Mt. Pisgah celebrates its 82nd anniversary

On Sept. 19, 1929, Rev. Salina A. Perry under the direction of the Holy Spirit began her mission in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The mission grew to become the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.

The mission continued to grow, thus, a storefront was rented at 30 Humboldt Street for $18.00 a month. On May 7, 1933, the mission was organized and named Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church with seven candidates baptized at the Concord Baptist Church. Rev. Perry was asked by the membership to serve as Pastor and the late Rev. F. C. Scott gave the charge.

On May 22, 1938, Mt. Pisgah was incorporated and Rev. Adams of Concord Baptist Church, through the Long Island Bible Society ordained Rev. Perry.

Mt. Pisgah moved into its first edifice, 754 Quincy Street on June 5, 1939. The cost of the property was $30,000.00; a down payment of $50.00 was used as a binder. Auxiliaries were formed such the Gospel Chorus, Boy Scouts, Friendly Service Club, Busy Bee Club, and the Evelyn Brown Club. The mortgage was paid after years of struggling and the cornerstone laid in 1962.

In 1964, Rev. Perry suffered a stroke that prevented her from preaching on Sundays. Rev. Perry solicited the services of the Rev. Charles Ancrum to recommend a minister to preach on Sundays until her health improved. Rev. Ancrum contacted Rev. George H. Murray, Associate Minister at Merrick Park Baptist Church who preached his first sermon at Mt. Pisgah on the second Sunday in July, 1964. In June, 1966, Rev. Perry departed this life at 84 years of age. The church mourned for one year with Rev. Murray serving as acting pastor.

On the first Sunday in July 1967, the church met for the purpose of calling its second pastor. The meeting was presided over by the late Rev. Henry W. Mariner. Rev Mariner was informed that one name was submitted for nomination that of Rev. George H. Murray. The entire membership voted unanimously and Rev. Murray’s installation service was held in August, 1967.

Mt. Pisgah continued to grow under Rev. Murray’s leadership to the extent that closed circuit television had to be installed. The congregation continued to grow, thus, it was necessary to hold two services each Sunday, 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. In July, 1978, Rev. Clarence Norman, Pastor of the first Baptist Church of Crown Heights informed Rev. Murray that St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church was for sale. A meeting was held on Monday, Sept. 14, 1978 and the congregation voted overwhelmingly to purchase the property for $220,000. On Sunday, Jan. 7, 1979, Mt. Pisgah moved into their new church home consisting of a beautiful sanctuary at 222 Tompkins Avenue, which seats 1,000, a school with 16 class rooms, an auditorium that seats 500, a convent and a rectory each with 30 rooms.

The Mt. Pisgah Christian Academy opened in the fall of 1980 with students from the Pre K through 8 th Grade. Mt. Pisgah’s “First Lady” Deaconess Elizabeth Murray worked diligently with Rev. Murray to keep the Academy running smoothly.

Under Rev. Murray’s leadership nine members were called to the ministry, church renovations were completed, to name a few, new bathrooms were built in the sanctuary, a new sound system was installed, gas burners were added, a new Baptistry was constructed and the heating system was converted to gas. On September 24, 1989, Mt. Pisgah burned the mortgage.

Rev. Murray, always putting Mt. Pisgah first, must have had a premonition. He requested the assistance of his good friend Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Pastor of the St. Paul Community Baptist Church to work with the Officials of Mt. Pisgah in the event He was unable to continue. Shortly thereafter, Rev. Murray suffered a stroke which he never recovered and on May 12, 2000, he passed away. Mt. Pisgah mourned one year, during this period Minister Percy Motley and Rev. Jared Feggans served Mt. Pisgah faithfully.

On May 19, 2001, the Official Board called Rev. Youngblood to assist us in restoring Mt. Pisgah. After meeting with the Official Board, he met with the congregation, and it was decided that he would serve as Interim Pastor/Advisor. Rev. Youngblood placed special emphasis on Friday night prayer service and informed us of the things that needed to be done. Pastor Youngblood was voted in as Pastor Elect to the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church on Feb. 28, 2002, and installed as Pastor on May 26, 2002.

Rev. Youngblood has continued to be a blessing to Mt. Pisgah since his tenure. The school was renamed the George H. Murray Christian Academy after the founder, student enrollment has increased, official school lunch program added, a gym teacher, computer lab and a library added to name a few. The entire sanctuary has been painted, new pews, carpet, the fellowship hall has been remodeled and renamed the Thomas Spann-Adeline Jones Fellowship Hall. That is just a few of the wonderful things that has happened to Mt. Pisgah since Rev. Youngblood’s tenure.

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