Proclaimers of the Word • 1896-2014
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
- Mr. Walter Peterson
- Brother Walter Peterson (Superintendent of the Church School)
- West Forest (Church Secretary)
- Victoria Foster (Mission President)
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:
- Deacon Charles Banks
- Deacon Oscar Peterson
- Deacon Johnnie Wilborn
- Deacon Alandrus Peterson (youngest)
In later years, as Reverend Williams health began to decline, and people began to move away from Wellborn, it was then 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 it had been purchased earlier by a group of members of the church. However, no moves toward construction were undertaking yet. During Rev. Williams later years, many ministers were called to conduct worship services:
- Rev. M.L. Ford
- Rev. K.K. Wells
- Rev. L.R. Bullocks
- Rev. W.W. Mark
- H. Holt
- M.D. Morgan
- L.E. Hightower
- T.C. Canto, Sr.
On September 26, 1971, Rev. Williams was called from labor to rest.
Reverend T.C. Canto, Sr. was called to the church as pastor to succeed Rev. Williams. Although the church faced many crisis 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, Sr. Under this leadership; five members were ordained as deacons:
- A.C. Clark, II
- Lockie B. Hicks
- Tollie N. Thompson
- Travis Williams
- 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 it’s 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 fourth 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 Brackens 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 led 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. In December 1986, the following men were ordained as Deacon:
- Andrew Chambers, Jr.
- James Curtis Thompson
- Samuel Hill, III
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. Under his leadership, the church continues to grow in numbers and the following 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 Williams, Sr. preached his first sermon on May 18, 2008
- Rev. Billy D. Terrell preached his first sermon on June 15, 2008
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.
Reverend A. C. Clark, III established the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Encouragement Award in July 2014. This award will be given annually at the church anniversary. 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:
- Deacon Willie Creeks, 2014
- Dr. Carolyn Williams, 2014
- Carmen Delloch, 2015
- Deacon Victor Trussell, 2015
- Reverend Elton Williams, 2016
- Barbara Trussell, 2016
On December 17, 2014, the College Station Award Program selected Pleasant Grove Baptist Church for the 2014 Best of College Station Award in the Places of Worship category. 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.
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 123 years, and” the best is yet to come!”