The exact date Leland Missionary Baptist Church was organized is unknown. Under the command of the late Reverend Williams and a few followers who met in private homes on Leland Street, the name Leland Missionary Baptist Church emerged. With the failing health of Rev. Williams, the task of keeping the flock together fell upon the shoulders of his assistant, Rev. P. A. Pickney. They purchased and erected a tent on Jos. Campau Ave. near Goodson Street, which is now Hamtramck Memorial Park.
In 1923, the City of Hamtramck granted a charter to Leland, which expanded to a storefront on Leuchner Street, now known as Miller Street. Having only one date on record resulted in Leland’s official history beginning in that year. Rev. Pickney left the Leland family in 1925. God moved in the heart of the late Rev. H. C. Banks of Monroe, Michigan and the members of Leland to purchase a larger facility at Denton and Moran Streets. Te congregation continued to flourish and the Pastor and members again concluded that a larger place of worship was necessary. An investigating committee led by the late Rev. Lucious Burk, then a Deacon, and Deacon Abraham Knott, found a building at 2432 Finley Street, in Detroit, Michigan. They made a down payment and on Sunday, June 13, 1954, nearly one thousand members and well wishers marched into this building.
After twenty three years of service, Rev. Banks left and the flock was without a Pastor. Te late Rev. Burk encouraged the people to hear the Rev. Eugene Rhodes. Consequently, without deliberation, on Sunday, May 11, 1958, Rev. Rhodes was installed as Leland’s fourth Pastor.
Under the leadership of Pastor Rhodes the church flourished and they completely renovated the church building and dug a basement to provide better accommodations for it’s members.
Again Leland was warned that another move would be necessary. General Motors Corporation had targeted the area where Leland had worshiped for twenty-six years to be leveled to make way for a massive manufacturing complex. Heeding this warning, on October 26, 1980, more than twelve hundred members and friends marched into our current edifice at 22420 Fenkell St. Only six years later, Leland Missionary Baptist Church paid of it’s $250,000 mortgage, thus clearing it from all financial obligations, and on Sunday, October 26, 1986, celebrated with a mortgage burning ceremony.
Since the mortgage burning, we have made several improvements: new roofing, restoration of the Library, expansion of the rear parking lot, wrought iron fencing around both front and rear parking lots, a new ceiling treatment, new draperies and reupholstered pews in the sanctuary. Plus new heating and air conditioning in the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Te revitalization of our church home is ongoing in the name of Jesus Christ. On December 10, 1999 the Rev. Dr. Eugene Rhodes was called home to be with the Lord after 41 years of faithful service to the members of the Church.
After due diligence and search by our pulpit committee, Leland installed it’s fifth Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Cecil A. Poe on Sunday, June 25, 2000.
Under the leadership of Pastor Poe Leland’s emphasis has been on education and as such we have established the Leland Bible Institute which offers classes to our members and the community to enhance our knowledge of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. We have acquired properties adjacent to our church; the former St. Christine’s Catholic Church, which includes a meeting room that is used for AA meetings and other Outreach efforts, a school building, two adjoining houses, 1.4 acres of land and a Brightmoor historical home. This property was designated as a memorial and named the “Eugene Rhodes Complex”, in honor of our former Pastor. Other property were also purchased on Chatham street. We pray that these acquisitions will allow us to better serve the Brightmoor Community where the Lord has led us to establish our Ministry of Teaching. We hold yearly Youth Tent Revivals and Community Fairs seeking to aid others and to lead them to Christ. We have established a 501c3, Leland Community Affairs, to aid in community relations. We have partnered with other community organizations to be in the forefront of community revitalization and we host major community meetings for Foundations and other civic needs. We have become a host site for Angel Food Ministries to help provide food. We continue to remodel and up- grade our current edifice, such as parking lot resurfacing, church roof and the front entrances, allowing us to better serve. We seek to be a beacon light leading souls to Christ.
After much soul searching and talking with the Lord, Pastor Poe made the decision to retire as our pastor effective August 1, 2013.
During this challenging process, Rev. George Clay Jr. served three years as Interim Pastor, and Rev. David Boakai, one year as Pulpit Leader. These men of God served as overseers of the flock: preaching, teaching, performing weddings, blessings of babies, funerals, and maintaining fellowships with sister churches. We will always remember their service of love.
On this day, Sunday, July 16, 2017, we record in our church history, that the Rev. Frank Jerai Knolton, Sr. is being installed as the 6th Pastor of the Leland Missionary Baptist Church. We give honor and praise to the LORD OUR GOD for HE has done Great and Wonderful things.