Welcome is a community church, bible driven with a holistic approach, ministering to the whole family, youth, teens, young adults, adults, seniors and retirees, men, women, boys and girls.
We offer a variety of ministries to gain spiritual, financial and physical growth by building strong families, strong marriages, strong relationships and true moral values.
Our mission is to win souls for Christ, teach God’s Word and reach God’s people, rebuild/strengthen marriages and families, educate our youth and teens while developing self esteem, moral character, social interaction and educational excellence.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:19-20
The Beginning through 1989
The Welcome Missionary Baptist Church was founded and organized one rainy day, April 1, 1976, at Cobb’s Funeral Home, 151 Orchard Lake Road, under the leadership of Pastor John K. Pinckney. Welcome Baptist Church is an outgrowth of New Hope Baptist Church.
Rev. Dr. J. L. Webb, Pastor of New Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Ferndale, Michigan was the moderator. Pastor Otis Floyd, along with other ministers and pastors from the Flint, Michigan Pastoral Alliance of the Wolverine Baptist Association were in attendance. Several ministers and pastors from the Pontiac area were also present. Welcome was formed with 54 -58 members in attendance.
On April 5, 1976 Welcome Missionary Baptist Church held its first official Sunday Worship Service at Deb’s Hall, at the corner of Orchard Lake Road and Johnson Street.
During the first six (6) months, the membership expanded to approximately two hundred (200) members, making it necessary to obtain larger facilities. Due to the increase in membership, Welcome Missionary Baptist Church moved into the basement of Pontiac Opportunity Industrialization Center (Old Sears Building, 154 North Saginaw Street).
With Pastor Pinckney’s Administrative Leadership and planned program, the membership increased to approximately six hundred (600) members and twelve (12) supporting auxiliaries; each designed to administer God’s program and to reach our goal.
In 1983, an outgrowth of Welcome was Salem Baptist Church, founded by Rev. Theodore Smith.
On August 11, 1985, we dedicated our cornerstone with the assistance of the Masons under the leadership of Pastor Pinckney.
From 1985 to 1988, we continued to grow numerically and spiritually, with Rev. Lorenzo Fowlkes, Rev. Nicolas Dinkins, Rev. Kenneth Jackson and Rev. Billy Cabbil being called to preach.
After twelve (12) years of leadership, on August 28,1988, following the morning service, Pastor John K. Pinckney resigned, ending his service as Pastor. In spite of our loss, under the direction of our Chairman of the Deacon Board, Howard Cobb, God’s leadership, guidance and prayers of other ministers and friends, we continued to worship and praise the Lord. The more we praised Him, the more He blessed us. We were without a Pastor, but not without a Shepherd.
During our search for a Pastor, God sent us a Pastor after His own heart. The church voted on April 8, 1989 to call Rev. Douglas P. Jones of Cincinnati, Ohio as our Pastor. He accepted our call, and on June 18, 1989, was installed as Pastor of Welcome Missionary Baptist Church. Also, in 1989, Welcome gave rise to the New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, as some members left to form a new fellowship.
In 1992, the Lord blessed Welcome to purchase a church van, to resurface the parking lot behind the church as well as black top and fence in the annex lots. Lighting was installed in both lots. We purchased a Memorial Tree that was dedicated during the Church Anniversary. During each anniversary service, we offer prayer, give thanks and reflect back on those that labored here and went home to be with our Lord before us.
In 1993, we witnessed many new souls accepting Christ. Baptism increased as well as our attendance. The Exodus Support Ministry, headed by Rev. Henry Reed was established. We purchased our first computer and printer. Several meetings were held regarding the church expansion. DH Architects, Inc. was hired for the expansion project and the Lord just kept blessing us.
In 1995 Rev. Kevin Smith answered his call and was licensed by our church, along with three (3) more deacons being added to serve the church under our Pastor’s leadership.
In 1995 and 1996 were growth years at Welcome as the Lord blessed us numerically and in the word. We give our Lord praise.
Pastor Jones gave us a general theme and vision of spiritual growth to lead us into the 21st Century and to grow spiritually. More Bible study classes have been added for all ages and at all times. The anointing spirit of God touched many of us, giving us a desire to do more in His name. A spirit of love, hope, forgiveness and hunger for the Word is exalted in us daily.
New ministries spring up as we walk in God’s light and have faith in the vision. The following ministries have been confirmed of God: Teens for Christ, 13-18 year olds, Senior & Retirees Ministry, Special Needs Support Group, 8 AM Choir and Praise Team.
