Van Buren Missionary Baptist Church will be celebrating its 97th Anniversary on Sunday, March 19, at 11 a.m. Guest speaker will be The Rev. Caliph C. Wyatt Jr., pastor of Monroe Baptist Church of Bellwood Illinois.
Van Buren Missionary Church was organized on the first Sunday of September in the year 1920 in the Roosevelt School Portable and relocated to our present home at 2585 Van Buren Street shortly after 1921. In 1953, the white frame church caught on fire and it was a total loss. The congregation worshiped in Roosevelt High School’s auditorium and Frederick Douglass School’s multipurpose room. Construction of the new church began on March 6, 1953. Calvin Young served as contractor with other skilled members of the church. The congregation was able to move into the basement of the new church during that year. Four years later on Feb. 17, 1957, the main auditorium was completed and the congregation celebrated with a dedicated service filled with thanksgiving. Throughout the years Van Buren Missionary Baptist Church has been lead under the pastorship of Reverends I. C. Ball, Gilkey, and Raspberry in 1932. Also, the Rev. Paul Leon Riggins, the Rev. J. H. Anderson, the Rev. J.J. Overstreet, the Rev. Timothy F. Evans and the Rev. Anthony Kelley. On Oct. 24, 2005, the official board and congregation selected Reverend Dwight E. Mobley, Sr. as pastor. Under his dynamic preaching and teaching, Van Buren Missionary Church is thankful to God for longevity and looking forward to it’s 100th anniversary.