The Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is still standing on the “Solid Rock” due to its members’ strong faith in God. He has kept us for 56 “glorious” years. Together, let us reflect on some of Mount Pleasant’s key dates, events and milestones.
On May 7, 1965, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church (MPBC) was organized under the leadership of Pastor Joshua Webster Green. At that time, church services were held in the lower level of Mount Zion Baptist Church where Reverend James Smythe, Sr., served as their Pastor. With funds ($4,000.00) raised by the dedicated and committed members of the Mount Pleasant and a loan from Pastor Green and Sister Nellie Hill, MPBC marched into our own church building at 562 Clinton Avenue (August 1, 1965).
On January 22, 1966, Pastor Green called a special meeting to tell the members about a certain property he had looked at in the interest of the Church. After much discussion, a vote was taken to purchase the property and authorized Pastor Green and the Trustees to proceed with the purchase.
On September 25, 1966, with police escort and the band from St. John’s Church of God in Christ, members marched into the edifice in which we now worship and affectionately call, “The Mountain of Pleasantness” located at 441 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York. In January of 1968, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church organizer and our first Pastor, Reverend Joshua Webster Green, submitted his resignation.
In December of 1968, Reverend Lawrence W. George was called as our Pastor. He was installed in March 1969. His theme for Mount Pleasant Baptist Church was “The Church with God’s Spirit.” Reverend George remained as Pastor for 18 months. On December 27, 1970, after much prayer, God blessed Mount Pleasant with a new leader in the person of Reverend Edward-Earl Johnson. Pastor Johnson reorganized the auxiliaries that had ceased working and added new ones. He ordained (4) deacons: Deacon Branch Clark, Deacon James Dixon, Deacon James Edmondson and Deacon Clarence Lovelace. Reverend Johnson stayed with us for seven years as he was called back to pastor his former church where he served as Youth Minister. Deacon Clarence Lovelace, Chairman of the Deacons and other faithful officers continued to carry on the business of the church after his departure.
On June 26, 1977, Reverend William Roland was installed as Mount Pleasant Baptist Church’s fourth Pastor. Pastor Roland was active and well respected in the Albany community and received many awards for his Community Service. Because of Pastor Roland’s strong faith in God and his love for his people, he guided us in the right direction for twenty years. Under his leadership, church membership increased significantly, and nine deacons were ordained. There were several upgrades and renovations made to the building. However, as time moved on, Pastor Roland recognized his health was failing and authorized the Deacon Board to be responsible for Worship Service. Deacon Louis Williams, Jr., gave Mount Pleasant Baptist Church his best leadership during this time as chair of our deacons. Pastor Roland resigned after twenty years of anointed service. On April 20, 1997, during morning worship, the members voted to give the title of “Pastor Emeritus” to Pastor Roland.
On November 22, 1998, Reverend William Edward Morgan accepted Mount Pleasant’s call and became our fifth pastor. He came with his wife at his side, Reverend Shirley A. Morgan. He immediately introduced us to the meaning of true membership; being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Through God’s anointing of this preacher/teacher, we have witnessed an increase in ministry and membership. Reverend Morgan organized the Growing in Grace Ministry (GIG) and appointed Deaconess Patrice Burwell as president (the current president is Sis. Angela Swazo). He also implemented the Liturgical Dance Ministry with Deaconess Doris Waiters as the initial coordinator (the current coordinators are: Sis. Niquane Smith and Sis. Tonya Motley). In addition, Pastor Morgan has ordained eleven deacons, consecrated eight deaconesses, set aside ten junior deacons, four junior deaconesses, appointed six women as Church Mothers and ordained five ministers.
With the leadership of Pastor Morgan, we have learned the importance of Christian Education, knowing that meditating on God’s Word is more important than secular education in that the knowledge of God’s Word is sure to bring about obedience in following His Word. With this said, the Board of Christian Education was implemented with the following members serving as director: Reverend Frank Turner, Sr., Deaconess Mary E. Williams and Deaconess Doris Waiters (current director).
Pastor Morgan has served as Area #3 Vice President of the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention Inc. and is a certified instructor of Baptist Doctrine for the Hudson River Frontier Missionary Baptist Association (HRFMBA) and the Empire Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. He also teaches “Articles of Faith “and is currently serving as Assistant Financial Secretary of the Empire Baptist Convention, Inc.
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church has never been without efficient and faithful church officers and as a result, “The Mountain of Pleasantness” has remained financially secure. The Building Fund Committee implemented during Pastor Morgan’s tenure explored options to build/add a new edifice with the assistance from the following Building Fund Chairs: Brothers Andrew Adams and Don Young. The plans to move forward with a new building have ceased but renovations have begun to the existing building. We have installed a new sound system and plans are in the works to repair the existing parking lot and pave the new lot, restoration of the fellowship hall and installation of a new carpet to the second level.
Time has moved on and after 56 years, “The Mountain of Pleasantness” continues to reap the rewards of our labor even though we experienced a Valley Season in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic running rapid throughout our country and because it hit MPBC very hard, the decision was made to lock our church doors in March 2020. Even though the church building was closed, in April we were able to have church and connect with Pastor Morgan to receive a WORD from on high on Sundays with Bible Study and Prayer Call in on Thursdays. This success was a result of assistance from our Media Ministry. In addition, we continued to be ushered into Worship Sunday after Sunday with music from our Music Ministry. God was and is truly still in control.
Mount Pleasant has lost some soldiers along the way during the pandemic: Reverend Matthew Williams, Deacon Allen Simpkins, Bro. Robert Nicholson and many others down through the years (Our Guiding Lights) but we are still here, standing on God’s promises; running this race with faith and God’s Almighty favor; AND yes, “Still Moving Toward His Lordship”. What a mighty God we serve!