~ Church History ~
This history was written to honor the work, devotion, and sacrifices of the strong men and women who preceded us in this church. A church cannot exist without a firm foundation of love, loyal devotion, faith, and hard work. Our forefathers left a heritage of noble Christian lives with high ideals for those who will follow their footsteps in the will of God.
In 1896, a small group of believers met in the home of Brother Henry Young to organize a Baptist church. Some of the members attending the meeting were Sam Monroe, Dave Collins, Berry Hampton, Scott Jones, Emaline Chims, Mrs. Louis Whiteside and Mr. Walter Peterson. Later, the congregation held services in a brush arbor. Some of the first officers of the church were Brother Walter Peterson, Superintendent of the church school, West Forest, church secretary, and Victoria Foster, Mission President. As the congregation grew in numbers, a school building on Hope Creek Rd. near the Brazos River became the meeting place. Many members were added to the church including Mr. & Mrs. H. Drake, Mrs. Eliza Whiteside, Ike McWilliams, Palmer Banks, Bob Young, Joe Gerrell, Hawkin Wiggins, John Wiese, Ike Watson, Joe McCrary, Charlie Foster, Charlie Blackshire and Silva Lister. Among the ministers who answered the call to pastor the congregation were the Reverends C.C. Collins, S. Smiley, W. Larry, Henry Sterling,
L. I. Williams and Ed Steptoe. The congregation gave the church the name it bears today, Pleasant Grove. The pastor at that time was Reverend J.T. Smiley.
In 1910, the church called Rev. G.W. Williams from Benchley, Texas as pastor. Looking forward to the future growth and progress of the church, Pastor Williams suggested that the church be moved to Wellborn. Over the next several years, three different church buildings were built to serve the needs of the congregation and the community as the membership continued to grow. Pastor Williams was ably assisted by several young deacons including: Brothers Charles Banks, Oscar Peterson, Jonnie Wilborn, and the youngest, Alandrus Peterson. In later years, as Reverend Williams’ health began to decline, and people began to move away from Wellborn, it was decided that the church should relocate to College Station. Two plots of land were considered as potential sites. One plot of land near Salem Baptist Church was donated to the church. The other was on Southland Street in College Station, and had been purchased earlier by a group of members of the church. However, no moves toward construction were undertake
n yet. During Rev. Williams’ later years, many ministers were called to conduct worship services: including the Reverends M.L. Ford, K.K. Wells, L.R. Bullocks, W.W. Mark, H. Holt, M.D. Morgan, L.E. Hightower, and T.C. Canto. On September 26, 1971, Rev. Williams was called from labor to rest.
Reverend T.C. Canto was called to the church as pastor to succeed Rev. Williams. Although the church faced many crises and lost many members over the years, it continued to serve its members and its
community. New land was purchased on Detroit Street in College Station and construction began. The dream of a new church building became a reality for the faithful church members under the leadership of Rev. Canto. Under this leadership, five members were ordained as deacons: A.C. Clark, II, Lockie B. Hicks, Tollie N. Thompson, Travis Williams, and Joseph H. Williams. Bro. Joseph Williams represented a special blessing from God since he served as an architect, builder, and a carpenter. At the same time, as its physical facilities were growing and improving; the church experienced a time of extensive spiritual renewal and growth in membership. Every department of the church was strengthened, and it was common for the believers to bow around the altar in prayer. The people truly worshiped God in spirit and in truth. In March 1976, God called Rev. Canto home, and the Pleasant Grove family was without an earthly shepherd again.
On the forth Sunday in May 1976, Reverend O.L. Taylor was called to serve the congregation, feeding the hungry and comforting those who mourned. Under Rev. Taylor’s leadership, an associate minister, Reverend M.O. Cooper was called to the ministry in 1976, and preached his first sermon in 1977. Also, two deacons were added: Ray Terrell, Sr. and Oliver E. Smith. Plans were made to pay the remaining debt on the church building. Rev. Taylor resigned as pastor on August 24, 1980.
