History of Jerriel Missionary Baptist Church
“On October 24, 1925 a group of people came together to organize a
Missionary Baptist Church – The Minutes read as follows:
The Green Grove Baptist Church
October 24, 1925:
We met at the appointed place for the purpose of establishing a
Missionary Baptist Church in the name of the Lord. Singing and
praying was led by Deacon Chandler. Then a hymn and opened the
doors of the church and the following members joined: Sister Sugar
Watkins, Sister Irene Jackson, Sister Laura Cleveland, Sister Lela
Watkins, Sister Patty Watkins, Sister Essie Jackson under Christian
Experience after giving them the Right Hand of Fellowship. Deacon
Hill and Reverend Arthur Woods gave great lectures. The Church
was given the name Jerriel Baptist (named after the Jerriel Seminary
in Athens, Georgia). It was motioned and seconded that Sister Patty
Watkins be elected secretary. The officers present were the Pastor of
the Green Grove Baptist Church, Reverend J.T. Ford, Deacon Hill and
Deacon Chandler. Collection $1.25.
Reverend Arthur Woods took this small group of people and with the
Holy Ghost, made a great number. Deacon Willie Clark was the first
Deacon to join the church and Deacon Clyde Adams was also
appointed Deacon. The building at 1046 Cutter Street soon became
too small and the property at 850 Armory Avenue was purchased and
the Charter was received on March 9, 1927.
In 1930 the leadership of Reverend Woods was over and Reverend
A.L. Goodwin was called for a short term from June 8, 1931 through
the 4 th Sunday in September 1931. For a short time Reverend
Herman served in 1932. Through misfortune he left in 1933.
Reverend Wright followed in 1933 through 1935. The members
became dissatisfied and recalled Reverend A.L. Goodwin in February
The members paid for the property at 850 Armory Avenue and the
mortgage was burned July 12, 1942. The original purchase price was
$7,500.00. The church stayed on Armory Avenue until the
congregation was entirely too large.
Through long financial efforts and many ups and downs,
we purchased, in July 1951, the property at 1018 Wesley
Avenue but because of unforeseen circumstances, we did not march
in until November 18, 1951. This was a great day. The Union Baptist
Church, Reverend W.A. Page, Pastor – rendered the service. A great
number have joined since that time; for we have come from a
membership of seven to approximately five hundred (500).
The purchase price of this property was $30,000.00 and is paid in full.
Since we purchased the property, it has undergone extensive
remodeling - $18,000.00 for perma-stone and sand blasting of the
exterior walls. Approximately $50,000.00 for interior renovating and
central heating and air conditioning. $8,160.00 for a new roof,
$750.00 for new doors and locks. On January 28, 1973 the church
was extensively damaged by fire set by arsons. Approximately
$25,000.00 has gone into the repair of the damages.
On Sunday, September 30, 1973 – Reverend A.L. Goodwin was
retired by the church after thirty-seven (37) years of service. The call
went out to Reverend Melvin T. Jones and he took over the pulpit May
12, 1974. The church has had steady progress since that time and
through the help of God we are still growing. One of his first
achievements was getting the property west of the church on Court
Street cleared of old buildings. We are now in the process of
purchasing and expanding on this property. Under the leadership of
Reverend Jones, our membership has had steady growth and our
financial status has increased. We have had progress in all areas of
the Church. The prayers of all are requested that God will continue to bless us.”
Reverend Melvin T. Jones, Pastor
On January 9, 1985 Pastor Melvin T. Jones resigned as the pastor of
the Jerriel Baptist Church to accept the call in another vineyard in
Lansing, Michigan. Reverend William E. Greene carried on as Interim
Pastor, January 16, 1985 through November 30, 1985. Reverend
Gregory L. Wallace accepted the call for sixteen (16) days, December
With great joy and relief, the call was extended to Pastor Michael F.
Mack of Ypsilanti, Michigan and on January 22, 1986 he accepted. In
1995 Pastor Mack had a vision from God of a new building; a new
addition to the existing building and renovation of the old. In 1997 that
vision became an actuality! The new two level wing houses a
spacious fellowship hall, three of the ten Sunday School Classes, four
restrooms, the Church Office and the Pastor’s Office. The renovation
of the original building houses five Sunday School Classes, a Nursery,
spacious Chapel, Trustee Office, Nurses Station, Choir Room and
On April 7, 2011 Reverend Michael F. Mack resigned as the pastor of
Jerriel Baptist Church after 25-years of service. A first in the history of
the church, Reverend Virginia Brewster, a woman, was asked to
manage the ministerial responsibilities until a new pastor is called.
We commend Reverend Brewster, her assistant, Reverend Brian T.
Moragne and Pulpit Associate Ministers for their dedication, time and
talent in support of the church.
**(Please note: Reverend Arthur Hamoc and Reverend Clarence
Glover shared the Interim Pastor position between Pastor A.L.
Goodwin and Pastor Melvin T. Jones. They both joined the Jerriel
Church during the 1960’s). Bishop Iva J. Durand served from June 30, 2013 through September
Congratulations and our most heartfelt thank you is extended to
Reverend Brian T. Moragne who stood in the gap from September 4,
2016 through January 27, 2019 with the philosophy that his purpose
in this matter is to simply, “Feed the sheep.”
A Pastor Search Committee was organized in 2017 under the
leadership of Trustee Melvin Lee Reeves. After much prayer and
tenacious work by the Search Committee they presented the
Candidates to the Church Body. The Election was held January 2019
and Dr. Johannon R. Tate was the chosen vessel to be the 8 th
Installed Pastor of the Jerriel Missionary Baptist Church