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ABOUT US

The Pleasant Grove Church History began as thus:

 

           The Pleasant Grove Church History began as thus:  Ten people who lived in the Southeast part of Springfield called “Goose Prairie” organized Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in September 1895. These members withdrew from the mother church, Zion Baptist due to the distance and difficulties encountered in traveling to church. The first church meetings were held in a rented house on Eighteenth Street (now known as MLK Jr. Dr).

           On October 1, 1895, Rev. J. W. Barnett was called to pastor.  During his pastorate, a church site was purchased and a small frame edifice constructed. The church was named “Little Green” due to it s small size and green vines growing around it.

            In 1903, during the tenure of Rev. W. M. Bates, a larger church building was erected and the name was changed to Pleasant Grove.  Pleasant Grove continued to move forward under Rev. Daniel Bloodsworth, Rev. S. L. Edwards, Rev. J. J. Chappell and Rev. M. L Porter.  The church also progressed under the inspired guidance of Rev. J. B. Beckman, Rev. J. A. Sharp, Rev. Peter Fields and Rev. M. D. Ware.

            Rev. Lyman Hubbard, a native of Springfield was called to pastorate and was installed in July 1934 and served faithfully causing an increase in the church membership and initiated a building fund to assist in financing a larger church. He served until his death on August 26, 1968.  Rev. John O. Walter supplied the church during the mourning period and Rev. Ophilis McCoy pastored from February 1968 to June 1970.

            Under the leadership of Richard Maye, who was installed on January 10, 1971, membership increased and church accommodations were soon too small.  The building fund continued and groundbreaking for a new church was held on November 17, 1973. The dedication service took place on December 1, 1974. Pastor Maye served until November 1988.

            Rev. T. D. Robinson was installed as Pastor on September 24, 1989.  He established a tape ministry, children’s church as part of the regular morning worship service. Assisted the Deacons and Trustees in buying the remaining property in the 900 block of Martin Luther King Drive and had taken an active leadership role with the Orthodox Wood River Baptist Association. April 1991, the church was able to burn our mortgage. A day of praise and thanksgiving was held.

            Pastor Robinson instituted many outstanding programs, The Youth Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, with classes for all ages and the Deacon Ministry increased with more spirit filled men. He implemented many different ministries, workshops and seminars were held for the continued growth at Pleasant Grove.

            The Mighty Men’s Ministry was developed to build up the men of our church to provide leadership at home and in the house of God.

             In 1994, during the tenure of Rev. T. D. Robinson, a Centennial plan for renovations remodeling of the church was developed, which included a new sound system, new carpet in the sanctuary, a display sign in front of the church, new upholstery for pews, a chandelier, painting of the sanctuary, new furniture and wall covering for the pulpit area, and a baby grand piano.

             Pastor T. D. Robinson served until July 1996 and Pleasant Grove continued to progress under the guidance of the Deacon Ministry and Chairman Enos Warren while in search of an Undershepherd.

            On June 22, 1997 the church was presented with a Centennial Renovation Project plaque that served as a milestone in the life of Pleasant Grove.  That was truly a day of praise as we became a debt-free church.

            In January of 1998, the Lord sent our Undershepherd to us, Rev. Lee E. Fields, Jr.  He was installed as Pastor on July 12, 1998.  The Lord had given Pastor Fields a vision that would take us into the 21st Century.  This vision is given as a means of meeting the needs of both the church and the community.

            September 23, 1998, the Hubbard Building saw its last worship service and was demolished later that week. On July 18, 1999, the new L. R. Hubbard Educational Complex was dedicated.  Rev. Fields served as Pastor until December 2012.

            From December 2012 until November 2013, under the guidance of the Deacon Ministry, Pleasant Grove continued to grow and carry out the mission of this great church while in search of a Pastor.

            In November 2013, Pleasant Grove unified as one body in Christ and welcomed Rev. Charles Ferguson as Pastor.  Pastor Ferguson was installed in March 2014. Rev. Ferguson served as Pastor until July 2016.

           In February 2018, the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, unified as one body in Christ and welcomed Dr. William DeShone Rosser as Pastor.

 

          Under Dr. Rosser’s leadership the church has continued to progress forward with the following accomplishments:

  • Online mobile Givelify App Giving to allow members to give tithes and offerings 24 hours a day.

  • To ease congestion, make sanctuary ADA accessible and allow the ability of wheelchairs to maneuver along the east and west walls of the church, the pews and pew cushions were shortened which also allowed for wheel chair inclusion within the existing seating.

  • Safety handrails were installed leading up to the pulpit and choir stand areas.

  • Re-establishment of Pleasant Grove website adding audio of Sunday Morning sermons.

  • Audio recordings of Bible Study and Sunday morning worship.

  • Addition to security system with TV monitoring.

  • Visitor Center to welcome all first-time visitors where the new PG informational pamphlet and a PGBC ink pen is provided to all visitors.

  • Refined the New Member Class consisting of two and four-week classes with workbooks produced in-house.

  • Upgraded all office equipment allowing for efficiency and speed of documents and reporting.

  • Reinstituted Virtuous Women’s class held on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month

  • Established a Health and Wellness Ministry.

  • Annual celebration of Veterans and Law Enforcement Day.

  • Purchased the home at 1705 E. Cass St. without a mortgage for future development.

  • Developed Funeral Policy and updated Wedding Policy.

  • Streamlined Church Purchasing process.

  • Main Entry Steps replacement and redesigned.

  • Sound System Upgrade

  • Projection Screens for Sanctuary for audience and for Choir

  • Heat Exchanger for Hubbard Building

  • Stain Glass Window Repair

  • Handicap Ramp replacement at EOC Building

  • Wheelchairs for disabled members use while at PGBC

  • Began Live Stream Services

  • Virtual Sunday School Class via ZOOM

  • Upgraded Audio System for Video distribution

  • Created service for social distancing environment due to COVID-19.

 

              In March of 2020, Pleasant Grove faced an unprecedented time in her 125-year history.   The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic forced the state to limit all gatherings to less than ten persons at any time.  With a full calendar and events approaching, the church was forced to limit its activity.  Under Dr. Rosser’s innovative leadership, Pleasant Grove was able to navigate these uncertain times and remain financially solvent and spiritually active with the congregation. Dr. Rosser instituted a weekly streaming service including scripture, pertinent prayer concerns, musical selections, and a weekly Message.  A YouTube Channel was set up to archive the on-line worship.  Slowly as the state loosened restrictions, Dr. Rosser and the Deacon Ministry planned for the return to the church building.  Following Public Health guidelines and tracking local trends, the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was re-opened the first Sunday in August 2020.   Livestreaming began on that same Sunday allowing members who were not ready or could not return to the building to worship live with those on the campus.  These worship services are also archived on the PGBC YouTube channel.

              The church is currently in a capital campaign to retire the debt on the Hubbard Building.  With that accomplishment, PGBC will be able to devote more resources to ministry, outreach and charity.  We have certainly realized the promises of God through Jesus Christ as we reflect on the goodness and mercy, God has shown to the church formerly known as “Little Green”.

 

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