Reverend C. Vincent Berry, known as “a voice crying in the wilderness,” was called to the pastorship on October 7, 1980 and served until November 1982. Under his leadership, the mortgage was paid and the official mortgage burning was held April 12, 1981.
Reverend Roy Elton Brackins succeeded Rev. Berry on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1982 and served until May 1983. Under his leadership more new members were added to the church and the choir stand was enlarged. A new piano was also purchased, enriching the worship for all.
Reverend J.H. Chapman joined Pleasant Grove as pastor on November 16, 1983 and lead the people until August 19, 1984. Under his leadership an associate minister, Reverend J.P. Robinson was added in April 1984. During his leadership, Pastor Chapman established a humane service fund to help the less fortunate. He was known by all as a person who loved to bring sunshine into the lives of others. The church was beautiful by the addition of flower stands during his pastorate.
On October 14, 1984 Reverend Calvin Arnold was called. Through him, the Lord provided a ministry of preaching, teaching, and spiritual revelations. God blessed spiritually and financially and added many new workers.
Brother Jack Cook was called to the ministry and preached his first sermon in July 1985. Brothers Andrew Chambers, Jr., James Curtis Thompson, and Samuel Hill, III were ordained as deacons in December 1986.
~ Church History Continues ~
Brother Andrew Chambers, Jr. was called to the minister, and he is now the founder of Hope In Christ Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. Bro. Sam Hill, III was also called into the ministry and preached his first sermon in December 1989. He served as the Youth Minister and he is now the pastor of the North Bryan New Birth Church in July 2007. Brother Anderson Jones was added as a deacon in January 1990. Rev. Albert Nicholson was added to the ministerial staff in 1992.
To provide for the future expansion, property was purchased adjacent to the present building in 1989. Extensive building improvements were made; new ceiling fans, a new air conditioning system, new entrance doors, and painting of the outside trim. The roof was repaired and strengthened with new shingles, the pews were refurbished, and new lighting fixtures were installed. Plans were drawn up for the construction of a cafeteria on the adjacent property, but God said, not yet. On May 28, 1995, Rev. Arnold resigned as pastor of Pleasant Grove and became the pastor of Galilee Baptist Church in Caldwell, Texas.
Then, one of Pleasant Grove’s own, Reverend A.C. Clark, III, was called to be pastor of the church on July 18, 1995. Rev. Clark has shown himself to be a faithful son of God, and a leader for his people. New membership were added, and several have been baptized under his leadership. Six associate ministers were called to the ministry:
Rev. Christopher Leschber who preached his first sermon on April 27,1997; Rev. Tommy Ray Rucker preached his first sermon on September 5, 1999; Rev. Antone D. Moore preached his first sermon on September 3, 2000; Rev. Kendrick Clark preached his first sermon on November 19, 2000; Rev. Vertis Wilborn preached his first sermon on January 21, 2001; Rev. Woodrow Jackson preached his first sermon on August 19, 2001; Rev. Bobby R. Smith, Jr. preached his first sermon on September 2, 2007; Rev. Travis William, Sr. preached his first sermon on May 18, 2008; & Rev. Billy D. Terrell preached his first sermon on June 15, 2008. Brothers Alton Williams, Cecil Banks, Sr., and Robert Earl Clark were ordained as deacons on January 26, 2002; and Brothers Sammy Terrell, Carlton Peterson, Willie Creeks, & Albert C. Clark are all in training. With the help of the Lord, a dream became a reality when God blessed Pleasant Grove with a Fellowship Hall; which we entered on June 27,1999. A new air conditioning unit wa
s also installed. The Lord continues to pour out his blessings on the people of Pleasant Grove Church. Although it is impossible to name all of the persons and recount all of their deeds in making Pleasant Grove what it is today; truly, God has tremendously blessed the Pleasant Grove family to be a vital service in our community for 113 years, and” the best is yet to come!”