On the evening of July 25, 1952 a young man by the name of Rev. John E. Hopkins, then a licensed minister and a member of 44th Street Baptist Church along with sixteen (16) other persons assembled at the home of his aunt, the Late Mrs. Olivia Smith at 4521 South Cottage Grove Avenue for the soul purpose of expressing praises to and thanking God through their prayers and songs.
We do not know what motivated this group; but as fellow Christians we can see the mysterious hand of God moving among them as they are led by divine wisdom of God, and given the inspiration to build a place of wisdom for all people here on this earth.
On that same evening and at the same place the church was organized with seventeen (17) persons present. They being led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit suggested that a name be selected for God’s Holy sanctuary. Those present decided to take votes by secret ballot determine the name of their church. Each person submitted in writing a name. Their selection was the name “New Nazareth”. Rev. John E. Hopkins was asked to serve as pastor. After prayerful consideration desiring above all to please God and lead God’s people, as it is written in the bible; he accepted the call and became the Organizer and Pastor of this The New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church.
Rev. Dr. John E. Hopkins was ordained August 7, 1952 at the 44th Street Baptist Church by the late Rev. C.J. Rodgers, the late Rev. O.C. Marsaw, the late Rev. Joseph Wells, the late Rev. A.P. Jackson, the late Rev. Sammie Davis, the late Rev. Elijah Thurston and the late Rev. F.D. Johnson.
After the ordination of our Organizer and Pastor; our first service, was held at the Robbins Funeral Home, 4652 South State Street, and in this service thirty-five (35) persons joined by Christian experience. We stayed there one (1) Sunday, the membership outgrew the seating capacity, and we began searching for a place of worship with a sanctuary large enough to accommodate our members and friends. We then moved to a renovated theater referred to as the “Old Star Theater” and we remained there for the next four (4) years; praising, worshipping, and thanking God for His many wonderful blessings. Under the dynamic leadership of our Pastor a man of courage foresight and vision, a minister with progressive mind; he decided that we had stayed there long enough, and we should reach for higher heights. Again prayerfully he asked God for a divine revelation and we thank God for revealing to him a heavenly vision bestowing upon him the grace of leadership and directing Pastor Hopkins on how to lead us in his own inimitable way.
It came to pass on the first Sunday in September, in the year of our Lord 1956, led by our Organizer and
Pastor, New Nazareth Family marched into our first edifice located at 735 East 44th Street.
On August 12, 1973 we motorcade into our present edifice. After much prayer and our Pastor’s approval from on high, to secure and edifice of larger confines to accommodate our membership, we made the most eminent steps in the life of New Nazareth, when we made our arrival at 7933 South Yates Boulevard.
Rev. Dr. John E. Hopkins our Pastor and Organizer served New Nazareth M.B. Church diligently until the Lord called him home on Sunday, April 10, 2005 at 7:00 in the morning. Rev. Hopkins was truly “A Man Of God” that preached the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ until his death. We will always love & remember Rev. Dr. John E. Hopkins as the organizing pastor of the New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church.
After the transition of Dr. Hopkins, the Rev. Corey D. Lewis was appointed to serve as the Interim Pastor of the New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church. We thank God for the servitude of Rev. Lewis has he willingly served during the time of the church’s pastoral transitioning.
After being led and guided by the Holy Spirit, searching , fasting, praying and believing the prophecy according to Jeremiah the 3rd. Chapter, in the words of God,…”I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding, God sent us another great man of God. In the month of March 2007 the Rev. Dr. Jarvis J. Hanson was extended the invitation to become the second Pastor and Teacher of the New Nazareth Missionary Baptist Church and preached his initial sermon as pastor on the First Sunday in April 2007 with two candidates for baptism.
Under the leadership of Pastor Hanson, as he continuously builds upon the theological foundation that has been laid, the Lord has blessed this body of baptized believers to grow in a phenomenal way. Souls have been added, lives have been changed, preachers have been called, deacons have been ordained, and renovations have been completed. This was all done by the power of God; we give him praise, honor and glory because we know that God is not through blessing us yet.
Pastor Hanson is a man deeply concerned with leading our congregation with grace & dignity while preaching and teaching the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ. New Nazareth M.B. Church has truly been blessed by God. God has shown us favor! Praise The Lord!!!