By Daphne M. Higgins
“Come along, my friends come along” were the first lyrics sung by the male chorus of the First Missionary Baptist Church of Gulfport during the 110th year church anniversary celebration of College Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss.
For a church that embraces the motto, “Moving the Masses Toward the Mission of the Master,” the remaining lyrics of the song “Ride This Train” were in perfect harmony with it’s anniversary theme, “Laboring in the Spirit: Remembering the Past, Rejoicing in the Present and Investing in the Future” (James 2:26).
For 110 years, College Hill has been a constant servant of the Lord, actively welcoming all to “come along…” as they learn and grow in the Lord.
The celebration began Saturday, April 1, with its annual church picnic. On Sunday, April 2, activities began with Sunday School at 8:45 a.m. followed by the 10 a.m. worship service and a fellowship dinner afterwards.
The message was delivered by S. V. “Sonny” Adolph Jr, pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church, Gulfport, Miss. As the guest speaker rose to the sacred desk, he began his message with the classic gospel hymn, “Shine on Me.”
Adolph used as his topic “The Characteristics of the Prevailing Church.” (Matthew 16:18). Adolph identified three characteristics of a prevailing church: 1) Has the right founder (Jesus), 2) Needs to have the right foundation (Jesus), and, 3) Needs to have the right function (do what Jesus did and more).
He emphasized that we can’t do better than Jesus, but we need to work to do the same things that He did – in masses. He said, “If you don’t do nothing else – remember that you are to win other folks to Christ. That’s our main job. It’s nice to provide clothes, food and do good things but, what good does it do to have new shoes and you’re walking to hell; new clothes on your way to hell, and give physical food but not provide spiritual food. If you really are going to be the prevailing church, you gotta do what you should be doing – serving the masses as the Lord did!”
The message resonated with the College Hill family. During the past 110 years, College Hill has provided evangelism, outreach and other ministries dedicated to remaining a prevailing servant into the future.
The church emerged from humble beginnings under an old oak tree and has made continual advancement in all phases of development: spiritually and physically.
This institution of God has become known as a mainstay to the metro Jackson area, as it remains dedicated to the West Jackson community and those seeking a place of worship as believers. Located at 1600 Florence Ave, Jackson, College Hill was organized in 1907. The current building sets approximately 100 yards from its original site on the south side of Florence Ave.
After worshipping in Robinson Hall, located on Rose and Pascagoula Streets, the present site was set aside by Dr. L. G. Barrett, the second president of Jackson College (now Jackson State University), as a gift to the people of west Jackson for religious services theory, thus the bond between the church and the college was created. The designated tract was to be used for religious purposes.
Throughout its growth, College Hill has experienced many changes. Now under the leadership of Dr. Michael T. Williams, the 14th pastor, the church is proudly responding to the clarion call to emulate and imitate the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.
The members of College Hill have vowed to remain the House of Worship for those seeking the Lord. They are committed to proudly observing the church’s rich history and progress while embracing and overcoming any challenges of the future.