With a God led spirit, and a Godly desire to secure a place to worship for a group of disciples in the North East section of Houston, a group of believers met and organized a Church. This assemblage took place Sunday, March 13, 1966 at a house of worship on Autumn Street. Several names were suggested for the newly organized Church. From a far corner in the Church auditorium Sister Ella Coleman rose and proposed the name Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church. To make a distinction between the large numbers of churches with the same name the word “Greater” was added, thus the official name became “GREATER JERUSALEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH”. A name that has stood for a unified people with a Godly spirit.
This group of disciples negotiated a contract to secure a facility at 8312 Eastex Freeway, which would serve as its home for the next three months. It was at this location on March 24, 1966, that the Church was officially organized. This service with 108 members present was conducted by the Pastor S. L. Farris, Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church and Moderator of the American Baptist Association; along with Pastor H. D. Smith, First Vice Moderator; and the Pastor H. D. Stewart, who delivered the spoken Word.
This ever expanding group purchased a facility at 6113 Jensen Drive, which would serve as its House of Worship for almost eight years. June 19, 1966 these Christian Soldiers marched from the Eastex Freeway location to their new House of Worship with Brother Roosevelt Coleman and Wayman Hopkins carrying the Cross.
Many Pastors shared the word until a Pastor was sent to us. Among them were the Pastor Wiley L. Dunn, H. L. Price, Donald Burge and N. T. Burks, Jr.
On October 17, 1966, the Reverend Wilbert Leo Daniels was installed as the first Pastor by Pastor M. L. Price along with the Pastor A. Doyal McCraw. Pastor W. Leo Daniels stood as a giant in the Spirit Arena, encouraging our hearts with such sermons as “It’s Coming Up Again”, “Quit Talking To Yourself”, and many others.
Pastor W. Leo Daniels took a small band of members and embarked on a journey that would take him to the bed sides of all the sick members in both the homes and hospitals, thus a Hospital and Home Ministry began.
Under Pastor W. Leo Daniels leadership Greater Jerusalem moved from selling dinners to support God’s Kingdom to tithes and offering. With God’s plan of financing the entire church building was renovated, three buses and two station wagons were purchased, and an eight room parsonage was constructed, at 2702 Caplin and a day care center was organized.
With a determined spirit to carry out the “Great Commission,” Pastor W. Leo Daniels, along with his wife, Nevarro and the Church family, initiate ministries on KCOH and
KFMK Radio Stations. In addition Gospel Melody Hour was telecasted each Sunday morning on KHTV.
In the next three years the Church membership grew steadily. The Reverend Aaron Jefferson Jr. joined the flock, and became “Special Aide” to the Pastor. The continued growth of the membership and Pastor W. Leo Daniels desire to minister to the individual need of each member created a need of a Co-Pastor. On March 26, 1972, the Reverend C. D. Daniels, Jr. was chosen by Pastor W. Leo Daniels as Co-Pastor.
With a growing membership and additional space needed, a million dollar facility at 8901 Jensen Drive, formerly known as Melrose Baptist Church was purchased. March 3, 1974, the Church sponsored a “Great March on Sin 74.” Thousands of Christians led by Pastor W. Leo Daniels and Pastor C. D. Daniels, Jr., members, friends, Kashmere Stage Band and many City officials marched from 6113 Jensen Drive, to 8901 Jensen Drive, the present location.
In August, 1974, Pastor W. Leo Daniels organized the Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church Private School; the school included a Day Care Center, Pre-School, Kindergarten and Grades 1 thru 8.
Because of Pastor W. Leo Daniels vision for better living conditions for the elderly and handicapped, along with the Church family support plans were made to construct a high-rise facility for them. This vision became a reality with a record breaking award of 2.98 Million Dollar Federal Grant to finance and complete this project.
Pastor W. Leo Daniels was not to witness the fulfillment of his vision. He entered eternal rest April 25, 1977, after a high prolific gospel ministry that spanned more than eleven (11) years.
