Rev. L.E. Anderson, Jr., Senior Pastor
Where God Builds People
THE EARLY YEARS
In early 1924, the Rev. Frank Roy Hatcher, a young associate minister of New Bethel Baptist Church in Indianapolis came to visit his sister, Mrs. Luella Tyler. While visiting here, he found a lot of Baptist believers were not attending church in the neighborhood known as the Plate Glass Addition.
Rev. Hatcher organized a Sunday school at the home of Mr. Horace and Mrs. Birdie Johnson. Those attending were: Rev. Hatcher, Bernie (Johnson) Waddell, John Taller and Gertrude (Talley) Tinder. They continued to meet in different homes in the community and in the spring of 1924, Rev. Hatcher, Brother Charlie Johnson, and Green Woods set out to buy a tent. They were not able to make the purchase price on the tent; but, Rev. Hatcher took out a loan from his place of employment, the Eli Lilly Company. When he was able to make payment on the loan, the company told him it was a gift.
The State Moderate, Rev. W.Z. Thomas of Muncie, came and organized the church and the Rev. F.R. Hatcher was called in as first Pastor. The Deacons of the church were: Thomas Hatcher, Chairman; Green Woods; Jerry Mays; Henry Palon and Samuel Edwards.
The first revival was conducted in the tent by the Rev. G.K. Wilson. There were eight additions to the membership. The service was held in the tent until the winter set in, then Mr. and Mrs. G. Woods opened their home to these worshippers. Mt. Pisgah’s first Church Building was located in the “Plate Glass Addition” of Kokomo.
BUILDING ON THE FOUNDATION
Rev. Hatcher served sixteen years as the founder and pastor of Mt Pisgah. He started with only three (3) members and upon leaving there were 300 on the roll. After leaving Mt Pisgah, he pastored Emmanuel Baptist Church in Indianapolis until his death. Other Pastors included: Rev. McBride, Rev. Ray, Rev. Burns, and Dr. Frank S. Kemper ,Sr.
DR. FRANK S. KEMPER, SR.
Rev. Kemper came to Mt Pisgah in 1961 as the Pastor. In 1967 six acres of property were purchased for $18,00 at 1599 E. Sycamore Street. The first mortgage burning occurred April 20, 1969. Another loan was secured from Union Bank and we had a groundbreaking services on May 4, 1969. We marched into our new place of worship on May 8, 1970.
On July 12, 1970, the trustees were given the authority to borrow the necessary monies to build the west wing, which consisted of three classrooms, pastor’s study, kitchen, dining area, and men’s and ladies restrooms.
Later that year, Bro. Clarence Cross, a former member and professional architect, equipped on a classroom as a library in the memory of his mother, Mrs. Imelia Fort and sister, Mrs. Esther Minter. The Mt. Pisgah Memorial Library was dedicated June 1971. In 1987 phase three of building took place with the construction of the east wing. This consisted of a kitchen, ladies lounge, restrooms, another small room and a multipurpose dining area. Remodeling occurred including new carpet, the parking lot was enlarged and the church bricked. Two vans, piano and organ were purchased by the Helping Hands Ministry.
In August 1981, we burned our mortgage, five (5) years ahead of time. In 1993, one acre of land was purchased west of the church, a $400,000 Family Life Center built, a new roof and the lighted cross steeple were added. The church hired Rev. Paul Barrett as assistant to the Pastor.
In September of 2001; after forty years of humble, hard and dedicated leadership, Pastor F.S. Kemper, Sr. went home suddenly to be with the Lord. Under his leadership, God elevated this Church family to higher heights in Christ Jesus. After the 40 years of stable, sensitive and spiritual stewardship of Dr. F.S. Kemper ended, Mt. Pisgah began to pray that God would send a Pastor who had a heart for the people, a longing for ministry, and the capacity to preach, teach and reach.
Mount Pisgah has always been a Church that followed leadership. We knew that we needed to follow the directions of the Holy Spirit as the Lord prepared our hearts to recognize and receive our new pastor. In 78 years Mount Pisgah has had only FIVE men to serve as pastor. For almost one year, the church prayed and stuck together and waited for the Lord to send a man who had a vision from God and who would stay and allow the Holy Spirit to use him to build the church.
REVEREND LONNIE E. ANDERSON, JR.
On October 31, 2002, God clearly heard our prayers and sent who we asked for, who we needed and who He had prepared to take this Church to another level of ministry.
The Holy Spirit moved in the hearts of the membership and called the Reverend Lonnie E. Anderson, Jr., of the Berean Missionary Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama, to serve as Senior Pastor. Reverend Anderson accepted the call to be the 6th Pastor in 78 years at the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.
Pastor L.E. Anderson preached his first sermon on the 2nd Sunday in December 2002. Pastor Anderson came in lovingly Preaching, Teaching and Reaching. When Pastor Anderson came, the Lord ignited a fire (which still burns) in the hearts of the worshippers of Mt. Pisgah.
On Sunday, March 23, 2003, pastor was officially installed during a week of celebration and recognition. Pastor Anderson’s pastor, the late Dr. Ishmael Kimbrough of The Peoples Missionary Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California preached the installation sermon. The late Reverend Willie Sullivan of the Bethany Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia and Dr. F. D. Reese of the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama also preached during the installation celebration.
Pastor Anderson’s emphasis on Christian Education, Evangelism, Youth Ministry, Discipleship and being purpose-driven has revived, refreshed, and refocused our Church on Kingdom business and eternal matters. In just a short time God, through the leadership of Pastor Anderson, had taken the Church back to the BASICS and a higher level of ministry had been implemented.
We are praising God for an awesome spiritual and numerical growth; in fact, because of the strong leadership of Pastor Anderson and the faithful followship of the membership we outgrew our place of worship. In 2005 to accommodate our growth and to help facilitate the vision that God had given Pastor Anderson, a new sanctuary with a seating capacity of 1,050 was built along with additional classrooms and a computer lab.
In the fall of 2006 Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church answered the call to the vision of Pastor Lonnie E. Anderson, Jr. Members began praying and interceding for the need of a Christian academy, as presented in the Pastor’s vision. The following year a group of people, who had a burning passion, met to help incorporate a school. Thus, the Fredrick Douglas Reese Christian Academy was birthed Oct. 12, 2008. Sister Kimberly Bradshaw Fort suggested that we name the school in honor of the legendary Civil Rights leader Fredrick Douglas Reese and the suggestion was warmly accepted and adopted by Pastor Anderson and those who were in the planning stages.
With Jesus Christ as our Captain, the Holy Spirit as our Navigator, and with Pastor Anderson as the crew chief, we plan to set sails on uncharted waters with the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST.