S.A. Baker was called as the 6th pastor of the Church. Mount Vernon realized new growth in programs and membership. A new financial and membership record system was established, the Board of Religious Education was organized, the Women’s Ministry was reorganized into a Women’s Missionary Union consisting of 21 circles, the library was revitalized, a nursery and kindergarten were established, the mortgage was paid off and the Mount Vernon Baptist Academy was established. Under Reverend Baker’s guidance from 1963 until his retirement as Pastor Emeritus in 1991, the church grew and continued its upward mobility as a spiritual and educational edifice in the Atlanta community. After the retirement of Reverend Baker as Pastor Emeritus in 1991, Reverend W. J. Gresham, a beloved son of the Church, aided by the Deacon Board, provided spiritual guidance to the Church as Interim Pastor.

New Spiritual Leadership…

On January 24, 1993, Reverend Willie James Lawson, Sr., was installed as the seventh pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Under his leadership, the church experienced a spiritual and physical revitalization. A 7:45 a.m. Worship Service was implemented, renovation of the sanctuary, administrative offices and educational building, revived the physical facilities of the church. During Reverend Lawson’s tenure, several initiatives were set in motion: Computerization of the Church office, installation of an elevator in the church, renovation of the Annex and fellowship hall and the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system. The following programs were established: Mission in Action (WMU); Church Institute Week; Solidarity Day; Women’s and Men’s Fellowship Conferences; and on-going Staff Development “training” for the teachers of the Mount Vernon Pre-School and Academy.

Following the resignation of Reverend W. J. Lawson, the founding Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Atlanta, Reverend Billy Robinson, served as the Interim Pastor.

Faith to Press Forward…

On December 6, 1999, Reverend William J. Perkins preached his first sermon as the eighth pastor of Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church. During his tenure as Pastor of the Church until his resignation in 2003, the Church instituted monthly leadership training meetings and an annual retreat for ministry leaders, a church motto was adopted and in concert with ministry leaders a vision and mission statement was developed and adopted for the Church, Project Spirit was adopted as an after school program to compliment the Academy and Day Care Center, a new members reception was instituted, the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Newsletter was created, an Ecumenical Thanksgiving service with churches in the community was established, and a Homeless Ministry partnership was established with the First Baptist Church of Atlanta.

Today We Stand Converted, Committed and Commissioned…

videographicinsidecover. . .by Jesus Christ to serve this present age under the exemplary and model Christian leadership of our beloved pastor and undershepherd, Reverend Rodney K. Turner. Since accepting the call on August 18, 2003, as our 9th Pastor, Reverend Turner has embarked on a religious course of action aided and guided by the Holy Spirit that will model in this 21st century the commitment of our Church to serve this present age.

Under Reverend Turner’s leadership 1015 new members have joined the church and more than thirteen new ministries have been implemented including the reinstatement of the Mother Board Ministry. Rev. Turner developed a new mission statement and church motto that reflects the mandate that Jesus Christ gave the church in Matthew 25:35-45. Great emphasis has been placed on Christian Education, evangelistic and outreach ministries, community and civic affairs, both local and national, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit there have been countless men and women who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and have been baptized.

Under the leadership of Reverend Turner there were many internal and external improvements done to the church and school at the 441 Martin Luther King Jr. campus. In 2013, Reverend Turner’s leadership played an integral part in the negotiation and sell of the 441 Martin Luther King Jr Drive property to the Georgia Dome, the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur Blank. He also helped to spearhead the purchase as well as the implementation of a full renovation project throughout the entire church building and campus at 815 Lynhurst Drive, SW Atlanta.

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