Pastor C. D. Daniels who had accepted the call in 1975 to pastor the congregation of the Greater Progressive Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana returned back to Greater Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church on May 8, 1977 to oversee the body of Christ. Under the most able leadership Reverend Aaron Jefferson was named Assistant Pastor. Pastor C. D. Daniels fulfilled the vision for a high-rise facility for the elderly and handicapped envisioned by his brother Pastor W. Leo Daniels. On August 19, 1980 the W. Leo Daniels Towers, an eight story, 100 unit apartment complexes with a full service kitchen was dedicated in memory of the late W. Leo Daniels by Greater Jerusalem under the leadership of Pastor C. D. Daniels. Also, nineteen Deacons were ordained; the Church sanctuary was renovated in, the premier of the W. Leo Daniels Memorial Day In Revival, a Leadership Institute was developed to assist newly appointed officer’s function in their assigned positions, and a Senior Citizen’s Bible Study on Wednesday mornings.
The Church maintained “The Great Commission” as forerunner and the Church remained on fire doing the task of Evangelism pledging to stand boldly, and proclaim that “Jesus Is Lord”. The highlight of Evangelism was the School of Evangelism organized by Pastor C. D. Daniels, Jr. There were approximately 125 graduates of this school.
During the illness of Pastor C. D. Daniels, Jr. his son, Pastor Darryl Daniels returned home to assist him. The Church was blessed for 17 years under the leadership of Pastor C. D. Daniels, Jr. until God called him home on October 23, 1994.
After Pastor C. D. Daniels entered into eternal rest, Pastor Darryl Daniels was called to oversee the body of Christ. Under his leadership the church continued to grow and prosper. November 3, 1996 Pastor Darryl Daniels resigned.
On May 7, 1997 Pastor Joe Fred Russell who was pastoring Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Corrigan, Texas was asked to return to oversee the body of Christ. He was privileged to serve under the late Pastor W. Leo Daniels, late Pastor C. D. Daniels, and Pastor Darryl Daniels.
With the church focusing on “Launching Out By Faith Into The Deep” we have accomplished many things. Under this theme Evangelism is the full time ministry of the church. Evangelism is taught in three (3) twelve (12) week classes on Sunday morning along with Christian Education. Our Evangelism Ministry goes from door to door witnessing at least once per quarter. Each first (1st) Saturday all sick members are visited and all confined members are administered the Lord’s Supper.
Between the years of 2000 and 2011, 633 individuals became members of Greater Jerusalem. During this same period 74 have transition from time into eternity.
Many physical blessings have been shown towards Greater Jerusalem during Pastor Russell leadership. Nine Deacons were ordained. A bus ministry with a handicapped bus is now operating, complete renovation of the church with new pews, offices, lighting, additional classrooms. In August, 2002 five acres of land was purchased for future development at a cost of $ 160,000.00. May, 2003 Value Pawn Shop located at 9008 Jensen Drive was purchased, and is now a twelve (12) station Barber and Beauty Salon, Supply House and Record Shop at a renovated cost of $ 104,464.00. September, 2003 Southern Pawn Shop located at 8910 Jensen Drive was purchased and is now a Cosmetology School at a renovated cost of $ 248, 970.00. September, 2004 Sun Dance Auto building located at 2814 Firnat was purchased, and is now counseling center for teen pregnancy, drug addiction, alcohol addictions, HIV counseling, at a renovated cost of $ 75, 579.00. July, 2009 the Community Recreation Center located at 8901-C Jensen Drive with a weight room, men and women locker rooms, a full gymnasium, twelve (12) class rooms was opened at a cost of $ 998,000.00. During September, 2008 Hurricane Ike damaged our church so severely that we held services in our Fellowship Hall. The damages to the church were in excess of $ 500,000.00. During the same storm the Counseling Center located at 2814 Firnat was totally destroyed. The damages to the counseling center were in excess of $ 220,000.00. During the year of 2008 a Two Million Dollar ($ 2,000,000.00) renovation project that included an Eight Hundred Eighty-Six Thousand Dollar ($ 886,000.00) grant from the City of Houston. In November, 2010 the renovation project was completed.
We are Grateful to God for His tremendous goodwill toward this church family and its shepherds. May God’s will for Greater Jerusalem forever be manifested and exhibited through God’s divine guidance and through our obedience to our Leader. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!