"The Church That's in
Business for God and God's Business is People"
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
The Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1916 by the late Reverend L. L. Ambler under the name of the New Zion Baptist Church. It was located in the section of the city of Shreveport known as “Bachelor Hill”.
In December 1916, some difficulties occurred and most of the members requested their letter and the church was disbanded. In 1917, a few of the former members reorganized and gave the church its present name “Pleasant Hill Baptist Church”. The church was located in the same section of town on Market Street in a building known as “The Brick”. The late Reverend Bishop Wright was called to pastor. Reverend Wright was succeeded by the late Reverend John Durr. After the pastorage of Reverend Durr, Reverend W. L. Alford and Reverend R. D. Spikes, the church was relocated at the extreme end of Sixth Street on a “Hill” under the leadership of Reverend S. S. “Square” Sims. In September 1929, Reverend D. V. Martin was called to Pastor.
In June 1950, the church was relocated to a frame structure at 1030 Pickett Street. There was a great increase in membership. Due to the construction of Interstate 20, the church had to relocate again, thus the property at 2702 Abbie Street was purchased for the future new site. For three (3) months during the construction of the new edifice, the congregation worshipped in the “gym” of the St. James United Methodist Church located at 850 Hope Street until our new church was completed. On October 11,1959, the church moved to a brand new edifice at 2702 Abbie Street. Reverend D. V. Martin was a humble and devoted Pastor as well as a dynamic preacher. On October 25, 1968, God called Pastor Martin from labor to reward after Pastor Martin faithfully served this congregation of faith for 38 years.
In 1969, Reverend Benjamin Mack White was called to serve as Pastor of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. Pastor White was known throughout the city and country as a caring Shepherd, Big Hearted Leader, Bible Teacher and anointed servant of the Master. The church made tremendous progress under his gifted leadership – spiritually and financially. Numerous renovations and uplift projects were done. Buses were purchased for transportation and outreach ministries were engraved into our purpose as a hallmark for what the church is called to accomplish. Pastor White retired in 1991 from pastoring due to health problems, but continued to preach and teach the gospel throughout the city and surrounding areas, being steadfast, immovable and faithful until the Lord said, “Well Done, thy good and faithful servant.” He was called from labor to reward on May 1, 1996.
Similar to the great, experienced runners in the marathon race, Pastor White merely passed the torch to the next anointed Shepherd of the historical Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Pastor David E. Larmar, an outstanding preacher and God Chaser! Under Pastor Larmar’s leadership, the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church continued to grow at an amazing rate. The Church increased with its existing ministries and created much needed ones to meet the challenge of this present day. They included Nursing Home, Bus Transportation, Senior Citizens/Adult Care, Tutorial, New Members Orientation, Greeters, Homebound Sunday School and Communion, Church Sports, Family Ministry, and the Singles and Couples ministries. Our God is such an awesome God, a merciful God and benevolent God. He ordered our steps and directed our path; and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on February 3, 2003, moved from “Vision to Victory” where we are worshiping today in a brand new $3.5 million dollar edifice located on a 10-acre site at 4670 Lakeshore Drive in the City of Shreveport, State of Louisiana; dedicated to the Glory of God and the use of ministry to reach and teach souls for the Lord.
In June 2013, another era and tenure of good preaching and teaching came to a close as Pastor David E. Larmar completed his God-appointed time as leader. Then the spirit of God moved upon the Pleasant Hill Family to begin conducting prayer vigils and practicing fasting and praying in order to seek whom He would give us as Pastor of our 99th year Christian family, according to his own heart that would feed us with knowledge and understanding. In obedience to the spirit, the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Family, being endowed with discernment, came together on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 and chose Dr. Henry L. Armington, Sr., as its current Pastor. Dr. Armington has been truly revealed to be a special gift to the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Family. He takes his calling as Pastor serious and is committed to the cause of the ministry. His wealth of knowledge and experience are certainly factors that will take the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church to another level.
