4903 Maxwell, Detroit

Little Rock on Maxwell

the church relocated to a church building located at 4903 Maxwell, and shortly thereafter the congregation purchased the adjacent parsonage.  Rev. Townsell remained pastor of Little Rock until 1971.

      Rev. Jim Holley was called to be pastor of Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church in June, 1972.  Under his leadership the congregation continued to grow, and within seven years the congregation was faced once again with growing pains. The need for larger facilities led the congregation to the city's "street of churches", and to the building once occupied by Central Woodward Christian Church.  The congregation of Little Rock moved into the edifice at 9000 Woodward in August 1979, and was able to pay off the mortgage within ten years.  A major renovation of the building interior was completed 1990.  These changes included a number of new stained glass windows, pastor's office/study, choir loft, pulpit area, lower auditorium  kitchen and lavatories.

      The stained glass windows distinguish this church.  Shortly after installation, the Disciples of Christ congregation installed two such windows designed by A. Kay Herbert.  One shows George Washington and the other Abraham Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation.  In 1990, the Little Rock congregation began raising funds to replace the clear glass in many other windows with appropriate stained glass.  Within a few years, they accomplished their goal. Perhaps the bet known of the new windows is the African American Pulpit window showing the Reverend Richard Allen, the founder of what became the African-Methodist-Episcopal church; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., representing the social gospel, Reverend Jesse Jackson representing the economic gospel, Reverend C. L. Franklin representing the quintessential skills of a preacher and Reverend Jim Holley who led the Little Rock congregation at the time and continues to serve as pastor.  The window was designed by Daniel Cicchelli and Reverend Holley and executed by Anchor Glass Studios of Inkster.  Nine of her 18 foot stained glass windows were installed depicting the traditional Stations of the Cross on Calvary.  These were designed and painted by Dawn Sinkovich.

      Today Little Rock Missionary Baptist church continues to reach out and save the citizens of Detroit through community programs such as; "Shoes for Children", drug abuse referral center, legal aid, and prison ministry.  

      On February 6, 1993, the Detroit City Council listed the Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church as a local Historic District.  The church was later listed in the State of Michigan registry of Historical Places on April 22, 1993.

      Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church was established in April 1936 by a band of six individuals under the pastorate of the Rev. Robert E. Tate.  Its early meetings were held at 1314 E. Willis, the home of Ozzie Hooks, one of the congregation's founding members.  As their membership grew, they soon recognized the need for a larger space.  The congregation moved to a new building located at 3734 Russell.  The congregation continued to flourish and made great strides under the leadership of Rev. Tate until his death on July 17, 1953.  In February, 1954 the Rev. Theodore R. Provost was installed as the new pastor.  It was under his direction that the church relocated to 7639 Mack Ave.  Rev. Provost remained at the church until 1959 when he was called to be pastor of a church in California.


     During the next decade the church experienced several changes in leadership.  Rev. Walter L. LaBeaux served from 1960-1962; he was then replaced by rev. John Bussell, who served until 1967.  And in 1968 the call was extended to Rev. Clarence L. Townsell.  In January of the following year


African American Pulpit Window
4903 Maxwell
4903 Maxwell, Detroit, Mi
Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
Historic Little Rock Baptist Church
Cleary University