It is “The Mission” of The Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church to Be a Committed Church That Embraces a Spirit of Excellence in Ministry
Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church
In 1927, a stone was set as a pillar in the community within the city of Grand Rapids when Christian altruism found it highest expression in what is called the Golden Rule; “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” (St. Matthew 7:12 and St. Luke 6:31).
As we became the fruits of the True Light Missionary Baptist Church, Christian men and women formed as an organization dedicated to the Lord and for the work of His Ministry. This group called themselves the Golden Rule Club and they met for the purpose of organizing a Missionary Baptism Church.
During the first meeting, the late Reverend Wyatt M. Northcross acted as Moderator and the late Deacon T.G. Scott lead the group in its first prayer; they both were members of Messiah Missionary Baptism Church. Other members present were Brother & Sister C. Brown, Rev. M. Roberts, Brother R. Brown, Brother and Sister Mayo, Brother & Sister Smith, Brother & Sister Guest, Brother & Sister Riley, and Sister Luckett.
Sister Luckett made a motion to name the Church “Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church” and the group graciously approved that motion. Once the organizational structure was decided, a place of worship had to be determined. Devoted Christians being of the same mine and on one accord established 422 Ionia SW (Ionia and McConnell Street) as the first place of worship. A member of the Golden Rule Club, the late Reverend William A. Moss was elected to be their first Pastor.
From 1927 to current the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church has been blessed to worship under the leadership of seven Pastors: Reverend William Moss, Reverend Will Thompson, Reverend Emmitt Hill, Reverend Aaron Harris, Reverend Dr. Maurice Jones, Reverend Arthur Pearson, and the Reverend Dr. Timothy Mark Harris. Each Pastor has made a great contribution to the Church and community physically, spiritually, and financially.
Pilgrim was the first Black Church in the city to build a new edifice in 1966. The fifteen-year mortgage was paid off in eight years and several additions have been added because of the Pastor’s vision and leadership from God. A large number of Pilgrim Ministers were called by God to Pastoralship.Second and third generations of Pilgrim families are members currently. We are thankful to God,knowing that He has blessed Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in abundance.
One thing for sure, time bring about change and with new Pastors, bring new visions. One thing remains constant is the Word of God, which is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever more…AMEN!!!
Rev. Darryl S. Gaddy Sr.
Pastor Gaddy arrives as the Senior Pastor and Servant Leader of Pilgrim Rest with a diverse and extensive ministry background, having dedicated over 13 years, serving, planting and pastoring Victory Fellowship Community Church in Detroit, Michigan. A proud father of three adult children and a loving grandfather of four, he transitioned into the role of Church Planting Catalyst with the North American Mission Board, where he supported churches not only in Michigan but also beyond. Throughout the nation, Pastor Gaddy has been instrumental in facilitating as keynote speaker at conventions, leading workshops, instructing thousands of church leaders in church leadership conferences, and spearheading church planting, missions, and revitalization efforts.
Pastor Gaddy accepted the assignment, and was called to ministry in South Carolina. During their time in South Carolina, Pastor Gaddy and his wife, Daphne, cultivated a strong network. He served as a Strategist with the Santee Baptist Association in Sumter SC, before assuming leadership of the Church Planting Assessment Team in the SCBC Convention, playing a pivotal role in preparing, assessing, and launching church planters across the state. His arrival at Pilgrim Rest brings a wealth of knowledge and practical tools, aimed at implementing strategies to maximize the local church’s impact on its community and the world at large. Rev. Gaddy’s expertise extends to empowering church leaders in developing their 501(c)3 CDCs and crafting impactful curriculum to impact the kingdom and the community.
His anointing and visionary leadership style is evident when speaking at events, or leading training sessions.
His passion for serving in the urban community context has called him back to the local church, to Encourage Hearts, Empower Minds, and Equip Servants to Engage the marginalized.
This is reflected in his deeply personal commitment to prepare others to reach the least, the last, and the lost.
Pastor Dr. Timothy Harris
Saturday July 27, 2014, a Special Meeting was held and the Church Elected Rev. Dr. Timothy Mark Harris as our Seventh Pastor. On September 5, 2014, Pastor Harris accepted his role as Pastor of the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church.
Pastor Harris Ordained Five Deacons, Combined Ministries, added additional teachers and Increased Weekly Bible Class Attendance During his Six-year Tenure.
The week of Sunday, March14, 2021, Pastor Harris Announced his Resignation as Pastor due to Accepting a Pastoral Position at Another Church. March 31, 2021 was his last day as Pastor of the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church.
