Messiah's Rich History in Grand Rapids

Messiah is the oldest African-American Baptist church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Messiah Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1890 by Sister Catherine Carter and was organized with the help of Rev. Holt, a Baptist Minister from Amesburg, Canada. On September 16, 1890 Messiah Missionary Baptist Church was officially recorded as a church by the state of Michigan in the county of Kent. The Reverend Gillard was the first pastor, serving for five years. Under his pastorate our present site was purchased and a wooden frame building erected.

Pastoral Leadership

1890-1895 Rev. Robert Gillard

1895-1898 Pulpit filled by various visiting ministers

1898- 1900 Rev. S.B. Toles

1900-1915 Rev. S. Henri Browne

1915-1918 Rev. Melville Purdue

1918-1929 Rev. W.J. Northcross

1929-1930 Rev. Robert Moody

1930-1933 Rev. Lawrence McNeil

1933-1969 Rev. Albert C Keith

April- July 1969 Rev. Homer C. Cross

1969-1971 Rev. I. Joseph Miller

1971-1972 Rev. Homer C. Cross

1972-2017 Rev. Dr. Clifton Rhodes, Jr.

2017- Present Rev. Daniel Smith