bloomfield history


1898-Present Day

“From Frog Pond to Parkway”

 

' The Beginning Years '                                              


1st Pastor 

Reverend Jones       1898-1902

    In the year of our Lord, 1898, in a humble Christian home, at an appointed time, a group of people met in a Christian fellowship service. Among those present were: Brother Charlie (Father) Watkins, Sister Reva Davis, Brother Wiley Davis, Sister Emma Becton, Sister Henrietta (State) Givings, and Brother Albert Becton (seven in all). Out of this meeting a new Church was born. This church took the name of Bloomfield Baptist Church. A Reverend Jones was selected as Pastor. The house in which they worshipped was located between California Street (then called Coffee Street) and Illinois Avenue

(Called Trainer Avenue). This vicinity was known as “Frog Pond”.

     This little membership worked hard to secure enough money to buy a church site. In 1900, they succeeded in getting a location on Virginia Avenue near Pennsylvania Street. There they erected a frame building in which to worship.       

     Reverend Jones proved to be a competent leader, for during his four years of his pastorate, the membership increased; also, the Sunday School was enlarged.

 

2nd Pastor

Reverend Norfleet         1902-1902

  In 1902, Reverend Norfleet was called to Bloomfield. He only served one month.

 

 3rd Pastor

Reverend John Peoples 1902-1904

Reverend John Peoples served one year and eleven months. During his administration much good was accomplished. 

 

4th Pastor

Reverend Frank Holston 1904-1913

Reverend Frank Holston was called in 1904. Reverend Holston served for nine years. During these years the church continued to progress. The Sunday school was enlarged to four classes.  Brother Smith was superintendent. In 1910, a choir was organized. This choir has continued to sing praises ever since. The first instrument was an old organ.

 

5th Pastor

Reverend R. B. Hayes   1913-1924

Under the leadership of Reverend R. B. Hayes, the church continued and Sunday School increased from four to ten classes. Reverend Hayes and his officers sought a new location for a larger church. They finally chose a spot on Kansas Street. They bought this parcel of land and erected a brick church at 1241 Kansas Street. In April 1916, this building was dedicated for worship. The pastor, leading the members, marched from the old frame church on Virginia Avenue to the beautiful new brick edifice at 1241 Kansas Street.

 

6th Pastor

Reverend John D. Wesley     1924-1952

   Reverend John D. Wesley was called in 1924. He proved to be a very wise and courageous leader, willing to shoulder the great load which was to fall upon him. Reverend Wesley, along with one deacon, Brother J.H. Jackson, gave his substance to strengthen the financial need of the church. This unselfish act on the part of the pastor was very inspiring to the members and gave them new courage, so the church began to move forward again.

   Under the administration of Reverend J. D. Wesley, the membership grew larger and larger, and it soon became necessary to enlarge the building.

   As time moved on, in 1952, our great Shepherd, Reverend J. D. Wesley retired from active pastorate with 28 years of faithful service to Bloomfield Baptist Church. 


' The Middle Years '

 

7th Pastor

Reverend Lucious S. Biles.      1953-1984

    On February 3, 1953, twelve members of the church assembled in the church on one accord and prayed sincerely to the Lord to send another good leader. These prayers were answered, for on February 9, 1953, the Lord in His wise providence made known to us our way new leader. It was on this day that the church called the Reverend L.S. Biles to serve Bloomfield Baptist Church.

   Reverend Biles saw the need for a proper physical facility. Having no space around us to provide the facilities, we again sought a new church site. So, in 1945 the church purchased a parcel of ground at 123 South Parkway West. During his final pastoral days, $12,000 was paid to acquire property adjacent to the Church. This land was customed into a much-needed parking area. Deacon Willie McGee, in this same time frame (1984), acknowledged that through a recent joint effort the final Church payment had been made.  The Lord had blessed us to completely pay for and worship in a building that we could again, as in 1940, proudly call our own. 

  Soon after these outstanding fulfillments, Reverend Biles retired because of health reasons.

 

8th Pastor

Pastor Ralph White         1984-2019

   In 1984, Reverend Ralph White, another man of vision became the eighth Pastor of the congregation. He, just as Reverend Biles, sees beyond the cutting of stone and the erecting of architectural remains. Reverend White envisions service worthy of celebration for 100 years and even more.

  Under Reverend White’s direction, numerous ministries have been “planted and continue to bloom.” Among them: Gas for Guns an outreach effort that allowed guns to be turned in by anyone (no questions asked) in exchange for free gas or grocery, gift cards. Hands Around 201 Poplar is an Annual Outreach Ministry hosted each year in February. Pastor White, the members of Bloomfield and other concerned citizens make a human linked chain around the Shelby County Justice Center and pray for the inmates, victims of crimes, Policemen and all others concerned with the Justice Center. March on the Madness is an Annual Outreach Ministry hosted each year in March. Pastor White often stated “we are waiting on sinners to come to us, but we must go out and get them. “He and members walked the streets of our surrounding neighborhood sharing the Good News of the Gospel with our neighbors and those we encountered along the way. The ‘God So Loved’ Outreach Ministry is the most notable. Pastor White and our members are often seen out in the community in our ‘God So Loved’ attire sharing the good news of the Gospel. The Marriage Ministry, Senior Ministry  and Youth & Young Adult Ministry were also added for the edification of our members. All initiated outreaches are still active today.

