Prosperity Missionary Baptist Church is located in the community of Dilton in Murfreesboro, TN. The origination date and first pastor of Prosperity are unknown although it is believed that it was established between 1860 and 1865.
The first church was located on the old Haynes Place in the Haynes Thicket and later moved to the present site. The first church building for Prosperity was a one-room church. Prosperity Baptist Church had worship services two Sundays per month (the 1st and 3rd Sundays); the Methodist church in the community had services on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.
All the children would go to the church where their parents were members for Sunday School and when Sunday School was over, everyone would go to the church where the “preaching” was to be. Both churches worshipped together.
The first known pastor was Reverend Will Henderson. Other pastors that followed him were Reverend Louis McCord, Reverend Charles Evans, Reverend Aaron Jordan, Reverend Hendrix, Reverend J. T. Ridley, Reverend Charles Vanleer and Reverend Harry Alexander.
On January 5, 1956 Reverend George Wade became the pastor. His first message was from the scripture Matthew 28:19-20 “go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world”. In 1961, God saw fit to call Reverend Wade from his labor here at Prosperity to his eternal reward.
On February 18, 1962 God sent us Reverend Marcell Kellar who stayed with us until September 1964. At that time, Reverend Kellar accepted a charge at the Missionary Union Baptist Church in Columbus, Mississippi. Reverend Kellar had one son in the gospel, the late Reverend Robert Price.
It was not until after much prayer and patience that God sent us Reverend John Oscar Jordan in February 1965. Under the leadership of Reverend Jordan, he had three sons in the gospel to accept the call to preach… Reverend Tolbert Randolph, the late Reverend Samuel M. Lyons and Reverend George Clark.
Also, while Reverend Jordan was serving as pastor of Prosperity, we were blessed with a new building in October 1966 and later we were blessed with the addition of a Fellowship Hall/Sunday School Room. Although there seemed to be much accomplished, we were very saddened on December 28, 1989 when God sent his angels to bring another one of his children home, our beloved Reverend John Oscar Jordan.
In June 1990, God again sent us one of his dedicated solders to lead us to even greater heights…Reverend Odie Lee Lawrence. Reverend Lawrence’s first sermon came from Genesis 20:1-2.
We have grown spiritually, numerically and financially in Christ. Pastor Lawrence has led us to become active members of the Missionary Baptist State Convention and the National Baptist Convention of America. We developed a long-range building program for a new sanctuary; purchased a piano, choir robes, baptismal attire and a copying machine.
Under Pastor Lawrence’s leadership the following individuals accepted the call to preach the gospel and served or are currently serving as Associate Ministers at Prosperity: Reverend Earnest Spann, Reverend Gloria Spann, the late Reverend Harold Randolph, Reverend Kenneth Evans, Reverend Albert Martin and Reverend Gwendolyn Kern. Other Associate Ministers that worked under Pastor Lawrence were the late Reverend Doctor Willie Camp and the late Reverend Willie C. Coleman.
On March 28, 1993 we were thankful again to have the efficient leadership of our Pastor, Reverend Odie Lawrence. Many hours of prayer and guidance lead us to be blessed to break ground for a new sanctuary. In the afternoon worship, Rev. Harry Grant Alexander (a former pastor of Prosperity – pictured far left in photo) delivered the Ground Breaking Sermon. May it be a temple from which God will beckon to passerby to come into and sup with Him and find rest unto their soul. We will always remember the ones that are poor, there must always be room for the low, and the ruler will be Him. The building will rot, but the Spirit will live, for its builders in trust will be God.
Again, God has smiled down on Prosperity and shown us “I am not through with you yet”. Through faith and much prayer God blessed us with an organ and an electronic piano.
Following the morning worship service on June 7, 1998 Pastor Lawrence and the Prosperity family gathered for prayer on the ground where the new sanctuary was to be constructed.
On July 10, 1999 @ 2:00 PM the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for our new sanctuary was held. Praise be to God! On Sunday, July 11, 1999 we had our Dedication Services for our new Sanctuary @ 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The afternoon guests were Reverend James Thomas and Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church.
We are very fortunate to have had such strong, capable leaders sent by God to be in our midst, and for this we shall always be eternally grateful. Pastor Odie Lawrence and the members of the Prosperity Missionary Baptist Church Family truly believe that “God Is Still Moving”.