Our History

In 1924 a few members of Mount Beulah, the mother church were dissatisfied with the activities taking place. These members along with a few other officers, banded together and organized a church which they named Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. Two ministers worked together in the organization of the church.

This small group of people worked faithfully and purchased a lot at 20470 Wisconsin in Detroit. More people moved into the area and joined Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. The Church grew in membership and made great progress. The name was changed from Mount Lebanon Baptist Church to First Baptist Church.

Reverend Smith served until 1929. The church was without a pastor until Reverend Theodore Williams was called in 1931. A second minister came to the church and began preaching unorthodox doctrines. There was great confusion among the members. Reverend Williams eventually left First Baptist Church. He organized another church and named it Berean Tabernacle. This was in 1935. First Baptist was again without a pastor. The Church called Reverend Pyles who served about three years and rebuilt First Baptist. He was unable to finish rebuilding the church for God called him from labor to reward. Reverend Sandy Gibson who was the assistant to Reverend Pyles carried out his term and was elected for a short period in 1939.

Reverend Charles B. Heath was called as pastor in the spring of 1939. Much was accomplished under Reverend Heath's administration. Due to the fact that there were two churches in Detroit by the same name, Reverend Heath had the church change its name from First Baptist Church to New Prospect Baptist Church on January 7, 1945.

In 1953, the church voted to enlarge their present building. The members were supportive of this effort and contributed considerably. Everything went well until March 1960. Pastor Heath asked the church and Board if they would like to buy the church at 6330 Pembroke. Because funds were low and money was owed on other items some left the church. But he went forward. The members borrowed ten thousand dollars and made the down payment on the Pembroke building. Reverend Heath pastored the church for twenty-eight (28) years until his death in 1967.

In February 1968, after hearing several ministers, our church called Reverend Dr. S. Leon Whitney from Jackson, Mississippi to lead us in the way of the Lord. Under his leadership an addition to the Pembroke property was made and the facilities were expanded to its current structure. There was much growth under Reverend Whitney until his death in 1989. His son, Reverend Dr. Keith L. Whitney assumed the leadership for six years. Reverend Randolph F. Henlon who was the Assistant Pastor at the time served as Interim Pastor from 1996 until March, 1999. On March 1, 1999, history was made in Detroit. Reverend Wilma Robena Johnson, a female assistant pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, was elected Senior Pastor of New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. A new light appeared in the community.

God has bountifully blessed New Prospect with a pastor who loves God and God's people. Under the leadership of "Pastor J", as she is affectionately known, souls are saved, the Word is taught, and the membership grows. After months of prayer and assessing the needs of the church, she presented a vision and plans for the future. One example was the remodeling of the Old Sanctuary and CB Heath Hall to include multipurpose rooms and administrative offices.

Many positive changes have been implemented under Pastor Johnson's leadership. During the first eighteen months, she started a "Power Wednesday" service comprised of prayer, the Pastor's Bible Study class and worship. Two new vans, one specifically for handicapped persons, were purchased to transport members or visitors who otherwise could not attend midweek or Sunday services.

To enhance the church and the community, many new ministries came
alive including the Adult Learning Lab which offers Computers training, Life Skills, Adult Literacy and more. In 2009, Pastor Johnson dedicated the opening of The Light Center, a 36,000 sq. ft. Conference Center, built for the work of ministry, which includes a chapel, nursery, facilities for music and the arts, and 13 multipurpose rooms. Its mission is to promote fellowship, outreach, and growth for not only the congregation, but the community at large. New Prospect continues to shine its light in the community.