Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church
Location Name: Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church (Detroit, Michigan)
Location Type: Church (Baptist)
Year Completed: 1928
Architect(s): George Mason
The building serving Little Rock today began as Central Woodward Christian Church. The Gothic style structure made of Indiana limestone was designed by architect George Mason. The church was built in 1928 when two congregations of the Disciples of Christ merged (Central Christian Church and Woodward Christian Church). The building was completed at a cost of $500,000, much of which was donated by parishioners Ella Ford and Philip H. Gary. The building served as a home for Central Woodward Christian for nearly 50 years, before the congregation sold the building and relocated to Troy (a northern suburb of Detroit) due to a dwindling membership. In 1978, Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church purchased the building and has remained there since.
Little Rock was formed in 1936 by six members on the east side of Detroit. The congregation made several moves over the years before moving into their current home. Under the leadership of Rev. James Holley, Little Rock moved in and was able to survive; building a larger and stronger congregation that remains very much a part of Detroit’s religious and social community today.
In the sanctuary, there are several stained glass windows worthy of mention. Original to the church, are two windows designed by A. Kay Herbert and depict Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Also, the African American Pulpit Window depicts several well-known African American religious leaders (Rev. Richard Allen, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. C. L. Franklin, and Little Rock’s own Rev. James Holley).
Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.Sources