Our History

Founded 1923

The mission of Messiah Baptist Church of today continues to support the legacy that was founded 90 years ago by a group of four people who organized the church in a rented garage on January 24, 1923 in Detroit, MI. Messiah represents the fulfillment of faith that was characterized in its founders—Rev. Homer Tombs, Eliza Bowman, Jane Clark and E.L. Solomon.

In 1929 Messiah purchased property on St. Aubin at Adele Street and that became the new church home. In 1930, they became affiliated with the Michigan Baptist District Association and the Wolverine Baptist State Convention. Between 1923 and 1936 the church was served by three pastors—Rev. Homer Tombs (1923-1927), Rev. J.L. Lenyoun (1927-1934) and Rev. C.C. Croff (1935). On August 21, 1936 Messiah Baptist Church elected their fourth pastor, Rev. W.G. Scott.

A wave of substantial growth occurred under Pastor Scott’s leadership and in 1951 the property at 3739 Humboldt Street was purchased to accommodate the growing membership of over 1500. From 1936 to 1955 Rev. Scott marked his legacy when he established Vacation Bible School and joined the ranks of the National Baptist Convention. After preaching a powerful message on Sunday, August 21, 1955 Rev. W. G. Scott was called to his heavenly home.

The pulpit remained vacant until January 24, 1956 when Rev. Theodore Cornelius Simmons was elected Pastor. Rev. Simmons served as pastor for 32 years. During his tenure, there was a remarkable growth in membership and church attendance.. To accommodate the growth in membership and attendance, our current location at 8100 West Seven Mile was purchased in 1970 for $450,000. The mortgage burning service on this edifice was held on Sunday, May 15, 1977—less than seven years later. Many auxiliaries were established under his leadership, and Pastor Simmons preached to over 1,100 members and visitors most Sundays and was the pastor to a membership of over 3,000 until his retirement in 1988.

On March 20, 1989, Rev. William Revely was elected Pastor. In 1990 under the leadership of Pastor Revely the church membership held a “Say Thanks” tribute in appreciation for Rev. T.C. Simmons during which Rev. Simmons was named Emeritus.

The Messiah church family faced some dark moments when the doors at 8100 W. Seven Mile Road were closed in January 1998 because of disharmony within the church family and dissension between the pastor and church. For a time, worship services were held at H &L Hall on Wyoming in Detroit as Messiah weathered the storm. On April 19, 1998 Messiah’s congregation returned to 8100 West Seven Mile under the transition team of several Associate Ministers, Deacon Willie Poole and the Deacon Board. Deacon Willie Poole was Chairman of the Deacon Board at that time.

On March 25, 2000 the Messiah Baptist Church elected Rev. Orville K. Littlejohn, as pastor. At that time, he was the Associate Minister of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio. Under Pastor Littlejohn’s leadership the church family truly began its recovery, and grew stronger as it worked to exalt the Savior, equip the saints and evangelize to the lost. There are currently over 30 active ministries in place to service both the congregation and the community. Pastor Littlejohn and the church family are committed to providing and promoting an atmosphere where all are invited to worship the sovereign God and experience the love, joy and peace of a life in Christ Jesus through the transforming power of the Holy Ghost.

As we march on under the leadership of Pastor Littlejohn, we march with a mission that includes Evangelism, Education, Edification and Exhortation as we choose health, healing and happiness in the Messiah Baptist Church household because we are “Gifted and Giving by the Grace of God”