The 8:00 AM Service has been blessed in the Lord and anointed. Our Mission Ministry is doing great things with its’ local and foreign programs. We support missionaries in Australia, Brazil, Eastern Europe and Africa. Locally, our effort supports Nannie Helen Burroughs, New Bethel Shelter, HAVEN, Lighthouse and the Rescue Mission.
The Precious Gems Young Adult Choir was re-formed.
Our Usher Board, Nurses and Men’s Fellowship are examples of God’s love and what faith can do.
Our Praise Team was established in 1996 consisting of ten (10) members. They lead us in praise and worship during our 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM and evening Victory Services, while giving of themselves in PRAISE. We claim the victory over illness, sin, evil spirits and finances. We bind Satan and his work.
In 1998, Rev. Michael King answered his call and was licensed by our church. Also, our Junior Deacon Board was established with the addition of seven (7) Junior Deacons serving the church under our Pastor’s leadership. The Music and Youth Ministries added the Mimes for Christ, which has grown from three (3) to twenty-five (25) young people (ages 5-16) praising our Lord and Savior through dance.
In 1998, we had a very successful Black History month. We formed a Health Ministry and reconvened our Teachers’ Ministry. Our Youth Ministry took a gigantic leap and we now have 24 Youth Counselors working with our young people.
Our nursery is available during 8:00 and 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM services as well as during weeknight Bible Classes. We had a ceremonial ground breaking with a planned start in the summer of 1999 in our New Building after much prayer and fasting.
We, by the spirit of God, started the Voices of Glory and Youth Choir to replace the Precious Gems.
The year 1999 was indeed another blessed year in the Lord. God continues to increase our membership, answer our prayers as we increased our faith. We gave much glory to the Lord for the addition of our new ministries that were formed in 1999. The addition of our Wedding Ministry, Speakers Bureau Ministry and Singles & Couples Ministry has enhanced our church in many ways. Although each new Ministry is unique and serves a different purpose, they all share the same goal -that of giving God the Glory.
In 1999 we began our Video Ministry. DVDs are available for all worship services.
One of the many blessed highlights for 1999 was the ordination of our very own Minister Lorenzo Fowlkes -Glory! The Lord continued to add to the fold as we also ordained five (5) Deacons bringing the total number of Deacons to twenty-one (21). In addition, the Lord also added young men to the Deacon Board and we currently have one (1) Junior Deacon and eleven (11) Youth Deacons.
The growth and blessings continue in the Music & Arts area. The Theater Ministry was added in 1999 under the leadership of Sis Jackie Winton. Young people ages 11-17 are singing praises to God, witnessing through songs of praise and adoration. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Our very own Jay Bearden serves as Music Coordinator.
The Year 2000 to Present
The year 2000 was a blessed year for Welcome Baptist Church. As a result of our faith and prayers, the building of our new church has begun. The ministerial staff grew with the addition of Minister Patrick Johnson, licensed by our church. We added six (6) Deacons to our Deacon Board, now at twenty-one (21), serving the church under our Pastor’s leadership giving us a total of twenty-seven (27).
Having the spirit of God upon us, we continue to reach a level of high praise and committed service. We joy in everything the Lord has done, and continues to do at Welcome Missionary Baptist Church. “0 taste and see” the Lord is truly good to us. We will continue to ‘Walk by Faith’ with a belief in His vision.
The year 2001 was a year of building and growth for our church. As we worked on the building, we also grew spiritually. The church family became closer together and grew in the Word. Our faith was strengthened as we saw God’s work. We realized each day that God was doing something special at Welcome and that a new anointing was falling on the church. Membership grew, praise was enriched, finances were improved, souls were saved and the Spirit of the Lord measured out gifts.
On December 23, 2001, we moved into the new sanctuary and had our first Worship Service combined with the Choir’s annual concert. Watch Night Service saw a special anointing and three times within a week; the new church was filled to capacity -a sign of things to come.
Work has continued, stained glass installed and pews put in place. The glory of God was moving once again as new ministries developed. More specifically, Toddlers, Infants and Preschoolers (TIPS), Singles in the Word, Young Men Making a Difference (YMMAD) and Welcome Cheerleaders. The Sunday School grew and Welcome has come to realize that God truly is with us.
We celebrated 26 years and we dedicated to our Lord a new $8.5 million building. By faith, we have begun to set in motion our next $4.5 million dollar phase, knowing that with God all things are possible.