   Pastor White’s love for the young people of Bloomfield was quite evident and the feeling was mutual. Pastor White understood that the young people needed a platform where they could express their love for God and Church. Every month, the second Sunday Worship service is led entirely by the youth. The Bloomfield Mime and Praise Dancers are one of the most notable expressions of our youth.

   On May 25, 2019, our beloved Pastor Ralph White was called home to be with the Lord while officiating a Celebration of Life Service at Bloomfield. His Homegoing Celebration Service, due to an overwhelming number of attendees, was held at First Broad Baptist Church. It was as befitting as that of a United States President or noble king.  We are eternally grateful to God the Father and tremendously appreciative to Pastor Keith Norman for this great kindness shown to Bloomfield. We bid this great Humanitarian and Man of God farewell on June 1, 2019. 

Although our hearts were heavy, we did not grieve as those with no hope. We leaned heavily on God and He did not fail to comfort and keep us in our abiding faith. We knew we had to continue to work "In the Field" as our labor was not done.

   A Pastoral Search Committee was formed in September of 2019. The committee started with nine members; one member was led to pursue other duties. The remaining eight were: Chairman Adrian Killebrew, Reverend Stan Strahan, Deacon Charles Stewart, Deacon Will Menton, Trustee Gwen Goode, Sister Vicki Stewart, Sister Renee Green and Sister Bonnie Reed. After two years, 9 candidates and an ongoing pandemic, God, our Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom and loving kindness has gifted us with a new visionary Leader and Overseer. 

June 25, 2022 the committee confirmed the votes and announced results to the congregation on June 29, 2022.

Our New Pastor is the Reverend Maurice Fuller.

 

Present Day


9th Pastor

Pastor Maurice Fuller

The Fuller Years Begin …        July 3, 2022

Reverend Maurice Fuller is a learned man both spiritually and academically. He possesses a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary. He was Senior Pastor of New Testament Church for five years. His ultimate love is for God and God’s people and has committed to adhere to Ephesians 4:12 at Bloomfield.

   His desire is “to see God’s people prosper and be in health, even as their souls prospereth.” (3 John 1:2)    He understands that supernatural blessings come from God’s supernatural law of sowing and reaping. Therefore, he believes in and teaches Biblical Scripture on tithing. He is a TITHER. He also has a heart for the less fortunate and following the dictates of the Holy Spirit commits to assist them.

  The first Sunday, July 3, 2022, was set aside for Reverend Fuller’s Inaugural Service. In honor and remembrance of Pastor Ralph White, Pastor Fuller asked all members to dress in ‘God So Loved’ attire. God So Loved Outreach Ministry was one of Pastor Ralph White’s visions from God and is well known and recognized in all communities. This Outreach Ministry is still alive and active.

  Several Pastors, friends and family of Reverend Fuller came in support of his Inaugural Service. It was a time of deep gratitude, joy and Thanksgiving for what “God the Father “has done for us.

  Reverend Fuller stepped into his position with the confidence of one sent by God. His first act of duty on July 3, was to perform a Baby Dedication Ceremony, prior to bringing a powerful Word from God. It was a beautiful dedication and set the atmosphere for what God was to do for the entire congregation that day.

“The Image of Jesus”, (Matthew 16:13) was a powerful Word brought by Pastor Fuller. The Holy Ghost filled atmosphere was electric. The joy we felt toward God the Father was overwhelming. Members were dancing in the Spirit, and shouts of praise were going forth continuously. God was allowing us to experience our own Day of Pentecost. Three new members were added to our Bloomfield family during alter call. 

   We diligently waited on the Lord for the Shepherd of His choice, and He has once again faithfully provided. (Psalm 27:14 had been a constant meditative Scripture for us.)

  We enjoyed a Church Picnic immediately after the Inaugural Service. God blessed us with beautiful weather and the fellowship was a welcomed blessing for us all. We are cautiously venturing out in groups again. We are still faced with the pandemic even at the time of this writing. We take the necessary precautions and trust God to take care of us.

  Reverend Fuller faithfully teaches Bible Study on Wednesdays and brings a powerful Word from “on High “every Sunday. He has been teaching on the importance of forgiveness for offense. It is a timely Word from God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Though we have a long road of reconstruction ahead, God has provided us a new visionary Leader equipped to pave the way. Our membership is growing steadily once more, and several members have returned for rededication. All praises to God for the wonderful things He has done and is doing here at Bloomfield!

   We look forward with great anticipation and expectation on the wonderful things God has in store for us through our New Pastor.


In the words of Pastor Fuller, “In God, we will go higher!”

 Reverend Maurice Fuller will have his official Pastoral Installation Service on October 1, 2022, at 12pm.

 

  

    This Brief history is dedicated to the saints of yesteryear, who on March 9, 1947, dedicated this Parkway land.

 

 

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