Pastor Aaron Harris
On April 21, 1961, Reverend Aaron Harris was elected as the fourth Pastor. Installation service was held on July 13 through July 16, 1961. Rev. W.L. Patterson, Pastor of the True Light Missionary Baptist Church delivered the sermon and gave the charge to Reverend Harris and to the church.
Reverend Harris, a great teacher, and visionary saw that the accommodations were inadequate, so with God’s guidance, he put his mind to work. He established the Junior Church in the lower level and appointed Rev. Tommy Davis as their instructor. He organized the Young Adult Choir, Angel Choir, and the Progressive Club.
Reverend Harris was instrumental in ratifying the Trustee Board and was the first Pastor to present “Tithing” to the congregation. Rev. Harris became ill and on May 20, 1963, he went home to be with the Lord.
Pastor Emmett H. Hill
Pastor Emmett H Hill was elected third Pastor of Pilgrim Rest on November 19, 1937. Pastor Hill was charged with getting the church financially stable. No bank would give the church a loan; Pastor Hill continued to pray and on November 6, 1940 the mortgage was redeemed with a loan received from the Blodgett Memorial Emergency Fund. The Mortgage was paid off May 20 1944; Pastor Hill remained a faithful leader until illness in October 1959. He retired after twenty three years. He remained Pastor Emeritus until he went home to the Lord on November 5, 1962.
The Reverend Doctor Maurice Jones
God’s Man: God’s Plan
A Living Testimony
Reverend Jones was born January 7, 1930 in Redland, Texas to Nelson & Willie Jones and was the eldest of (9) Children. He married Catherine Gibson September 18, 1949. From his Union there are (3) Daughters: Carolyn, Mattie and Dorcas, (4) Grandchildren: Sharnessa, Marquay, Eric & Alexis, (7) Great-Grandchildren: Marquay, Sierra, Qori, Taylor, Nyles, Anayah, & Jaydah.
A Shepherd who is ready, Willing and able to Preach the Gospel, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: For it is the Power of God unto Salvation to everyone that believeth” Romans 1:16.
The Reverend Dr. Maurice Jones “Committed his works unto the Lord; and God Established his Thoughts”. As Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church for 44.5 Years, Pastor Jones consistently preached the “Gospel ” about the Virgin Birth, Baptism, Love, Teachings, Healing Power, Salvation, Grace, Mercy, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension and Return of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Over the years, he had Administered Communion, Instructed, Blessed, Baptized, Eulogized, Counseled; Sung Praises of Zion; Licensed and Ordained Ministers, Ordained Deacons, Appointed Officers; Ministered to the Needy, Youth, Children At Risk, Seniors and Overall “Kingdom Building. ” Pastor Jones has obtained extensive knowledge in Christian Education, Leadership, Church Management, Administration, Financial Management, and Development. He was a proven Spirit Led Leader, who had Successfully Created, Managed, and Supported Innovative Programs and Organizations to Promote Christian Love and Unity. Pastor Jones was a receptive “Man of God” with a Testimony, Demonstrated Vision, and Organizational Skills. With his experience and commitment to church outreach, he led the Development and Implementation of Various Humanitarian Programs Which Included A Food Pantry, Assisted in Establishing Churches in Africa, Haiti, and India. He had Developed Activities to Meet the Cultural, Civic, and Spiritual Needs of the Church and the Community.
Pastor Jones was a Local, National, and Internationally Recognized Evangelist and Singer who had Traveled all over the world. He was attributed with recording eight albums entitled: “Pure Religion”, “Master, Make Them Hush”, “Death in the Pot”, “Power of Touch”, “Father into Thy Hands”, “As An Eagle Stirreth Her Nest”, “Washed in the Blood of the Gospel of Reconciliation”, and “If Loving You is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right.” Singing has been a part of his life from a youth when he sang with the popular Moonlight Spirituals of Texas, The Soul Travelers of Kansas City, MO, toured with Bro. Joe May and sang with the Three Keys of Kansas City, MO.
As a Spiritual Leader, he had served as a Shepherd over a Corporate Body of approximately 750 Members including a Formal Board of Deacons and Trustees. Over the years, he had provided tutelage to approximately 40 of the Gospel and Fostered Christian Fellowships by establishing over 40 areas of Ministries, Boards, Committees, and Choirs.
As an Educational Leader, he directed the weekly Sunday School and Wednesday Bible Classes/Prayer Meetings; Instructed Sunday School Teachers; Supported and Instructed Vacation Bible School Programs; Established and Maintained a Scholarship Fund, which continues to Provide Financial Assistance to The Under-Graduate Youth of Pilgrim Rest; Established the Junior Church, New Members Class, Evangelistic Outreach Ministry, Brotherhood Fellowship, Sisterhood Fellowship, Married Couples Ministry, Singles Ministry, Children and Youth Ministry; Sponsored and Hosted tours to the Holy Land for more than Three Decades beginning in 1970.
As a Visionary with Management and Development Plans for Growth, Pastor Jones realized in 1964, the church seating capacity was inadequate for the increased membership. As a result, he established an 8 A.M. Worship Service; In 1965, he Orchestrated the Purchase of 5 lots on Franklin and College Streets on a Cash Basis. On April 4, 1966, Groundbreaking Services led to the construction of a new Church Edifice which was completed in 8 months under his leadership. Pastor Jones led the March from the Former Sanctuary at 820 Ionia Street SW, to the New Sanctuary at 510 Franklin SE; Administered a 15-year mortgage that was Paid off in 8 years and 9 months. In 1988, Blessed with continued Growth and Vision, the East Wing of the Church was added which included Executives offices and Additional Classrooms were added. The church was then made Handicap Accessible and an Elevator was added. Another 15-year mortgage was obtained and paid off ahead of schedule, in 7 years.
Purchases of a Station Wagon, Church Vans, and Several Charter Buses were executed under his direction over the years, and they too were paid off in Record Time. Since 1985, the church has been financed entirely through Tithes and Offerings of God’s people.
Education, Affiliation, Honors & Awards
Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Louisiana Baptist College , Shreveport, LA, June 29, 2003; Honorary Doctor of Divinity, Tennessee MO; School of Religion, Memphis, TN, May 22, 1998; Western Bible College, Kansas City, Redland Texas Public School System, where he completed Elementary and High School.
National Baptist Congress of Christian Education; National Baptist Convention; World Baptist Alliance; Wolverine State Convention; Wolverine State Congress of Christian Education; Chain Lake District Association; New Era District Association.
Select Present & Past Affiliations & Contributions
- Moderator New Era District Association
- President Minister Class in the Wolverine Baptist State Convention
- President Minister Class in the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education
- Vice President Wolverine Baptist State Convention
- Board Member Arkansas Baptist College Member Baptist Fellowship of Grand Rapids
- Member Grand Rapids Inter-Denominational Ministerial Alliance
Select Honors and Awards
- 2004 Faithfulness & Dedication Award City of Grand Rapids & Grand Rapids Baptist Fellowship
- 2002 Certificate of Appreciation – Project Rehab Community Alternative ‘s Program
- 2000 Clergy Appreciation Award – Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church
- 2000 Meritorious Work Award – Wolverine State Congress
- 1997 Appreciation Award – Holy Land Tourism
- 1994 C. Toliver Religious Life Giant Award – NAACP
- 1993 Waller Bergman Award – NAACP
- 1986 Unselfish Devotion – IDMA of Grand Rapids & Vicinity
- CONVERTED & BAPTIZED – Mt. Zion CME Church, Ben Wheeler, TX – 1939
- ORDAINED DEACON – Paradise Baptist Church – Kansas City, MO – 1954
- CALLED TO THE MINISTRY – Paradise Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO – 1958
- LICENSE TO PREACH – Paradise Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO – 1958
- ORDAINED PREACHER – Paradise Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO – 1958
- CALLED TO PASTOR – St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO – 1960
- PASTOR – St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO – 1960 – 1963
- PASTOR ELECT – Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI
- October 19, 1963 Elected
- February 12, 1964 Installed
- Increased the Church Membership
- Increased the Revenue by Teaching and Leading Members in Tithes and Offering
- Expanded the Christian Education Department
- Formed Organizations to Foster Christian Fellowship
Pastor William Moss
In 1927, William Moss was elected the First Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church. Pilgrims Rest first establish place of Worship was 422 Ionia. As the Church continued to grow the members purchased Calvert Baptist church located at 820 Ionia Ave SE. Pastor Moss established some of the first committees and auxiliaries that still exist today. He resigned as pastor in 1930 and continue to be a member until he went home to be with the lord August 19, 1951.
Pastor Arthur Pearson
On Sunday,April 6, 2008, The Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church Selected Reverend Arthur Pearson, Sr. as our Sixth Pastor.
The Pastoral Installation Worship Celebration of Rev. Arthur Pearson, Sr was held Sunday, June 29, 2008, at 3:30 P.M. with Pastor Clifton Rhodes Giving the “Charge to The Church” and Pastor Eula Gaddis Giving the “Charge to The Pastor”.
Pastor Pearson rearranged the Deacon and Trustee Boards and added Seven Deacons. Under his Leadership, we had a total of Thirteen Deacons and Twelve Trustees.
In 2008 – 2011, The Church Continued to Grow Spiritually, Financially and Many Souls Were Added.
