In the Beginning
In November 1984, a feasibility study was conducted in the Wedgwood sector of Southwest Fort Worth, Texas in order to determine the need for a Baptist church that would primarily minister to the need of African-American residents in the Wedgwood community. The survey located 93 African American families, eleven of which expressed an interest in being part of a church in their community.
After securing the Dan Danciger Jewish Community Center as a meeting place Rev. Ricky Armstrong; founder and first Pastor of the congregation that was to be known as Great Commission Baptist Church (GCBC), and his family met with four other families from the community to hold the church’s first Sunday School and worship service. Twenty-one other friends and relatives from other churches came to share in this service with us. On a number of occasions the attendance was as few as seven people.
First of First:
In May 1985, Gambrell Street Baptist Church voted to sponsor Great Commission Baptist Church in its Mission Program. On May 19, 1985, the first members officially united with the church. The first baptisms were also held this same month. The thirteen baptisms brought the total membership to thirty-seven.
On February 22, 1987, we celebrated our second church anniversary. Our highest attendance of fifty was recorded in both Sunday School and morning worship service. Also, during this year Parkridge Baptist Church, Rev. Brad Jones, Pastor, voted to co-sponsor our mission.In 1987, Rev. Robert Glass, Jr. became the first minister to be licensed to the Gospel Ministry by Great Commission Baptist Church. During this period $2,108.98 was given to support mission causes through the cooperative & Association Mission Program and our first Vacation Bible School was also held. In September of this same year, Bro. Joe L. Crawford was ordained as the church’s first deacon.
A Place to Worship:
On February 7, 1988, Parkridge Baptist Church opened their facilities to us as our new place for worship and Bible Study. The Pastor and congregation remain friends of Great Commission Baptist Church to this date.
The Flock Grows:
The Lord continued to bless GCBC and the third anniversary was celebrated on February 28, 1988 with many new members and a new associate minister; Rev. E. Hancock, and two Deacons-In-Training, Bro. Claude “Skip” Alaman and Bro. Ray McNeil.On August 15, 1988, Rev. Armstrong was called to minister in Syracuse, New York and resigned as Pastor of the church and Rev. Robert Glass was placed Interim Pastor until November 1988. In November 1988, Rev. Jesse L. Rutledge, Associate Minister of Pleasant Mt Gilead Baptist Church, was asked by the GCBC Pastor Search Committee to serve as Supply Minister while the search for a pastor was being carried out. On Sunday, May 7, 1989, the search committee along with 16 members voted to appoint Rev. Rutledge in as Pastor.
A New Home:
On Sunday, July 23, 1989, Rev. Jesse L. Rutledge was installed as Pastor of Great Commission Baptist Church. During this time the church was still meeting at Parkridge Baptist Church. It was during his tenure that on November 19, 1989, the church leased and moved to its first separate worship site at 6809 McCart, Fort Worth, Texas. With the acquisition of an independent worship site GCBC was blessed to schedule and enjoy a full church agenda that included regular meetings as well as special events. The membership continued to grow with individuals coming for baptisms as well as by Christian experience. The membership also grew with the addition of three associate ministers: Rev. SeRyan Williams, Rev. Adrian Wallace and Rev. Douglas Henley. It was during this time that the Women’s Missionary Union was formed and Woody L. Glenn was selected as a Deacon-In-Training. On May 3, 1992: Rev. Rutledge resigned his pastoralship. Since the resignation of Pastor Rutledge, GCBC was blessed to have the following ministers serve in the pulpit: Rev.Adrian Wallace, Rev. SeRyan Williams, Rev.Melvin Mayfield, Rev. Odell Theadford and Rev.Eric Arnold.
After much prayer and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Pastoral Search Committee brought forth the recommendation of God’s choice in the form of Rev. Douglas E. Brown, to serve as Pastor of Great Commission Baptist Church. Rev. Brown was formally installed as Pastor on March 28, 1993. Great Commission Baptist Church has experienced and continues to experience a phenomenal growth trend during Pastor Brown’s tenure. At the time of Pastor Brown’s installation there were officially 53 members and there are currently more than4,000. Under Pastor Brown’s leadership more than 40 ministries have been established within the church.
In December 1993, God so graciously blessed GCBC to acquire a 7.1-acre tract of land located at 7700 McCart Street. Along with this purchase the church applied for and become a fully incorporated entity. God blessed us to pay for this 7.1-acre tract of land in January 1995. Hallelujah!
And His work Continues:
In November 1994, God gave Pastor Brown the vision for “A Worthy Pledge” building fund campaign where we might build our own edifice for God. In January 1995, the final payment was made on God’s Land.On November 2, 1997, over 800 members, friends, and guests attended the inaugural worship service at our permanent church home located at 7700 McCart Avenue.In the year 2000, God continued to bless the GCBC family. We purchased an additional 8 acres of land in June 2000 and burned the church note for this building on New Year’s Eve December 31, 2000.From 1996 to 2001 the following deacons were ordained: Bro. Woody Glenn, Bro. Emmitt Miles, Jr., Bro. Melvin Scott, Bro. Lawrence (L.T.)Thomas, Bro. Audie Murphy, Bro. Clarence Brown, Bro. Mark Stevens, Bro. Robert Gaines, Bro. Louis Johnson, Bro. Nathan Carter, Bro. Maurice Toval, and Bro. James Kennard. Also during this same time Rev. Terrence Howard and Rev. Reginald Russell were ordained as ministers. On June 13, 2004 under the leadership of Pastor Brown, the church held a ground breaking ceremony to begin construction of a new 2300 seat sanctuary, Family Life and Education Center, and Administration wing.On March 12, 2006, the church held its first worship service in our new sanctuary.On August 2006, the LT Sports Arcade was opened in memory of our late youth minister, Rev. Lamont T. Thompson.On February 25, 2007, the church held its 22nd church anniversary celebration service in its new sanctuary.
To God be the glory!