Our Mission Statement
To bring people to Christ Jesus and membership in His family, develop them to Christ like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name.
Membership: We incorporate God’s family into our Fellowship.
Maturity: We educate God’s people through Discipleship.
Ministry: We demonstrate God’s love through Service.
Mission: We communicate God’s Word through Evangelism.
Magnify: We celebrate God’s presence in Worship.
Greater New Light Baptist Church was begun in the home of the late Sister Josephine Williams, at 9512 South Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, in early December 1951. There were twenty-five dedicated men and women who had a vision to organize a new church.
On December 16, 1951, a second meeting was held. It was conducted by Rev. J. D. Trahan, the Advisor; Rev. J. O. Barnett, the Organizer; and Sister Gibbs, as Clerk, serving to properly organize the new church. As these men and women began to fellowship into the newly-organized church, Rev. Trahan and Rev. J. S. Townsend were in charge of the pulpit.
The church officers were A. Gus Mallard, Chairman of the Board of Deacons; Willie “Bill” Hill, Sunday School Superintendent; O. B. Burkhalter, Church Clerk; and Mrs. J. D. Trahan, Treasurer. After the officers were elected, Rev. Barnett spoke to the members on the topic, “If you keep GOD in front, no strife can come upon you.” With this in mind, it did not take long for the members to locate a place to worship – a storefront at the corner of 92nd and Central Avenue.
Today, we pause to reflect on the events of the last 59 years. For many of us, this occasion renews memories of the dedication and hard work of former members who were co-laborers. We will always remember working hand-in-hand with them, as we “press forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God” through our Lord Jesus Christ. We remember them for their noble lives, loveable dispositions, and spiritual fellowship. We are especially grateful that one of the early members remains in our midst today.
On December 25, 1951, Rev. Trahan paid the first $100.00 to secure the property of the current location. At the next meeting, which was held on the Tuesday after the first Sunday in January, Rev. Trahan asked each member to pay $25.00 by the first Sunday in February. He received a 100% response to his request. The church was off to a wonderful beginning.
The church was originally called Saint Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church. The name was changed to The New Light Baptist Church with Mary Burns contributing to the name. After the corporation papers were submitted, members learned that another church in the City already had the same name. Hence the word “GREATER” was added, and Greater New Light Baptist Church was begun.
Several fundraisers were held, with the members digging deep enough into their pockets to purchase the current property. The church moved from 92nd and Central Avenue to a garage that sat on the back of our present property, where the services were conducted.
Rev. Trahan and his wife resigned shortly thereafter, and Rev. Townsend was elected Pastor in February 1952. Doc Langworthy was elected as the new treasurer.
By October 1952, there was enough money to start building a permanent structure. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the 3rd Sunday in October 1952. By September 1953, the members were ready to dedicate the church with 135 members on the roll.
Rev. Townsend resigned in August 1958. At that time, the membership exceeded 700 congregants. The number of Deacons had grown from five to fifteen; the Senior Ushers, from five to eighteen; and thirteen Senior Choir members had become forty. There were also twenty-five Junior Ushers and fifteen Junior Choir Members.
Of the 25 founders, we are grateful that one of them remains in our congregation today; she is Sister Dorothy Martin Shell. Further, there are a number of current members who have been a part of the Greater New Light church family for fifty or more years, although they were not a part of the original organization. Our hats are off to Sis. Dorothy Martin Shell.
In October 1958, Rev. Walter Washington was called to shepherd Greater New Light Church. Under Pastor Washington’s leadership, several additions and improvements were made to the original building. We have grown upward and outward. We have added some luxurious and modern conveniences along with some high tech items. After 49 years of dedicated service, Pastor Washington began to suffer a decline in his health. He retired as of December 30, 2007.
After reviewing many resumes and conducting many interviews, Dr. Patrick D. Ross, a multi- gifted man of God, accepted the leadership of Greater New Light, in August 2008. Dr. Ross delivered his first sermon as the Senior Pastor on September 7, 2008.
We have come a very long way during the last fifty-nine years. We won’t turn back. The church continues to take in new members and Dr. Ross continues to preach and teach the unchangeable word of God, to save lost souls. The church will go forward. We will work until our day is done.