We Worship. We Pray. We Fast. It's the essence of our faith.
On July 18, 1958, at Bethesda Baptist Church, 388 South Orleans Street, Grace Missionary Baptist Church was organized. Reverend R. W. McClendon was elected Pastor and Reverend Tippett served as Assistant Pastor. A year later, in 1959, Reverend Coleman Crawford, Jr. united with Grace when the church worshipped in the Veteran's Benefit Bldg. Little did Reverend Crawford know that he would be the future Pastor of Grace. Continuing to seek permanent worship quarters, under Reverend McClendon’s leadership, Grace relocated to 1925 Riles Street. In October of 1961, Reverend McClendon left Grace and became the full-time Pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church, Brownsville, Tennessee. Things continued to change. Reverend Tippett left Grace in 1960 to serve as Pastor of another church. Because Reverend Crawford was active in Grace’s ministry and the church was in pastoral transition, he was a natural fit to become the church’s Assistant Pastor, April 25, 1961.
For a short period of time, Reverend Crawford exhibited the kind of dynamic charismatic leadership that Grace may have been seeking. It was apparent that the small budding membership enjoyed the spiritual guidance that Reverend Crawford was envisioning. It did not take long for the congregation to fill the pulpit seat with another Pastor. Serving admirably as Assistant Pastor, the beginning of a New Year, January 1962 brought a new beginning for Grace. The Reverend Coleman Crawford, Jr. assumed the role and officially became the full-time pastor of Grace Missionary Baptist Church.
Proven over the years that were to come, it was no doubt that these early pioneering members had chosen a spiritual shepherd that would champion their God-believing flock to novel heights. As a man of vision, Reverend Crawford began his leadership crusade to build and expand a church that would reach and serve the “unsaved and unchurched” people of God. On April 7, 1965, Grace took flight again and moved to 1231 North Manassas Street. The membership was growing and Reverend Crawford’s dream accelerating. Eight years later, 1973, Grace purchased a ‘next door’ building at 1227 North Manassas Street. Three years passed and in America’s 1976 centennial year, the mortgage on both buildings were paid in full. For over a half-century, Reverend Crawford had reached, baptized, counseled, married, fed, prayed for and preached to thousands worldwide.
After 55 years of faithful and dedicated service as the Shepard of Grace Missionary Baptist Church, on March 17, 2017, Reverend Coleman Crawford, Jr. passed. Many said, “Pastor Crawford entered his eternal resting place when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called him to his heavenly home.” Without question, he left a magnificent legacy which now rests in the hands of his personal appointee, Rev. Dr. Ronnie C. King. Prior to Reverend Crawford’s passing, he appointed Reverend King to be his Co-Pastor and eventually his successor.
Pastor King assumed the leadership role as Senior Pastor of Grace Missionary Baptist Church on April 7, 2017 and was installed on October 27, 2017 as the third pastor in the church’s history. Under Pastor King’s leadership, a number of ministries have continued and new ministries have been added. The Food Ministry has expanded. New partnerships have been established with Memphis Police Department through its Community Outreach Program, Manassas High School assistance has been provided to students, a Summer Food Enrichment Program has been established with the YMCA & Shelby County School Department and the first residential home was purchased, renovated and converted into a two-family Duplex dwelling. Of the many Grace Ministry highlights, the growth of the annual Watch Night Service has featured the likes of anointed gospel artists Tramaine Hawkins, Earnest Pugh, Beverly Crawford, Ann Nesby, LaShun Pace, Chrystal Rucker and Jekalyn Carr.
After serving thirty years in the United States Navy as a Chaplain, ministering to the United States Military and families throughout the world and meeting, conversing and dialoging with Presidents, Ambassadors and Heads of State about the affairs of many countries, Pastor King enjoys using his gifts and talents to be a blessing to the people of God. Serving as Grace’s Pastor and pastoring numerous congregational churches in his ministry career, Reverend King is continuing the legacy of its two Grace Baptist church predecessors. The third Pastor of Grace constantly reminds Grace members and visitors that Grace Missionary Baptist Church is a “CHURCH ON THE MOVE!”
“WE WORSHIP, WE PRAY, WE FAST - IT’S THE ESSENCE OF OUR FAITH”
To focus on the ‘five pillars’ of a Christ-centered church: worship, study, prayer,faith and fasting.
To become a congregation where worship, study, prayer, faith and fasting are a part of our daily lives!
To magnify the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus under the direction of the Holy Ghost; To promote personal and community worship; To provide opportunities for training, service, fellowship and Christian growth; To minister to the spiritual and physical needs of our members; and to uphold and strengthen religious ethics of the congregants and society.