Over a Century of Serving, Sharing and Caring 1891-2020
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church enjoys a rich heritage from its founding in 1891 to this present date. The Church has been exposed to the ministries and leadership of outstanding pastors, teachers, and evangelists.
During a meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Morrow, at 106 Park Street, the first black church in Wichita Falls, Texas was organized with fourteen members in attendance. They were: Reverend Thurston, the Pastor, Mr. and Mrs. Richard James, Mr. and Mrs. Tobie Shepherd, Mr. and Mrs. Henderson Bates, Mr. Andrew Britt, Mr. Pop Thompson, Mrs. Charlotte Johnson, Mrs. Sarah Jones, Miss Mandy Nash and Mrs. Exie West.
The Church was named Mount Pleasant Baptist Church by Mrs. West. Shortly after the church was founded, Mrs. Mattie Norford joined, and in the following year her sister, Mrs. Hattie Freeman joined. After three years of meeting in the homes of the members, the church purchased a lot at Barwise and Colorado Streets and immediately built a small frame building. The first church building was dynamited.
A second lot was purchased a year later on Pecan Street and the church was rebuilt. To their detriment, this second church was also dynamited. But this faithful courageous group that was full of hope, and loyal to the cause, then built a third church edifice in 1896.
Reverend Thurston resigned in 1894 and other ministers were called and served. They were Reverends Jackson, Clay, Brown, C.C. Timble, D.J. James, E.J. McLendon, W.D. Davis, E.S. Spriggs, and J.H. Washington. During the pastorship of the Reverend D.J. James (1894-1913) the church was moved to Brick and Sullivan Streets.
In 1942 Reverend Robert L. Castle was called and served until 1974. As the membership grew, the need for a larger and more accommodating building was evident. Under the guidance and leadership of the late Reverend R.L. Castle, a new church building was constructed and entered in March of 1959 at 809 Harding Street, the present location. During his administration fourteen ministers were licensed to preach, including his grandson, the Reverend Robert M. Castle. In April 1974 Reverend R.L. Castle resigned because of ill health.
Since Mother’s Day of 1974 the church has been pastured by the Reverend Robert M. Castle. During his tenure, ten ministers have been licensed. They are: Reverends D.P. Williams, Simpson Rentz, Johnny Floyd, James Carraway, Tommy Dorsey, Raymond Foster, Joe Davis, Stanley Johnson, Lyonel Lewis and Albert Edmonds. The following men were ordained as deacons: Erastus Blackswell, John Dibble, Leonard Edwards, Horace Pope, Roosevelt Manning, Grady Bonner, Jr., J.P. Rose, Gregory Perry, Levi Maclin, Sammy Ellis, and Ernest Dover, Alonzo Nelson, Andrew Roberts, Robert Williams, Jr. and Henry Henderson. Others who served were: Joe Johnson, George Paul and Billy Williams.
Under the present pastor the church has added a Library, Offices, Kitchen, Dining Area, Women’s Lounge, and a Chapel. In January of 2006 the church entered the newly constructed Fitness Center. The church is blessed with some very strong and loyal ministries (auxiliaries). These groups participate in the church’s monthly witnessing ministry and foreign mission efforts. Over the years Mount Pleasant has assisted the needy of the city and supported all Eastside Organizations. The Church donates gifts to the families of incarcerated men and women each Christmas. Since 1993 the brotherhood has led the church in sponsoring the R.L. Castle Scholarship to assist all High School graduates pursuing a higher education.
In October of 1996 the Starlight Band Drill Team and the Anointed Disciples Drill teams were organized. The Anointed Disciples Drill team has won numerous awards and trophies in performance competition at the District, State and National Congresses.
The Voices of Mount Pleasant and the Voices of Praise are recognized across Texas as they have accompanied the pastor while he has served as President of the State Congress of Christian Workers and the Progressive West Texas District Moderator. Members of the church accompanied the pastor and his family to Dallas August 9, 2003 when he was inducted into the Religious Hall of Fame. Members also were in attendance at Langston University when he received an Honorary Doctor’s degree in May of 2005. Since 2002 Pastor Castle has served as the President of the Minister’s Conference of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.
We are proud of our past, but at the same time humbly praying as we enter the future that God will continue to use us to His glory.