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The Church History

The strides and growth of our church

Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was organized in 1866 in the old Floris School that was located on Frying Pan Road. The founders were Mary Ellen Naylor Bush, Rev. Fred Cook, Rev. Louis H. Bailey, Rev. William Smith and Brother Temple Cheeks. In 1882, Mount Pleasant was relocated to Horse Pen Road, now known as Coppermine Road, on land donated by Brother Henry Cook. The bell in the first church on Coppermine Road was donated in 1919 by Deacon Lewis Albert Bush, Sr. who was one of Mary Ellen Bush's sons

Faithful pastors of the early church were:

Rev. Fred Cook
Rev. Louis H. Bailey
Rev. Trent T. Hedgman
Rev. Reuben Nickens
Rev. Oliver Wood
Rev. Bentley Westley

Following Rev. Westley in 1914, Rev. William L. Hill served prayerfully for nearly 50 years until failing health caused him to retire in July, 1964. Under his leadership many of the current ministries were organized. They included the Men’s Club, The Women’s Club, Senior Usher Board, Finance Committee, Senior choir, Deaconess Board and the Missionary Society. Sunday worship services were held the 2nd and 4th Sundays. All this eventually led to the building of a new church once located on Coppermine Road. Through the recommendation of Rev. Hill’s successor, Rev. Ronald Winters, he became “Pastor Emeritus.”

In 1965, Rev. Winters became pastor and under his leadership, the Youth Choir, Junior Usher Board, and the Youth Department was organized. The church welcomed the presence of its first “church nurse,” Sis. Edith White and the 3rd Sunday was designated as “Youth Day.” Rev. Winters shared Rev. Hill’s vision of a new church and continued to work towards organizing the building fund. Sunday morning worship services were expanded to 4 Sundays a month. Rev. Winters served as pastor for 7 years.

Rev. James P. Russell was installed as pastor in 1973. Under his leadership, the Benevolent Fund and the Building Committee were established. He also made preparations and worked toward implementing Mount Pleasant’s first Constitution and By-Laws.  Rev. Russell was the pastor for 5 years.

Rev. Lloyd O. Roberts pastured from October 1978-1986.  During Rev. Robert’s tenure, the Nurse’s Unit, The Education Scholarship Committee, Drama Club, The Gospel Chorus, New Member’s Club, The Sunbeams, the Young Adult Chorale Ensemble and the Food Bank were established.  The 5th Sunday was designated as Missionary Sunday and Bible Study was instituted as part of the weekly prayer services.  On November 24, 1979, Rev. Roberts turned the first shovel at groundbreaking ceremonies for a new Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on C0ppermine Road.  Our church family, accompanied by many friends and supporters marched into our new house of worship at 13615 Coppermine Road on Sunday, September 19, 1982.  There was a week of services following the dedication to celebrate Mount Pleasant’s 115th anniversary and Rev.  Roberts 3rd anniversary.  The cornerstone laying services were held on September 25, 1982.

On August 19, 1987, Rev. Randolph S. Witcher was installed as pastor and served until 1990.  Rev. Witcher brought spiritual vigor to the church body.  A powerful music ministry evolved along with a strong supportive ministerial staff.  Under his leadership, the United Voices and the Young Adult Chorale Ensemble was renamed The Choral Ensemble.  The Male Choir, the Inspirational Praise Ensemble, Prison Ministry, and Singles Ministry was formed.  Also, the early morning worship was added during his tenure.

From April through September 1991, Rev. Paul Grandberry served as temporary pastor.
In August 1992, Rev. Ronald Patrick was installed as pastor and served until June, 1994.  During his tenure, the church bus was purchased to transport senior citizens and the youth.  A strong spiritual fellowship developed among the men and the Men’s Ministry came into fruition.  The Male Choir was reorganized and renamed the Male Chorus.  The first annual Men’s Retreat occurred in July, 1993.

In April 1995, Rev James L. Graham, Jr. was elected to pastor and was installed on September 16, 1995. God gave Rev. Graham a vision for Mount Pleasant. Under his pastoral leadership and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit numerous ministries and activities were added to our growing church family including the Youth Ministry, Nursery Ministry, Praise and Dance Ministries, Step Team, Hospitality Ministry, the Multimedia Ministry, Counseling Ministry, International Ministry, Socio-Economic Empowerment Ministry and Disaster Relief Ministry.

On December 28, 1997, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the building of God’s newest tabernacle. We entered the doors of our present facility located here at 2516 Squirrel Hill Road on Saturday, May 1, 1999 with dedicatory and recognition services, followed by celebratory and praise services May 2nd through May 7, 1999. Rev. Graham conducted our Cornerstone laying ceremony and Basement dedication on March 26, 2000.

The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Bible Institute was established in 1999, Faith Bible College and Seminary (now called Faith Christian University), Fall 2000, and our newest addition, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Christian Academy began September 5, 2000.

In 2000, under the vision of Rev. Graham, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church developed its logo - a picture of the World Globe with a Cross on the left side. Underneath the World Globe are the words: God’s World…Our Mission Field.

In 2011, the church logo was redesigned and revealed to the congregation during its 145th anniversary celebration. The church enhanced its digital communications with its members through television broadcasts and its website which features online giving. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church continues to place more emphasis on Missions as a church and has Mission efforts and partners in the U.S., Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Benin, Nigeria, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Liberia and China.

On May 1, 2016, Rev. Dr. James L. Graham, Jr. retired after 21 years of service as the Senior Pastor. On April 17, 2017, Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Donalson, Sr. was elected as the next Senior Pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

Installed on August 28, 2016, Pastor Donalson immediately challenged Mount Pleasant Baptist Church family to commit to serving in the spirit of excellence. Pastor Donalson emphasized the church’s commitment to using its technological resources as a powerful collaboration and communication approach utilizing The City and Social Media to reach the masses for Christ. During his first year, he has successfully re-established the Greeters Ministry with humility and vigor; he organized the church’s first Summer-End Bible Study with a focus on Kingdom Living; he administers corporate prayer at the altar during weekly worship services; and he endorsed a team to create a new MPBC Photo Directory.

On September 3, 2017, Pastor Donalson unveiled the vision “Building the Kingdom of God, One Soul at a Time!” that God gave him for our Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. In addition, the four pillars to support the vision are; 1) Seeking and Saving the Lost, 2) Spiritual Growth, 3) Service, and 4) Social Engagement, with 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and 1 Corinthians 3:10 to serve as the foundational scriptures for the four pillars. We look forward to serving with Pastor Donalson as he continues to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit as the Senior Pastor and Visionary of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.

We cherish our past and we are thankful for all of the outstanding pastors that the Lord has provided. God has blessed us tremendously. To Him we give all the glory and honor. As we move forward, we shall always be mindful of our new motto: #WEBUILDHERE

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)