19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19
A Brief History of College Hill Missionary Baptist Church
“From little acorns great oaks grow.” College Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1931 at the home of Sister Alice Hawkins. Fifty people attended the initial meeting. Pastor Jeff Brown was elected the first pastor. Having no money, the members built a brush arbor at 1313 West Houston Street which rented for $10.00. The membership grew to 135 in five years.
Pastor Jeff Brown died and Pastor B. Fuller became the second pastor of College Hill Baptist Church. In 1933, Pastor Fuller resigned. After several months, Reverend H.M. Corey became the third pastor. In 1935, a lot on the corner of West Houston and South Ross Street was purchased and a small frame church building was erected. In 1937, Pastor Corey resigned and accepted the pastorage at his home church in Kilgore, Texas.
In 1937, College Hill called Reverend J.M. McChristian to be pastor. He led the members into purchasing a lot at 1313 West Houston erecting a small building on the property. Under the leadership of Pastor McChristian, Women’s Missionary Society, B.Y.P.U., Senior Choir and Usher Board. Mrs. Lumina Sherman was elected president of the Mission Society were organized. The first president of B.Y.P.U. was Mrs. Bell Crownover. Mr. Eli Crownover was president of the Usher Board. Mrs Blanche Timms was elected president of the Senior Choir. Musicians for the choir were furnished by Butler College. In 1940, Mrs. Eloise Montgomery was elected pianist. College Hill was the first black church to appear on an all white radio station, KGKB. The Senior Choir filled a 6:30-6:45A.M. slot. Later, College Hill prepared a worship program for Sunday mornings on KZEY, an all black station.
Pastor McChristian ordained the following deacons: Brothers Willie Garrett, Willie Criss, Eli Crownover, Sylvester Swindell, George Raibon and Raymond Martin. In 1942 Sister Jessie Crook was elected Church Clerk. Boy and Cub Scouts under the leadership of Brother Sylvester Swindell were organized by Rev. McChristian. In 1951 Brother Raymond Martin was elected Treasurer.
During Pastor McChrisitian’s leadership, the following were his sons in the ministry: Reverends J.C. Delley, L.B. George, Willie Garrett and Willie Hunter. In 1951 Reverend McChristian was called to Olivet Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.
Reverend C.B. Brown was called to fill the vacant pulpit. His pastorate was brief and stormy. It was during his pastorate College Hill split. Reverend L.W. Pryor served a very short time an accepted a church in Flint Michigan.
In August 1952, the church called Reverend C.L. Brooks, Sr. of Nacogdoches Texas. Immediately after he became pastor, the church took on new life. There was much growth and progress, the membership increased, finances improved the fellowship and spiritually of the church were enhanced. He organized a Youth Choir, Junior Choir, Young Adult Choir, Gospel Chorus and Male Chorus. Also organized was a Dramatic Club, Stewardship Club, Board of Christian Education, Young People’s Department in Sunday School and Singles Ministry. To aid young people in continuing education, Reverend Brooks established a scholarship fund.
Under Pastor Brooks, Sisters Jessie Crooks, Faustine Thomas and Jean Washington served as church clerks. Brothers Raymond Martin and Wayford Brown, Jr. served as treasurers. Pastor Brooks ordained Brothers Henry Miller, Joe Boman, Wayford Brown, Sr., Mingo Holman, Jeff Henderson, J.B Holland, Charles Lee, Enois
Starling, Under Pastor Brooks, Sisters Jessie Crooks, Faustine Thomas and Jean Washington served as church clerks. Brothers Raymond Martin and Wayford Brown, Jr. served as treasurers. Pastor Brooks ordained Brothers Henry Miller, Joe Boman, Wayford Brown, Sr., Mingo Holman, Jeff Henderson, J.B Holland, Charles Lee, Enois Starling, Dawson Phillips, Wayford Brown, Jr., Gerald Mitchell, Columbus Swanson, Lonnie Beasley, J.W. Bryant, J.W. Clay, Bill Roach, Gerald Barnes, Leon Parker, Warren Richardson and M.C. Davis.
In 1955 the church elected Maurice Harvey musician and later Choirmaster. Not only was he a great musician, he was very creative also designing the church logo. Under Pastor Brooks many additions were made to the church including the establishment of a building fund, purchase of land for parking and land across the street for construction of a new church building. After 39 1/2 years of service, Pastor Brooks retired June 1991. Reverend N.L. Square served as interim pastor until January 1992.
In December 1991, Reverend Willie M. Houze was called as pastor and assumed the duties as pastor January 12, 1992. Pastor Houze came with much enthusiasm, inspiration, motivation, revitalization and dedication to the church family. Under his dynamic leadership the church continued to move forward. He immediately lead us into construction and completion of the edifice we now enjoy. Many members either united or accepted Christ as their personal Saviour. Morning Worship and Mid-Week Service attendance increased. The music department flourished in membership, music department, personnel and most importantly dedication to spirituality.
Technology was added with the purchase of two computers were purchased because of the increase in membership and finances. Several computers were donated. Sister Mary Starling was elected as a full-time administrative assistant to our staff. More technology was added with the purchases of a fax machine, copier answering machine and recording system.
The athletic department was reorganized and won several trophies. The parking lot was illuminated and a church sign was erected. A library was dedicated to Pastor Emeritus Brooks and it was named the C.L. Brooks Library. Our old beloved sanctuary was demolished and with it a lot of cherished memories but not our spirituality and our love for God.
A van was purchased to transport member who needed transportation to and from services. The vacant lot adjacent to the original property site was purchased and donated by the Rider Family increasing our property for future growth.
Pastor Houze ordained Brothers Mack C Davis, Isaac W. Gossett, Joe N Williams, Jr., Calvin Stripling, Herbert Hayter, Sr., Frank Watson, J. Stacey McCoy and Vaughn Mosley (presently in military service). Bro. Jesse Rider, an ordained deacon was added upon uniting with College Hill. In 2000, a TV ministry was launched. Praise dancing was organized by Sisters Cora Edwards and LaTonya Edwards and the drill team was re-organized under the direction of Sister Tina Reese.
The Junior Choir, organized in 1958 under the sponsorship of Sister Eloise Lee was renamed in April 2006 The Eloise B. Lee Choir in honor of her 48 years as matron of this choir.
In January 2008, the church became vacant. Rev Gerald Mitchell, a longtime member and associate minister served as interim pastor for a brief period.
In June 2008, God sent us Reverend Kennedy Young, Jr., of Forney Texas. The congregation voted to accept him as the new Pastor of College Hill Baptist Church. He and his wife Brandi came with much enthusiasm about serving God. That enthusiasm rubbed off on the members. Shortly after his arrival, the whole church family took on a new life. In 2010, they also brought to us a new life with the birth of their son Blake Micah. Through Pastor Young’s inspiration and teaching, we experienced both spiritual and numerical growth. From June 2008 to present, numerous new members have united with the College Hill Church family. In 2013 during the 82nd Anniversary, the Lord blessed us to be able to burn the church note with a note burning ceremony and have all our friends and family there to witness.