Concord Missionary Baptist Church History
In the Spring of 1959, a group of concerned Christians held several meetings to explore the idea of organizing a Missionary Baptist Church. After much prayer, counsel and consideration, the Concord Missionary Baptist Church was formally organized on May 18, 1959, at the New Testament Baptist Church, where the Rev. George Washington was the Pastor. Rev. Woodrow Wilson Taylor, of the Shiloah Baptist Church was the moderator. When the doors of the church were opened to accept new members the following persons joined: Corrine Burns and Marie Cooper.
Rev. William Prince Vaughn was the first Pastor of Concord. At its inception, there were eleven charter members. The first service of the Concord MB Church was held Sunday, June 7, 1959, at 6316 South University Ave. (Chicago, IL). The first message was “Enough to Start With”. When the doors of the church were opened, Barbara Peters joined. This would continue to be a prevailing thought for Concord. On that Sunday, one member joined, “and the Lord added to the church… such as would be saved”. The Rev. William Prince Vaughn was officially installed as the Pastor of Concord MB Church on July 19, 1959. The Rev. WW Taylor delivered the installation message, “Lead on Softly”.
November 21, 1960, Concord started negotiations toward a new church home. The sum of $2,000.00 was paid on the option. Through the humble efforts and strong convictions of a small band of dedicated laborers, on July 23, 1961, we marched into our present edifice. Pastor Vaughn served faithfully until his resignation in June 1962. Rev. Clifton Brown was called to the pastorate in November 1962 and served until April 1964. Rev. James Fair was ordained under Rev. Brown who had served the church faithfully as a deacon, trustee and member of the Official Board, was called to be the new Pastor. Under the leadership of Pastor Fair, we found the Word of God to be true, for he said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delighted in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down! For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”
Under the leadership of Pastor Fair, Concord continued to grow and prosper spiritually, numerically and financially. During Pastor Fair’s pastoral tenure the church moved from the outer sanctuary to the inner sanctuary and the church mortgage was burned in September 1975. New ministries and departments were formed. Pastor Fair was a visionary, whose leadership helped to build the very core and foundation of the ministries at Concord. Pastor Fair was very involved in the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) at all levels. Concord is still very much an active part of the PNBC. On August 14, 1994, after returning home from the PNBC annual session which was held in Memphis, TN, he sang his last hymn, “When We All Get To Heaven” , preached his last sermon “It’s Time to Walk”, and prayed his last prayer, “Lord help them to accept what you are about to do Thy will be done”. He then sat down in his chair and went home to be with the Lord. During the latter years of Pastor Fair’s pastorate, the Lord blessed Concord with three young preachers: Rev. William Bailey, Rev. Robert Whitt Jr. and Rev. Kenneth D. Phelps.
“Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses, my servant is dead, now therefore arise, go over this Jordan thou and all this people, unto the land which I did give to them, even to the children of Israel” Joshua 1:1, 2 After a bereavement period, and pastoral search process, the pastoral search committee decided to stay within the church family and recommended Rev. Kenneth D. Phelps to become Pastor. On December 17, 1994, Rev. Phelps was elected to serve as the new Pastor of the CMBC. The installation for Pastor Phelps was conducted on January 8, 1995. Rev. Michael F. Mack and the Jerriel Baptist Church of Cincinnati, Ohio were our special guests on that day. Mrs. Gladys Fair (pastor Fair’s widow) presented Pastor Phelps with a purple overlay, belonging to Pastor Fair (symbolic of passing of the mantle).
As we continue pressing on under the pastorate of Pastor Phelps, the Lord is still blessing the CMBC. Under Pastor Phelps’ leadership, ministries have been birthed; (Grace Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Performing Arts Ministry, (Media Ministry, Youth Choir, Praise Team, Liturgical Dance Ministry), Women’s Ministry, Visible Acts of Love Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Joint Board Ministry, Financial Committee, Christian Education Ministry, Youth Ministry, Children’s Church, Senior Ministry, Community Outreach Ministry, Computer Literacy Training, After School Tutoring, Taking it to the Streets Holiday Outreach Ministry, Kenwood Nursing Home Visitation Ministry, Education and Scholarship Ministry) , Congregational Health and Fitness Ministry (CMBC Biggest Losers), Strength Finders Ministry and renovations; (Pastor Fair Memorial Cabinet, Outer Sanctuary Tile, Vestibule, CMBC Marquee Sign Board, New Roof, New Furnace, New Sound System, Bathrooms and the Sanctuary) have taken place, and still the best is yet to come! Several sons, daughters and deacons were birthed into the Gospel ministry under Pastor Phelps’ leadership. Min. Clifford Johnson was the first to acknowledge his call. Min. Allan Day, Min. Tamikca Day (First Female minister), Min. Marlowe Cribbs, Min. Shakeila (Murray) Jones, and Min. Michele Ames. Dea. Hugh “Teddy” Jackson, Deacon Michael Walker, Deacon Emanuel Phillips, Deacon Jonathan Mitchell, Deacon Kourtney Johnson and Deacon Virgil Fleming were all ordained. Roderick Hampton, Sylvester “Junie” Ames, Harold Matthews, and Russell Peoples were the first ministry armor bearers.
In 2010 while working on his Doctorate of Ministry Degree at the Northern Seminary, as a part of his ministry intervention for the thesis, Pastor Phelps initiated Small Group Ministries at the CMBC Church. The focus of the first Small Group Ministry was the Elements of A Healthy Church. The CMBC Small Group Ministry had a profound impact on our church, resulting in increased ministry engagement, missions and community outreach.
On April 11, 2012, Pastor Phelps Successfully defended his Doctorate of Ministry thesis and became Rev. Dr. Kenneth D. Phelps. On June 2, 2012, Dr. Phelps graduated from Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois and received his Doctorate of Ministry degree, with an emphasis in Leadership and Preaching. The commencement ceremony was held at Elmhurst College Hammerschmidt Chapel in Elmhurst, Illinois. The congregation attended the graduation ceremony and the Phelps family had a graduation celebration at their home.
Other Highlights from 2012:
• May 6, 2012, Deacon Leo England, preached his initial sermon.
• Min. Shakeila Jones took the Children’s ministry to Washington DC.
• Dr. Phelps established the Jericho Project to address and combat the growing violence and killings in Chicago’s Woodlawn community.
From humble beginnings, the Lord has brought CMBC a mighty long way, and yet there is still a long way to go. Our future is promising and bright. We are excited about our future. We encourage you to become a part of our history.” Each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future when your children ask you, what do these stones mean? Tell them the Lord brought you over… These stones are to be a Memorial to the people of Israel forever” Joshua 4:5-7.