Our History: Since 1949

The Ideal Baptist Church was organized on October 8, 1949, under the leadership of Reverend I. M. Woodard, while he was pastor of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas. The church was organized with 13 charter members whose letters came from the Macedonia Baptist Church, where Reverend H.F. Doyle was pastor.

The thirteen (13) members and officers when organized were: A. C. Sanders, Superintendent of Sunday School; Deressa Sanders, Directress of Choirs, Junior Church, and the Church Clerk; James Roberson, Chairman of the Deacon Board; Hattie Roberson, Chairlady of the Deaconess, and Usher Board; Melvina Moreland, Directress of WMS; Andrew Moreland; Alice Armstead, Directress of BTA; Sara Clemmons; Nora Wallace; Reva Brunson; Beatrice McGowan; M. Faye Blakemore; and Laverne Sanders was the musician.

The church was organized in the "Old Antioch Baptist Church", located on the corner of Lamesa Road and Louisiana Street. Reverend J.D. Polk was the pastor.

After organization, 6 additional members were added the same night. They were Fred and Mary Bass, Clint Montgomery, John H. Blakemore, Bud Emory, and Marie Schrock. The members then continued to meet from house-to-house. Brother A.C. Sanders suggested the name "Ideal" and it was accepted by the church body. Within three months, the membership had increased to 80.

Five to six months later, God gave a vision to the people to build. Brother Jim Roberson donated a lot on the corner of Tyler and Washington Street. A 30' x 30' frame was erected on this lot. The first sermon preached in the building was by Elder Amos Taylor of Midland, Texas. The first convert was Brother Jim Whims.

Several months later, while serving as pastor at both Mt. Gilead in Lubbock, Reverend Woodard was called to Ideal. He began to pastor the first Sunday in May of 1950. That same year the church was chartered by Reverend I. M. Woodard.

In 1962-63 the name Ideal was changed to Greater Ideal Baptist Church. The Articles of Incorporation was filed with the State of Texas in Austin in 1963.

The church was blessed with 17 working auxiliaries, 4 choirs and an assistant pastor, Reverend Rase Gowans, Jr. The second Sunday in October is designated the Church Anniversary date.

Under the leadership of Reverend Woodard, Ideal became the first African American church to broadcast over the air by radio in the city of Midland from 1952 - 1964.

During 1976, Ideal came under the leadership of Reverend Rase Gowans, Jr. On Sunday, December 17, 1978, the church was honored in a Mortgage Burning service.

During 1991-92, the church was under the leadership of Reverend L. L. Polk, Sr. From August 1992 to June 1994 the church was without a leader. In May of 1994, Reverend Terry Walker was called to pastor Greater Ideal. Under his leadership several new ministries were incorporated.

In January 1999, Pastor George A. Bell was called to Greater Ideal. The church was expanded to include a Family Life Center. Through the fivefold ministry (Magnify, Mission, Membership, Maturity, and Ministry) the church has reached out beyond its doors and into the community.

During Greater Ideal's history, it has been under the leadership of 7 ministers: I. M. Woodard (1950 - 1976), Rase Gowans, Jr. (1976 - 1985), O. L. Taylor (1985 - 1987), Norris Harris (1987 - 1989), L. L. Polk, Sr. (1990 - 1992), Terry Walker (1994 - 1998), and Pastor George A. Bell (January 1999 - present).

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