History of Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church
The history of Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church is written and can be found in the records of the church.
Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church was founded by Reverend Freddie L. and Reverend Ella Mae Bridges. The church started with approximately 25 members and was initially located at 1845 North 12th Street in Milwaukee, WI. Serving as Pastor was Reverend Freddie Bridges. Reverend Ella Mae Bridges was elected President of the Mission Ministry and she also served in the capacity of Assistant Pastor. Sister Mary Campbell was elected to serve as the church secretary; a position she held and served faithfully until her health failed.
Two of the original 25 members still serve diligently and remain active members of the church today, and they are Sister Betty Bickham and Sister Freddie Watson.
The church, being well organized, was given proper recognition and thus incorporated into the Baptist Convention on November 16, 1969.
Reverend Freddie L. Bridges served diligently and faithfully as Pastor of Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church in the timeframe of September 1969 to June 26, 1977, at which time, he resigned his position due to failing health and moved away from the city. Under his leadership the church continued to grow in membership and was a small congregation that worshiped and praised God.
A Good Tree with deep roots: The Leadership of Reverend Fred Boyd
After the resignation of Reverend Bridges the members were able to rely upon Reverend J. C. Hurt, who served faithfully in an interim leadership role until November 8, 1977. At that time, Reverend Fred Boyd was elected Pastor.
Under the leadership of Reverend Boyd, God’s favor and richest blessings were shown Jeremiah. Due to increasing membership, in October 1978, the purchase of an old building located at 4778 N. Hopkins Street was made and a full renovation of the property was completed. Jeremiah remained at the N. Hopkins Street location for six (6) years and continued to grow in membership.
Given the growth and what God was doing in the life of Jeremiah, Reverend Boyd continued in prayer and contemplation on the future endeavors of the church. As a result of obedience to God, in early 1984, the Lord gave Reverend Boyd a vision to build a new church. In April 1984, the land for this new edifice was purchased. Just one month later, in May 1984, the blueprints were drawn and approved by the members and on June 10, 1984, the ground- breaking ceremony was held.
As God would have it, on October 21, 1984, Reverend Boyd, members and friends formed a caravan and moved from 4778 North Hopkins to the present location of Jeremiah Missionary Baptist church, located at 4519 West Villard Ave.
Reverend Boyd had the vision, the congregation supported him, followed his leadership, and God brought it to pass. Where there is no vision the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).
Under the leadership of Reverend Boyd, each year Jeremiah continued to grow and progressed in a mighty way. The membership showed record-breaking increase and auxiliaries increased and grew accordingly. Other significant milestones in the history of Reverend Boyd leadership include:
September 22, 1988, the first mortgage on the church was paid off, and the mortgage burning ceremony was held on October 30, 1988.
During the year 1989, plans were made for the expansion of the church building. These plans became a reality in 1991.
April 28, 1991 a special building fund drive was held with proceeds exceeding $40,000.00. Pastor Ballard and the Harrison Street Baptist Church of Paducah, KY were special guests.
Summer 1991, following the building fund drive the land breaking ceremony was held and the building expansion project began.
August to November 1991 – worship services were held in a space provided by The Salvation Army
November 10, 1991 though the full construction was not completed, the congregation was able to move the worship services back into the sanctuary.
The late Rev. Ella Mae Bridges stated that, the church was built on a solid rock; preachers and members may come and go, but Jeremiah will stand forever. Reverend Fred Boyd stated, God is not through with Jeremiah yet…Jeremiah will always be an example that other churches can use to model the kind of kingdom building that pleases God; Jeremiah is a church where saved people spread love and witness salvation; a bright light that sets on a hill and draws men from the dark and sinful world to an abundant life in Jesus Christ. In the future Jeremiah will continue to grow in love, faith, and acts of service.
After serving faithfully as Pastor for 29 years, Reverend Boyd retired in 2007. At the departure of Reverend Boyd, only God could provide, on May 6, 2007, Reverend, Dr. Reginal T. Moore was sent to continue to lead Jeremiah in the capacity of Pastor.
Bearing Good Fruit: The Leadership of Reverend, Dr. Reginal T. Moore
Pastor Moore brought a fresh perspective to the life of the church and instituted a 3-year visionary plan that we are believing in God that it shall come to pass. In a short amount of time, under Pastor Moore’s leadership, we saw a significant increase in membership and discipleship within the congregation. Several ministries were formed and of special mention, the Children Youth Ministry was greatly expanded. In addition to the normal Wednesday evening class, the Soul Food noon day Bible Study was added and numerous residential properties were purchased and renovations started for the future expansion of Jeremiah’s ministry.
Pastor Moore understood that expansion was not just contained within the four physical walls of the church building, but that other mediums could be utilized within the community to expand the reach of the ministry to God’s people. As such, Jeremiah had an additional voice in the community through the daily weekday radio broadcast entitled, Pathway to Victory on Joy 1340 AM.
To keep the ministry focused and attempt to capture the essence of what we were charged to do, Pastor Moore instituted a church motto of, Transforming Lives Through the Word of God Jeremiah will use this motto to support and sustain believers, but most importantly, to help convert the lives of non-believers. Matthew 28:19-20 states, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
God’s Word combined with the new motto is our charge to make disciples, seek kingdom directives, and stay on God’s agenda.
God called Pastor Reginald T. Moore from Labor to Reward on February 1, 2009, preaching the Word of God, leaving Jeremiah with a Vision, a Plan, and a Strong Foundation.
Fruit that Never Goes out of Season: The Leadership of Eugene Cowan II
On Valentines Day, February 14, 2010, the Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church called Pastor Eugene Cowan II to build on a firm foundation. We are filled with excitement and encouraged that God has given us a Pastor after his own heart. He is a Visionary Pastor Serving, Teaching, Preaching and Leading us to the next dimension of ministry. During the seven years Pastor Cowan has served, Jeremiah has implemented financial policy and procedures to create an infrastructure to do impactful ministry on the foundation that has been laid. Pastor Cowan’s Servant spirit has helped our ministry focus on serving the community in which we worship. Our change in ministry focus has given us the opportunity to partner with Hunger Task Force to sustain a food pantry that feeds around 300 families monthly. Continuing in the spirit of community and service we have implemented a monthly Wednesday Night Worship service at Trinity Nursing Home. Pastor Cowan has also implemented financial workshops to help our families, church, and community become financially stable. We have implemented church wide fasting and fellowship events growing the church warmer in the Love of Christ. Our church is spiritually impacted and challenged to live out our motto: Transforming lives Through the Word of God. During Pastor Cowan’s tenure we have had a beautification and renovation of the sanctuary. Giving the church a modern appeal with a tradition feel. We have added new digital sound, video capabilities interface with modern technology, and reconfigured the band and pulpit area. Under Pastor Cowan leadership we have upgraded our culinary capabilities and we are renovating the kitchen & fellowship hall area. We are also looking forward to renovating the entry area and and baptism area.