According to the records of 1869, Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church was initially founded as Freeman Baptist Church. In 1873, Rev. James Page, "Father Page" as he was often called, became the first ordained Negro Baptist Minister in Florida and named the church after his wife Elizabeth Page. The church's name was changed to Elizabeth Page Missionary Baptist Church.
Following Rev. James Page’s pastorate, the church selected Rev. Leonard of Lloyd as their leader. After Rev. Leonard’s tenure, the Rev. Benjamin Brown of Tallahassee pastored the church for 22 years. Under his leadership, the church was rebuilt in 1900. The following pastors have led Elizabeth Page Missionary Baptist Church: Rev. F.K. Jones, Tallahassee; Rev. A. Henry, Monticello; Rev. J.W. Kilpatrick, Tallahassee; Rev. Basco Kilpatrick, Tallahassee; Rev. Josh Reed, Tallahassee; Rev. Gilbert Hodge of Greenville; Rev. Homer Jackson, Woodville; Rev. Bert Thompson, Lloyd; and Rev Nathaniel Washington of Quincy, Florida.
In April of 1966, Rev. Elijah Williams of Quincy was called to pastor Elizabeth Page. In 1970 under Rev. Williams' leadership, the church was renovated, renamed Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church and in 1972 a dining complex was added.
From 1989 – 1991, Rev. Sam Phillips, Tallahassee served as pastor. From 1991 - 2010 Elder George Proctor Jr. served as pastor. Under Pastor Proctor’s guidance, an additional worship service was implemented and a Pastor’s Aide Ministry, Trustee Board, Youth Choir, and a Junior Usher Board were established.
In 2000 under Rev. Proctor’s administration, Greater Elizabeth’s financial condition was enhanced and the church underwent its most extensive renovations. Greater Elizabeth purchased four and a half acres of land, added two private rooms in the foyer of the church, an expanded porch, handicap ramp, pastor's study (which includes bath and shower), baptismal pool, finance room, windows, choir chairs, pews, piano, and a hallway in the rear of the church. Rev. Proctor’s advanced vision led to technological updates which included an alarm system, telephone and sound system, computer, copier, and fax machine.
On March 20, 2011, Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church elected Elder Rodney Stewart as its sixteenth pastor. Under Pastor Stewart’s leadership Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church has evolved into a family oriented, Christ-based atmosphere which required a major upgrade and expansion to the multi-purpose center, wireless internet connectivity, a Facebook page, and a church website. Pastor Stewart’s advanced vision led to adding a Church steeple, Church marquee, video cameras around the church, upgrading the alarm system, addition of audio and visual equipment, and moving the audio equipment for the choir stand to the new audio and visual room. Greater Elizabeth has also established trainings, certifications, and partnerships with many agencies in our community to help in the time of need such as: Alzheimer’s Care, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, Hospice Care, Tools for Caregivers – Transitions, Certified TMH Community Clergy/Spiritual Care, TMH Big Bend Ministry for Life, Sickle Cell Foundation Training, Lutheran Social Services of North FL, Community Health Assessment Partners, and have become a Certified HIV/AIDS Testing Site.
Even more importantly, the need for several ministries emerged which included the Single’s Ministry, Men's Ministry, Praise and Worship Ministry, Women's Ministry, Technical Team Ministry, Shepherd’s Care Ministry and the Refuge Ministry. These Ministries were added to broaden the spiritual growth of the membership and the community as a whole.
At that time, the Ministerial Staff consisted of Elder Charles Reddick, but two other licensed ministers were added, Minister Willie Gaines and Minister Kevin Arnold, to help lighten the increasingly growing spiritual needs of the members. In 2014 Minister Gannon Williams was added to the Ministerial Staff, Minister Vashon Ransom (2015), Minister Vivian R. Howard in 2016 (ordained Elder Vivian Howard on July 2, 2018), Minister Elizabeth Green and Bishop Vincent Cooper (2017). Today the Ministerial Staff consists of Bishop Vincent Cooper, Elder Charles Reddick, Elder Vivian Howard, Minister Elizabeth Green and Minister Vashon Ransom.
