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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 its 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 and 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, Rev. Lee E. Fields, Jr as our undershepherd.  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, made sanctuary ADA accessible and allowed the ability for 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 PGBC 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

 

      In 2020, the world was rocked by the deadly virus called Coronavirus (COVID-19). The pandemic forced churches, nationwide to close their doors to in-person worship.  All concerts, secular events held indoors, and businesses were forced to cease operations while scientists searched for an answer.  The virus claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States alone.  In just over a year, the count was over 650 thousand dead as a result of COVID contraction and complications.  Pleasant Grove closed the third Sunday in March due to the governor’s orders.  The future of worship was uncertain not to mention the connection to the membership was severely hampered.  The question remained how would worship look, could Sunday School continue, and most of all, how would the congregation remain connected with reopening uncertain. 
 

      Dr. Rosser and the leaders met to answer the questions about moving through this period of uncertainty.  It was decided that Sunday School would be conducted via an internet platform called “Zoom.”  Everyone who wanted to participate could log in through a cell phone or other digital device and “see” the other members as they participated.  The audio-visual ministry worked with Pastor Rosser to record worship and the sermon and develop a YouTube channel to broadcast at 10:30 am on Sunday.  This would continue until August when Governor Pritzker announced limited numbers would be allowed back into churches.  Pleasant Grove opened its doors the first Sunday in August with two services to accommodate the CDC spacing requirements and keeping capacity below mandated numbers. 

     

      In September of 2020, Pleasant Grove shifted its focus toward streamlining for the future.  Worship service was moved from two services (8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.) to one service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School Zoom was moved to Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and Bible Study was placed on hiatus. 

 

      During the different phases of the pandemic, the Pastor and leadership ensured that Pleasant Grove was financially solvent and structurally sound.  Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Dr. Rosser announced a capital campaign for the 125th Church anniversary month.  The goal was for 99 disciples of PGBC to pledge a sacrificial $500.  The money raised would be used to pay off the Hubbard Building.  Dr. Rosser watered and God gave the increase by overwhelming participation both from inside and outside the church walls.  The note of the Hubbard Building was retired January 2021 in the middle of the COVID Pandemic. 

During the entirety of the Pandemic, Dr. Rosser began several connection projects including:

  • Monthly Newsletter updating membership on church activities and projects

  • Partnership with Hazel Dell Elementary School

  • Partnership with IDPH, Blue Cross Blue Shield and SIU School of Medicine to be a site for COVID vaccine distribution

  • Partnered with Springfield Golf League for summer youth mentoring camp

  • Developed small groups for healing of various spiritual and emotional issues of the membership

  • Demolished vacant house at 1705 E. Cass

  • Leveled and prepared property on Cass St. for further development

  • Landscaped Martin Luther King side of church edifice

  • Partnered with NAACP for two separate food distribution drives

  • Improved Audio-Visual system to ensure clear broadcast of Live Streaming of Worship Celebration

 

      Pleasant Grove has continued to be a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for the well-being of all in the Springfield-East community.  God continues to bless her with resources and partners to accomplish the mandate of creating Disciples for Christ.  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”.