4903 Maxwell, Detroit
Little Rock Baptist Church was established in April of 1936, under the pastorate of Rev. Robert E. Tate. Six worshippers gathered at the home of Brother and Sister Hooks at 1214 E. Willis Street in Detroit. The other members included Brother and Sister Ernest Robinson, Mother Della Brown and Mother Gaillard. The membership steadily increased, and the congregation moved to 3734 Russell Street. While under the leadership of Rev. Theodore Provost, the church moved to 7639 Mack Avenue. Rev. Clarence Townsell later led the congregation to 4903 Maxwell. As the church continued to grow under Rev. Jim Holley’s leadership, the church moved on August 13, 1978, to its current location at 9000 Woodward Avenue.
The church is a Neo-English Gothic Cathedral designed by renowned architect George D. Mason. Many capital improvements and major renovations have been made including the addition of 12 stained glass windows with over 1500 square feet of hand blown glass depicting the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Other capital improvements include the installation of an air conditioning system, a passenger elevator, lower auditorium renovations, and spiral staircases in the sanctuary. Our building and congregation have been granted city, state and national historic designations, and a State Historical Marker. We have over 6,000 digitized documents of our history housed at Michigan State University’s Detroit Black Church Project. In April of 2020, we successfully completed our mortgage campaign in less than a year.
The Historic Little Rock Baptist Church presently has 36 auxiliaries and ministries to serve the needs of nearly 1,000 members, the Northend Community and the City of Detroit. The church’s current outreach programs include food programs in partnership with Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners Community Food Bank and a GED program in partnership with Wayne County Community College District.
God has been our shield and strength. He has guided us with His counsel, blessed us by His providence, saved us by His son Jesus and inspired us by His Holy Spirit. Under the leadership of our new Senior Pastor, Rev. Antoine T. Colvin, we look forward to building upon this firm foundation.
The history of the Historic Little Rock Baptist Church is preserved with the hope of inspiring our present and future congregations. It is our prayer that they will protect the vision of those who labored, sacrificed and endured many hardships for the church, its members and community. We honor and give recognition to the Pastors whose faithful leadership has been instrumental in the progress of this church:
Rev. Robert E. Tate - Founder, 1936-1953
Rev. Theodore R. Provost, 1954-1959
Rev. Walter L. Labeaux, 1960-1962
Rev. John Bussell, 1963-1967
Rev. Clarence Townsell, 1968-1971
Rev. Jim Holley, 1972-2021
Rev. Antoine T. Colvin, 2022-present