Over 118 years
of service in the Houston Heights community
THE MOUNTAIN CHURCH HISTORY
1899 – 2016
Mt. Sinai Baptist Church had its beginning on the second Sunday in October 1899, with a meeting called by Rev. Jim McCarty in the home of Bro. & Sis. Allen Nelson. The following persons were the organizers and first members of what was to become known as Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. They were: Rev. Jim McCarthy, Bro. Allen Nelson, Bro. Green Watson, Bro. Aaron Thomas, Bro. Sam Steward, Sis. Jane Watson, Sis. Bettie Haywood, Sis. Sarah McCarthy, Sis. Elvira Harry, Sis. Eliza Thomas and Sis. E. Nelson. During a prayer meeting these eleven members called their first pastor, Rev. John Burden. Under his leadership the church outgrew the home of Bro. & Sis. Nelson and they built a harbor on the corner of West 8th and Waverly Streets. They worshiped in this harbor until they purchased a tract of land near the railroad tracks on Nicholson; here, they built the first church house.
The second pastor of Mt. Sinai Church was Rev. Gabe Alfred. From 1917 to 1924 Mt. Sinai continued to progress under its third pastor, Rev. W. M. Jones.
Mt. Sinai’s fourth pastor was Rev. J. E. Jenkins, who served the church family from 1924 to 1930. The church experienced rapid progress. In 1926, a disastrous fire destroyed the church building. In 1928, two years later, they rebuilt the church. It was a jubilant year in 1928; Mt. Sinai moved into its new church home on the corner of West 8th and Lawrence streets.
The fifth pastor, Rev. A. L. Roach, served from 1930 -1941 and the church continued to grow. Rev. W. B. Meyers became the sixth pastor in 1941, serving until 1948. Under his administration, the existing frame church was paid in full as the church progressively continued. Rev. W. E. Walker, the seventh pastor of Mt. Sinai faithfully led the congregation from 1948 -1964. During his tenure, the church was remodeled at a cost of $20,000.00. In 1964, the church experienced the death of Rev. W. E. Walker.
Assured that God had answered their prayers, He sent their eighth pastor, Dr. Samuel Jackson Gilbert Sr. This now ‘living legend’ began his tenure in 1964 with rapid and tremendous progress. A new parsonage was built and the congregation entered a new church building erected on the corner of 8th Street and Herkimer. In addition, five lots were purchased in excess of $500,000.00. Eleven other lots were purchased and developed for spacious parking.
November 11, 2000, Dr. Samuel J. Gilbert Sr. retired as pastor of our Church. He is the first pastor in our history to retire from Mt. Sinai Baptist Church.
January 1, 2000, our retired pastor’s son, the young dynamic Dr. Samuel J. Gilbert II became our Senior Pastor. Under his leadership we moved to another level as he cast his vision of debt retirement. The principal of the church loan was paid down tremendously. In November 2000, Pastor Gilbert II named our Multi-purpose Center in honor of our former pastor “ The Dr. S.J. Gilbert Sr. Family Life Center”.
"Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions." Joel 2:28b God's word began to manifest right before the eyes of His people through the leadership of Pastor Gilbert II. During 2006, Pastor Gilbert II began to renovate our church facilities at a cost in excess of $100,000.00. Obvious changes have continued to improve our facilities since that time. His vision became even clearer to the church family.
And finally, on May 30, 2012, we paid off our 1.5 million dollar school & multi-purpose center. We held our mortgage burning on July 1, 2012...a vision revealed and a dream fulfilled! And we celebrated the marvelous hand of Christ on us as His body as we concluded a seven year ministry journey with great joy at the end of 2012.
God proves to continuously do 'a new thing' through the minds of His people. The beginning of 2016 ushered in an exciting time for us, redefining us as 'God's field' and creating an awakening within us to develop a sole dependence on the leadership of our shepherd just as he has for Christ, the Good Shepherd. In other words, we agree with Paul's model when he said, "Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ." We agree to eat where He feeds and follow where He (Christ) leads!
Looking retrospectively over 118 years, we have survived only by trusting in God, believing in God, and depending on God. Looking futuristically, we anticipate God's promise to us. "God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." Acts 2:17a.
Staff Members & Officers
Dr. Samuel J. Gilbert II