The Mount Vernon Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1902 by Rev. C. H. Hayes in a small double tenant house on St. Paul Street. Under the leadership of Rev. Hayes, the church was given the name, “Mount Vernon.” At that time, worship services were held in the Odd Fellows Hall of the Union Avenue.
Subsequently, the church moved to 432 South Wellington in a newly built frame building and then to 546 Mississippi Boulevard. Mt. Vernon was fortune to have Rev. Hayes as the pastor in its infancy. He served as pastor for ten years.
Several ministers pastured Mt. Vernon between 1902 and 1956. They were respectively: Dr. W.W. Whitten, Rev. A.M. Scott, Rev. G.W. Jackson, Rev. G.L. Green, Rev. H.W. Perry, Rev. M.C. Durham, Rev. G.F. Hammonds, Rev. W.C. Holmes, and Rev. Cleophus McKenzie.
In 1956, Mount Vernon was found once again without a pastor. In October of that year, a young man with unique spiritual qualities was invited to conduct the service for the church family. That man was the Reverend James L. Netters, whom the congregation felt close to from his very first sermon, “Up Together” taken from Acts 3:1. It has been a journey “up together” every since for Rev. Netters and the Mount Vernon Family.
After 16 years on Mississippi Boulevard, the church family had increased so much that a larger building was needed. In 1973, through prayer, Rev. Netters brought the church congregation to 620 Parkrose Avenue, in the Westwood Community, with approximately 175 members. Since then, the congregation has grown from 300 to over 3000. The large membership ended a “Mortgage Burning Drive” in 1983, with a vision to build a new sanctuary for God’s people. The new Sanctuary erected in 1994, octagonal in design, seats 3,500 people. This dedication was concluded with the members renewing themselves to the worship and service of Almighty God, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
In the years 1972-1976, Rev. Chester Berryhill, Jr. served as the Assistant Pastor. Another Assistant Pastor was not named until April 1990, when Rev. Roger R. Brown was installed as Assistant Pastor. Rev. Brown served for five years. Dr. Reginald L. Porter, Sr. came to us in July 1998 as our Executive Assistant Pastor and served for one year. In January 2006, Rev. Melvin Watkins was appointed Assistant Pastor and installed as Co-Pastor, March 9, 2008.
In addition to holding regularly scheduled worship services, Children’s Church, and Sunday School, the Church maintains numerous ministries. These worship and fellowship ministries are directed by church leaders and /or qualified church members.
“There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place, it must be the Spirit of the Lord.” With these words, Rev. Netters opens the Sunday service. “Expect A Miracle” signs hang in the sanctuary, and we sincerely believe in miracles because we have seen many here at Mount Vernon.