Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola – Origin:
The first church was organized even before it had a place to meet and worship. Deacon Carl Wynn met alone for 3 nights at the Home for Black Widows located at 904 North “E” Street.
During the first revival 9 candidates came forward. The core of the 9 candidates asked for and received a letter permitting them to organize a church. On February 19, 1929 Rev. W. A. Jones of Mt. Triumph Baptist Church, Atmore, Alabama, served as moderator along with 15 other ministers who joined together to organize this church which was named Little Rock Baptist Church.
The property located at 1171 North “F” Street was purchased from Mr. Dan Brown for $350 with a contract of $25 down and $11 per month. During these years that Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola purchased land, the services of Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacolawere held at the Widow’s Home Chapel, which Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola rented for $6 per month. Sometimes Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola could not afford to pay the rent. Rev. R. L. Jenkins would pawn his gold watch to get money for rent. Finally, Father Jenkins became ill and there was no place to hold the funeral. Some of the members became discouraged and left the church. The faithful few members that remained raised enough money to rent the Merrit Store at 915 West DeSoto Street and had Father Jenkins’ funeral 4 weeks after his burial.
At this time, the membership consisted of the Home Mission, a few of the deacons, and the children of the Sunday School. After a few months, the church would meet from house to house until the next pastor, Rev. T. C. Wells, and his wife took Little Rock Church into their home at 1201 West Cervantes Street.
The first framed church measured 15 feet wide and 30 feet long. That first framed building was remodeled twice and was eventually replaced with their “first” masonry church. This first masonry structure was the result of the frame church failing to meet safety specifications. Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola had been ordered to demolish the building, but before the building was destroyed, Deacon Rankins drew plans showing the city how the building could be reinforced. The city accepted the plans and Little Rock was saved from the streets again. In 1953 Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola was rebuilt and renamed Greater Little Rock Baptist Church.
More than 40 years and many, many blessings later, on a Sunday morning, with a misty rain falling from the sky Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola marched from 1171 N. “F” street to the new facility of Greater Little Rock Baptist Church, Pensacola at 901 N. “A” street. The new building is a far cry from that first tin harbor, but the Spirit of the Lord is still the same.
The “Winds of Change”
October 18, 2007 at 10:21 a.m. the “Winds of Change” blew through the doors of the new sanctuary, the Christian Education Center, and the Rock Child Development Center in the form of an F1 tornado. The physical structures were destroyed but Greater Little Rock’s faith in God has been left “unchanged.”
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