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 good 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, Mr. Walter Peterson, West Forest (Church Secretary), Victoria Foster (Mission President), and Brother Walter Peterson (Superintendent of the Church School).
The congregation gave the church the name it bears today, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. The pastor at that time was Reverend J.T. Smiley. As the congregation grew in numbers, a school building on Hope Creek Road 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.
In 1910, the church called Reverend 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 Deacon Charles Banks, Deacon Oscar Peterson, Deacon Johnnie Wilborn, and Deacon Alandrus Peterson (youngest).
In later years, as Reverend Williams's 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 undertaking yet. During Reverend William's later years, many ministers were called to conduct worship services: Reverend M.L. Ford, Reverend K.K. Wells, Reverend L.R. Bullocks, Reverend W.W. Mark, H. Holt, M.D. Morgan, L.E. Hightower, and T.C. Canto, Sr. On September 26, 1971, Reverend Williams was called from labor to rest.
Reverend T.C. Canto, Sr. was called to the church as pastor to succeed Reverend 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 Reverend Canto, Sr. 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 truth. In March 1976, God called Reverend Canto home, and the Pleasant Grove family was without an earthly shepherd again.
On the fourth Sunday in May 1976, Reverend O.L. Taylor was called to serve the congregation, feeding the hungry and comforting those who mourned. Under Reverend 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. Reverend 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 on April 12, 1981.
Reverend Roy Elton Brackens succeeded Reverend 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 led the people until August 19, 1984. Under his leadership, an associate minister, Reverend J.P. Robinson, was added in April 1984. During his administration, Pastor Chapman established a charitable service fund to help the less fortunate. All knew him 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. In December 1986, the following men were ordained as Deacon: Andrew Chambers, Jr., James Curtis Thompson, and Samuel Hill, III.
Brother Andrew Chambers, III, 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. Reverend Albert Nicholson was added to the ministerial staff in 1992. To provide for future expansion, the 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 unique 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, Reverend 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 the pastor of the church on July 18, 1995. Reverend Clark has shown himself to be a faithful son of God and a leader for his people. Under his leadership, the church continues to grow in numbers. The following ministers were called to the ministry: Reverend Christopher Leschber who preached his first sermon on April 27, 1997, Reverend Tommy Ray Rucker preached his first sermon on September 5, 1999, Reverend Antone D. Moore preached his first sermon on September 3, 2000, Reverend Kendrick Clark preached his first sermon on November 19, 2000, Reverend Vertis Wilborn preached his first sermon on January 21, 2001, Reverend Woodrow Jackson preached his first sermon on August 19, 2001, Reverend Bobby R. Smith, Jr. preached his first sermon on September 2, 2007, Reverend Travis Williams, Sr. preached his first sermon on May 18, 2008, and Reverend 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 several years later, Sammy Terrell, Willie Creeks, & Albert C. Clark were ordained as deacons. 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 was also installed.
On July 23, 2009, the City of College Station awarded the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church the Historical Marker No. 9 for being in existence for over 100 years. A new Sanctuary was built and entered into on Saturday, July 24, 2010, at 12:16 PM.
In 2014, Reverend A. C. Clark, III established the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Encouragement Award. It's our way of showing our appreciation, as well as motivating and encouraging the recipients for their commitment, dedication, and hard work throughout the year. The recipients are:
Victor Trussell was ordained as a deacon on August 23, 2014. Brother Theo Felder announced his calling to the ministry in August 2014, and Minister Mark Artis, Jr. preached his first sermon in November 2014.
In December 2014, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was selected for 2014 Best of College Station Awards for Places of Worship category by the College Station Award Program. Each year, the College Station Award Program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. The 2014 College Station Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Once again, "The Grove" was selected for 2015, 2016, and 2017, 2018, and 2019Best of College Station Awards for Places of Worship category by the College Station Award Program.
In April 2018, the church's asphalt parking lot was renovated, and a new cement surface parking lot was added with handicap accessibility. The church has plans to add a new cement surface parking lot in front of the multipurpose building.
In 2020, the church upgraded its media technology system to be better equipped for media live streaming.
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. God has tremendously blessed the Pleasant Grove family to be a vital service in our community for 122 years, and the best is yet to come!"