In 2012, Due to a Change in Direction, The Church Voted to Dismiss Reverend Arthur Pearson, Sr. as Pastor of the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Pastor Will H. Thompson
Will H. Thompson was elected and served as the church’s second Pastor. He moved to Grand Rapids and assumed his Pastoral Duties as the Church continued to grow and move forward. Pilgrim and Pastor Thompsons continue to be Active in the Chain Lake Baptist District Association. In 1934, Pastor Thompson was elected Moderator of the Chain Lake District Association. He continued as Pastor of Pilgrim Rest until 1937. He went home to be with the Lord, May 2, 1950.
Responsibilities of Deacon Board
Deacons have spiritual and moral qualifications that are described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The Deacon ministry uses these qualifications as well as their gifts and talents to serve the Church body as well as the community. With a passion for God, a passion for people, and passion for servicein ministry, serving under the invitation of the Pastor. The roles of a Deacon are Serving in the area of Leadership, Administration, Teaching, Encouraging and meeting the needs of the Church body.
- Support all Church Ministries
- Care for Church Members and the Community
- Visitation (Sick and Shut-In, Hospital, Nursing Homes)
- Minister the Gospel to Believers and non-believers
- Assist with the Ordinances of the Church (Baptism & Lords Supper)
- Pray in Worship Services
- Assist with security of the Church
- Teach Sunday School, Bible Study, Vacation Bible School
- Assist with Celebration of Life
- Juvenile Ministry
“Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established, 1 Proverb 16:3. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied Grace”, 1 Peter 4:10
The Board of Trustees is a Spiritual Ministryelected by vote of the congregation and must be in good standing with a close relationship to God and their lives must demonstrate their love for God, His work, and His people.
Trustees are the Administrative/Legal arm of the Church with Governance outlined in the Church By-laws and to follow Local, State, and Federal Laws, Roman 13:1-2.
Trusteeensures that the work of the Church is financially viable and demonstrate the ability to act in the best interest of the Church,as it fulfills its core mission, “Making Disciples” winning souls for Christ. Matthew 28:19-20.
Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees
A Trustee tracks all Contributions, Distributions, and Expenditures related to the Church. Trustees report the financial welfare of the Church to the Membership Annually.
Support of all Ministries and Outreach Programs.
If needed, Trustee Board they may hire advisors, auditors, and lawyers, in the best interest of the Church.
Trustee Board must maintain the building and property owned by the Church.
Responsibilities of Church Secretary
- PRMBC Church Secretary oversees the operation of the Church office and assist the Pastors, Leadership Team and Ministries with a variety of administrative duties.
- Responsibilities include managing office equipment, phone system, answering phone calls, managing schedules, filing, and generating programs for services.
- Maintain records and personal data regarding all members of the congregation, visitors, and a variety of other issues affecting the Church.
- Ensure that the Church it is running efficiently, accurately, and with discretion for people’s personal information.
Responsibilities of Church Clerk
- Keeping an accurate record of all official actions of the Church
- Keeping an accurate register of member’s names, dates of Admission,Dismission, Death or erasure together with a record of Baptism
- Issue letters of dismission voted by the Church.
- Preserve on file all communications and written official documents.
- Give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated by these laws
- Keep in safe custody the Seal of the Corporation.
- Affix Seal to any instrument requiring it (Church authorization required)
Financial Secretary Roles and Responsibilities
- Keep a confidential, secure and accurate account of all contributions and donations
- To issue an Annual Record of contributions of each contributor
- To receive, preserve and pay out, upon receipts of approved invoices according to the budget of the Church, all monies or things of value paid or given to the Church
- Keep itemized account of all receipts and disbursements
- Render to the leadership team monthly an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements and present to Church body at each regular business meetings
Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church
Why We Give
Believers in Jesus Christ are called to believe, live, grow and practice their faith
Faith that is practiced as a lifestyle makes God a priority over every part of life including our finances…
Our giving is an essential part of our worship to God
We give as an expression of thanksgiving to God
We also give as an expression of faith that God will provide for our needs…
Based on our convictions as Believers here at Pilgrim Rest…
We participate in giving through
Tithes & Offerings | Sacrificial Giving | Grace Giving | Love Gifts
We appreciate your partnership in ministry and your faithfulness in your giving knowing that God loves a cheerful giver! (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
Because of each one of you, we can continue in ministry as the contributions given goes directly to the ongoing ministry endeavors of “Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church”
Thank you so much for your readiness and willingness to give!
Please Use the Following Form to Send us a Message. We can also be Reached by Phone at (616) 241-3315. We Look Forward to Hearing From You.
- 510 Franklin St SE
- Grand Rapids, MI 49507
- (616) 241-3315