Behind every great pastor is a great pastor's wife and Greater Elizabeth has been blessed to have had some very outstanding First Ladies which include Mother Elizabeth Page, Mother Carrie Jones, Mother Lula Jackson, Mother Carrie Thompson, Mother Hazel Washington, Mother Nina Williams, Mother Silvia Phillips, Mother Betty Proctor and currently, First Lady Tammie Stewart.
Great leadership requires great support and Greater Elizabeth's Deacons Ministry has proven to be undeniably the greatest pillars of support. The first Deacons were: Deacon James Robinson, Deacon Billy Bell, Deacon Bristle Bell, Deacon Willie Robinson and Deacon Clemon Campbell Sr. Later, Deacon William Spencer and Deacon Clemon Campbell Jr. were ordained. On the first Sunday in November 1924, Deacon Dennis Reddick Sr. was ordained. Later Deacon Charles Reddick, Jr., Deacon John Graham, Deacon Frank Mosley, Deacon Washington Robinson, Deacon Peter Robinson, Deacon Wylie Dassie and Deacon Eddie Jenkins were ordained. In 2001, Deacon Mannix Hawkins and Deacon Clyde Brown, Jr. were ordained. In 2007, Deacon Charlie Robinson was ordained. In 2014, Deacon Carlester Fryson, Deacon Michael Henry, and Deacon Willis McDaniel were ordained. In 2016, Deacon Grenville Hall, Deacon Simon Howard Jr., and Deacon Spurgeon Green were ordained.
Currently, the following Deacons are serving: Deacon Willis McDaniel (Chairman), Deacon Spurgeon Green (Asst. Chairman), Deacon Michael Henry (Asst. Chairman), Deacon Charlie Robinson, Deacon James Graham, Sr., Deacon Peter Robinson, Deacon Charles Johnson, Deacon Carlester Fryson, Deacon Grenville Hall, and Deacon Simon Howard, Jr. Three Deacons were awarded the status of Deacon Emeritus: Deacon Clyde Brown, Jr., Deacon Theodore Mack, Deacon Charles Reddick, Sr. (Deceased), Deacon Chris Robinson (Deceased) and Deacon Eddie Jenkins (Deceased).
No church should be without the loving, caring, wisdom and strength of a God-led Mother's Ministry. The following women have served on the Mother’s Board: Mother Carrie Jones, Mother Elize Bell Lewis, Mother Alice Irvin, Mother Christine Mosley, Mother Lessie Robinson, Mother Lettie Campbell, Mother Mary Jane Robinson, Mother Jessie Lee Reddick, and Mother Carrie Thompson.
In 2011 the following mothers were serving: Mother Rosa Robinson and Mother Doris Hall. Through prayerful deliberation and selection Pastor Stewart chose Mother Julia Jenkins, Mother Alice Fryson, Mother Betty Jackson, Mother Jennifer Gaines, Mother Oleather Mack, Mother Airwinpha Johnson and First Lady Tammie Stewart to establish the Mother's Ministry. There was also the establishment of a Deaconess Ministry whose members were Deaconess Irma Dassie, Deaconess Angela Huggins, and Deaconess Barbara Greene. In 2017 Mother Shirley Cooper was added to the Mother's Ministry.
The current Mother and Deaconess Ministry members are First Lady Tammie Stewart, Mother Rosa Robinson, Mother Doris Hall, Mother Julia Jenkins, Mother Oleather Mack, Mother Alice Fryson, Mother Betty Jackson, Mother Airwinpha Johnson, Mother Mary Stewart, Mother Shirley Cooper and Deaconess Angela Huggins.
Praise and thanks be unto our God for 150 years of history!
Greater Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church
192 Greater Elizabeth Road, Monticello, Florida 32344, United States