The foundation of World Wide Missionary Baptist Church was laid in the year of 1950 when Rev. R. L. Copeland called a group of Christians to organize a church. Present at the meeting were Rev. and Mrs. R.L. Copeland, Deacon and Mrs. Eugene Copeland, Deacon and Mrs. Maxie Rainey, Rev and Mrs. Sanders. The church was organized and was called World Wide Missionary Baptist Church.
The first church meetings were held jointly with Conventional Baptist Church on Chene and Hunt Street. After serving there for a brief period, the church moved into a small edifice at 5031 St. Aubin Street. The membership grew, and in 1964, Pastor R.L Copeland moved the congregation to a larger building on Carpenter Street. Pastor. R.L. Copeland served diligently for 18 years.
In 1966, Rev. S. E. Thornton was called to pastor and under his pastorate, we purchased our first church home at 535 East Frederick, where we labored for three years. In April 1970, we purchased our second church home at 11501 Hilger at Kercheval. Pastor Thornton served as pastor until his resignation in June 1973. For three months, we toiled without a leader. During that period, several recommendations were brought to us and on October 14, 1973, Rev. Frank Calloway, a very capable minister was selected and elected as pastor on November 4, 1973.
Many important and beautiful accomplishments were made during the first year of Pastor Calloway’s leadership. Namely, the church mortgage on Hilger was paid off, a baptistery was installed, the choir stand was remodeled, and a ramp for the handicapped was built. New glass entrance doors were also purchased as well as new pulpit furniture and an organ. Due to the expansion of Chrysler Corporation, the City of Detroit purchased our property. On Sunday, September 20, 1987, we made a triumphant march to our present home. Under the continuous leadership of Pastor Calloway, we were blessed to burn the mortgage of this beautiful edifice and celebrated the cornerstone laying on Sunday, May 29, 1994. Due to the heath of Pastor Calloway, our assistant pastor, Rev. William A. Cunningham assumed the pastoral responsibilities with reverence and respect to the pastor and members for two years.
On April 1994, Pastor Calloway was retired from his pastoral duties and made pastor emeritus. On Sunday, October 5, 1994, Rev. William A. Cunningham was elected pastor and officially installed on December 11, 1994. Under Pastor Cunningham’s stewardship, we beautified the sanctuary by padding the pews, remodeling the pulpit, painting, installing new blinds, carpeting, chandeliers, and a new sound system. We also added restrooms for the handicapped, a new roof, paved the parking lot, updated the office equipment including purchasing a copy machine, and purchased a church van. Pastor Cunningham continued to serve faithfully while enduring health issues until he made his transition on September 19, 2018.
On Sunday, December 16, 2018, Rev. Derek Joshua E’Lon Sr. was elected pastor and officially installed on January 27, 2019. Pastor E’Lon had previously served as Associate Minister for sixteen years under Pastor Cunningham. Under the leadership of Pastor E’Lon in these first few months we have installed a new sound and audio/visual media system complete with professional recording systems. We have also launched a new interactive website and social media pages to help spread the Gospel to the lost, help our members stay up to date on church events, lessons and sermons and provide weekly encouragement and this is just the beginning of the plans. We are looking forward to continuing in the legacy set by all the great leaders of this ministry as we press forward to take the gospel worldwide.
Truly God has done great things for us throughout these years. Let us continue our Christian duty and believing that our church is an instrument and vessel of the kingdom of God and we can do all things through Christ which strengths us.