Dr. Armington preached his first sermon as the Senior Pastor-Elect on September 14, 2014. On December 14, 2014, the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church installed a man with skills and knowledge of administration, leadership and management to enhance the membership and community. The church was energized to rise, act and sincerely accept the challenge of a Twenty- Five Year Vision Plan. Under his cognizance, additional ministries were added to accommodate future church growth and participation in Kingdom Building. A church system of budgeting was established and implemented to ensure financial stewardship, committees were upgraded to departments for more effective functioning, a ‘Forty Days of Purpose’ blueprint became the avenue to keep us focused and attuned to the task, activity, or event at hand and those to come, and a revised, revitalized Vision and Mission statement was implanted upon the hearts of the people to give a never-ending purpose to our existence as a church. Thus, a new era in the life and history of the church had begun as the membership prepared to celebrate its one hundredth year anniversary on February 14, 2016. Dr. Armington has challenged and encouraged our membership to become more fluent in divine indulgence and to utilize our God given talents with a positive aim to aide in restoring and refocusing hearts in “The Body of Christ”.
The year 2016 was deemed as a year of spiritual growth, increased membership, and additional ministries for the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. We began with the celebration of over one hundred (100) new members at our first bi-annual New Members’ Reception and the presentation of our first “Chariot Chaser-Fisher of Men” Award. God blessed us with the addition of five (5) able-bodied deacons to serve on the Board of Directors. A “Smile of a Child” Campaign was instituted to provide encouragement to our “little ones”, ages five (5) and under, as they grow in the Lord and provide us hope for tomorrow.
Our Christian Education Ministry commemorated our graduates by launching the first Annual Scholarship Gala. Quarterly ‘Birthday Bashes’ were organized as another threshold for showing love and promoting fellowship among our members. The pathway was opened for our first female minister to lead in the ‘call to worship’ and to preside in our Sunday morning worship services. We also paid homage to three (3) centenarians in our membership--Mr. Walter Boxley, Sr., one hundred two (102) years, Ms. Applice Guice, one hundred (100) years, and Mrs. Edna Payton Chism, one hundred (100) years--all were long term members.
Believing and knowing that the church was commissioned to spread the gospel, Dr. Armington lead the way to advance our media capabilities to include live streaming with online giving. As safety became a grave concern for the members, our Pastor and Deacons established a system of in-house security and initiated an evacuation plan that would channel the congregation to safe grounds. The church functioned in a blessed atmosphere of prosperity as was evidenced in the members aggrandized giving and consistent financial support towards carrying out the work of the church. Dr. Armington continued to shepherd with distinct leadership as we focused on “Kingdom Building” through the spiritual guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Our membership continued to increase in 2017 by numerous baptisms and others that joined by Christian experience and/or letter. Our ministries flourished with the addition of the Samaritan Helping Hands, Military/Veterans, Public Relations, Praise and Worship Team and Photography. We developed a system by which members could give tithes and offerings through the credit card process. The renowned Dr. Fred Lowry, retired Pastor of The First Baptist Church of Bossier preached an inspiring message of encouragement to the church family on October 29th during the Retired Pastor’s Acknowledgement Sunday morning worship service. Our Creative Arts and Worship Ministry initiated the “Bringing Back the Sound: A Celebration of the Church Choir” program. This event was used as a platform to inaugurate the Eddie T. Youngblood Excellence in Music Award honoring a musician of excellence. Also, our Christian Education Ministry undergirded the restructuring and reframing of the traditional Baptist Training Union to a renewed and revived educational program named ‘Come Alive With the Triple Threat At Five’. The church family continued to be steadfast in its efforts to advance the Kingdom of God.
We are thankful, grateful, and appreciative to those who have labored untiringly for the cause of Christ at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church; those who remain among us and remembering those who are asleep in Jesus. We realize that this Church Family has come this far only by Faith; leaning on the Lord. We’re continuously trusting in His Holy Word because He has never failed us yet! We shall continue to walk together in love, faith, and constant prayer. When All God’s Children get together, what a time, what a time!