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History of Greater Progressive Baptist Church


Greater Progressive Baptist Church (GPBC) was organized on the corner of Hayden and Ohio Streets in 1953. Rev. H. O. Baker was the pastor. Upon the resignation of Rev. Baker and by his recommendation, Rev. Jesse White became pastor in April 1955. At this time, the church was located at 1412 S. Hanna Street and had a membership of five to seven members. Rev. White was the first pastor to record an album, which included the GPBC Mass Choir. In 1956, the church relocated to the basement of 451 E. Douglas Street. In 1957, the church made two more moves: from 451 E. Douglas Street to 610 E. Douglas and then to 1905 S. Hanna Street.


With the membership still growing, GPBC moved into the theatre building at 1101 E. Creighton. From there the church moved to Creighton and Gay Street. A lot then became available at 2209 John Street (now the site of the church parking lot) and was purchased by GPBC. In 1959, the church purchased property at 2215 John Street where we currently reside. This building was renovated and in May 1960, the GPBC family marched into the newly built church.


Through faith, prayer and much labor, God allowed many volunteers and trained professionals to donate time, money and various skills to the church. God blessed Greater Progressive in late 1972 to march into the newly built GPBC and Educational Unit. The current facility has an 800 capacity sanctuary, a five-room educational unit, six administrative offices, sound room, kitchen, fellowship hall and food pantry.


In later years, GPBC increased the number of worship services from one to two on Sunday mornings and one mid-week service. GPBC added a Children’s Church, three bible studies, and many other ministries, teaching services and programs. Other accomplishments under the leadership of Rev. Ternae T. Jordan include the first CD recording, new accounting system, and the creation of SOAR CDC, which fostered the development of Phoenix Place and Phoenix Manor senior apartments.


Through the years, God blessed Greater Progressive under the leadership of Rev. H. O. Baker, Rev. Jesse White, Rev. C. D. Daniels, Rev. J. P. Scott, Rev. E. J. Smith, and Rev. L. W. Bolton, and Rev. Ternae T. Jordan.


In 2004, The Lord blessed GPBC with Rev. Anthony R. Pettus, Sr. as Senior Pastor. Known as a man that is powerful and prolific in preaching and teaching the Word of God, he has a great vision, practices excellence in ministry and loves people and life. With a mission to impact his community, several initiatives were created under his leadership; 20/20 Vision, a capital campaign, ‘Men of Iron’ Men’s Bible Study and Eden Green Enrichment Outreach Ministry.


Since 2004, GPBC has undergone major renovations in the kitchen, fellowship hall, classrooms and sanctuary, with plans underway to continue to improve the usefulness and beautification of the church. In 2008 and 2009, under Pastor Pettus’ leadership and vision, the church catapulted into the next generation with a significant investment in new video and lighting equipment. It is Pastor Pettus’ belief that we must be good stewards of what God has given us, and we must first build up the people before we build an edifice. On September 1, 2010, Greater Progressive Baptist Church purchased the Old Fort YMCA, located at 2221 Reed Street. The GPBC Family Life Center, as it is now called, aims to turn the community around, one person at a time.


Through Pastor Pettus’ reputation and affiliation, Greater Progressive Baptist Church has been exposed to great preachers of the Gospel with a national prominence and ministries of excellence. The church is poised and ready to reach the next level to becoming a 5-Star Church!

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