Every story has a beginning. This is ours…
People Baptist Tabernacle was the original name of this church before it was established as Thankful Baptist Church in 1933 at Sister Pearl Reed’s home. Thankful Missionary Baptist Church was organized on Carter Street under the leadership of Pastor Raymond Eugene Salmon. He passed away in 1937. The latter part of 1937, Pastor H.J. Lanier was called to serve. On January 1, 1939, Pastor J.P. Daniel was called, and two months later a church building was purchased at 2122 Reed Avenue. Pastor Daniel served until 1954.
Thankful Baptist Church is rich in history
In 1956, Pastor J. H. Thompson was called to serve. He served until 1957. Pastor R.E. Smith served from 1958 to 1961. The congregation met in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and later, Crombies Funeral Home while a new building was being built, however; the church building was not completed.
The latter part of 1961, Pastor J. Q. Millsaps was called to serve. Under his leadership, six Deacons were ordained: Thomas Moody, Wallace Malone, Cornelious Whitehead, Oneal Russ, Marshall Robinson and Homer Davis. Four Ministers were licensed and ordained: Charles Maddox, William Davis, Zack Robinson, and Albert Austin. The church purchased a building at 2220 Rossville Boulevard in April 1962. Pastor Millsaps served faithfully until 1969. Pastor Little was called to serve in 1969 until the early 1970s.
In December 1970, Pastor Sullivan Coleman was called to serve. Under his leadership, five Deacons were ordained:
Two more Ministers were licensed: Arthur Maddox Sr. and Marshall Robinson, who were later ordained. The membership grew under Pastor Coleman’s leadership.
Plans were being made to brick the outside of the church when Pastor Coleman died on August 27, 1980. He fought a good fight, and he kept the faith. In December 1980, Elder Oscar L. Lockhart Sr. was called to serve. There were up to six Associate Ministers under his leadership during his tenure. In 1991, a new church was built at 980 North Orchard Knob Avenue (current location); a Children’s Church was created; the Christian Education Board was established; the Sunday School was expanded; new transportation was purchased; the Thankful Community Development Corp. was formed and a “House of Refuge” was opened – just to name a few of God’s blessings. After serving as Thankful’s Undershepherd for 35 years, Elder Lockhart retired as Pastor in December 2015.
The mission of Thankful Missionary Baptist Baptist Church is exalting the Lord Jesus Christ and to spread the gospel at home and abroad. It is through the empowerment of believers – through prayer, worship, education and the proclamation of the Gospel that we become transforming agents in a fragmented and dislocated world.
Days since founding