We have (4) Evangelists who serve our congregation with prayer, inspiration and praise. Firm in our belief, sound in our foundation, committed in our worship, dedicated to our calling, and working in the vineyard saving souls for Christ.
And now we see even more for 2001 and 2002 showed us a new level of patience, how to endure storms, the power of faith and a close walk with the Lord. We dedicated our new church in April with our former and founding Pastor preaching. A full week of services was planned and held. We added six (6) new deacons.
God visited our ranks and took some of the faithful home. We prayed. We reached out to the community, opened our doors and held close to our faith. God brought us closer as a church family and added to our rolls.
More training -more praise -more worship and more Bible Study has put Welcome in a new level of praise. We thank God.
As we entered 2003 we took the theme ” Application” and the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” as our driving force to get closer to our Lord. Welcome is a great church with good members focused on our Lord.
The year 2003 was a blessed year in the history of our church. We grew as a family, became more knowledgeable in our doctrine, increased our Bible Study time, and became more devoted to Prayer. Along each step God showed His faithfulness.
Deacons were added to training with the Planned Ordination in 2004. One (1) more Evangelist was added.
Each ministry grew in size, devotion, and dedication. The church became more active in 2003 and the Spirit of God was present. We did more because God gave more.
We were saddened with the home going of some of our faithful members but filled with joy in knowing that they are in the presence of our Lord. Their home going drew all of us closer.
2004 saw us weather the storms, keep the faith, endure tribulations and rejoice in victory. We applied the word, loved the word, walked in the word and believed the word.
Also in 2004 we added a Greeters Ministry, Brother and Sisters in Christ (B.A.S.I.C.), and the Young Adult Ministry became stronger in their faith, and belief. The Audio Ministry added DVD’s , CD’s, and special effects and clips, more Deacons were set aside to serve the congregation and plans were made to increase our Parking capability, more souls were added to the church and God continued to bless our church family. In 2004 and Minister William Bell and his wife united with us.
2005 was a year of repositioning. We added Minister Carl Ewing, and Minister Maurice Hunter delivered his first sermon, the Meachem Family left for the Carolina’s and we began to plan for our next Deacon’s Ordination. Pastor Jones returned after having knee surgery, stronger than before. Watch Night 2004-2005 was an awesome experience. Souls were saved and the church was expecting a great year in the Lord. The Mimes were named Unspeakable Vessels, as they also began to grow.
Revival, Revival, We learned We Grew, We United in Praise as the year came to a close, new Leaders were beginning to take their places for the upcoming 2006 year and Committees were set for our 30th Year Anniversary. We ended the year in Prayer, with Faith and Praise in Our Lord.
On February 18, 2007, Minister Carl Watkins preached his first sermon. In the fall of 2007, Welcome acquired the vacant nursing home at 532 Orchard Lake Rd, just behind the church. This facility will house the S.T.E.M. Project (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program for Third -Ninth grade students. This program is partnered by Welcome and Cranbrook Institute of Science. The goal is to train and mentor young men and women in an effort to help prepare them for these fields which are currently under-represented by youth in our community.
This facility will also, house Welcome’s S.K.I.P Program, (Safe Kids, Informed Parents). The children will be photographed; parents will provide vital information including neighbors, friends and habits. Parents will be given “Safe” information packets in an effort to prevent abduction of our youth. There is much more to come in the future for this location.
In May of 2008, Welcome’s Deaf Ministry took an active part in the service -They lead the congregational hymn, performed solos, prayed, their praise dance ministry performed and a guest deaf (also, speaking) minister was the guest. What an awe inspiring event; to be able to share a worship service from the view of our deaf members. Everyone in attendance was blessed.
Also in 2008 Brother James Wilson and Brother Aaron Jordan announced their calling in the ministry. Bishop John Dixon joined our ministry and God’s word went forth with power. Eatonia Williams was named to head our youth Ministry, our Teen Choir was dedicated and more young people became active in God’s service.
The Music and Arts Ministry highlighted our Morning Glory Choir, Interpretive Dance, Steppers and Mimes. Our year of praise was all to the glory of God.
We ended the year in thanks to God for his many blessings.
2009 opened with our spring revival in March with Pastor Cull ian Hill of Greater Concord Missionary Baptist Church, our plans for Welcome’s 33rd Church Anniversary in April, and Pastor Jones’ 20th Pastoral Anniversary in June.
God is doing great things.
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