Our GMBC History

GMBC Historical Church Summary

The First African American families moved to Hitchcock in 1892, and by the year 1900, additional families had joined them. Recognizing the need for Christian worship in their lives, many would form the nucleus of Galilee. In 1901, a small group of Hitchcock residents organized Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. The Rev. J.L. Luckett served as the first pastor to the young congregation for one year - meeting in homes for worship services and down by the old Perthius Bridge in Hitchcock. Brothers Charlie Monroe and July Brown were the first ordained deacons of this church.

Toiling under slavery-like conditions and hard times, the church was struggling for survival. After the departure of Rev. Luckett, the small membership was blessed with the leadership of Rev. Wright in 1902. Under his leadership, a white resident of Hitchcock donated a building and land to the congregation with stipulations that it be used for church and school purposes only. This blessing would afford the Christians to educate their children and worship in a designated place for years to come.

In 1904, Rev. Alterson became the pastor. The building was remodeled, and Brothers Issac Lewis and Joe Terry were added to the roll of deacons.

In 1905, Rev. Luckett returned to serve as Pastor and Brother Brown was ordained as a Deacon.

The church experienced many changes in leadership, but the group as a congregation, was determined to do God’s will.

In 1908, under the leadership of Rev. C.H. Jones, the congregation purchased church property on North Railroad Avenue, and Brothers Gus Mike and Cal Bell were ordained as deacons. The next three years saw Rev. Rutledge, Rev. R.W. Williams, and Rev. A.C. Ray as pastors of Galilee.

From 1913-1921, under the leadership of Rev. J.C. Cole, the church’s membership grew. A cornerstone was laid, and Brothers Johnny Brown, Abb Foster, Henry Jordan, Boatman Linscomb, and Bro. Warren were ordained as deacons.

In 1932 a tremendous storm moved through Hitchcock and destroyed the church, so it was rebuilt.

In 1934, Rev. C.H. Jones was recalled to serve as the Shepherd, and Brothers Tom Price, Van Zan Caldwell, Joe Foster, Ruben Johnson, Vivian Moore, Sr., Jim Wyche, Sr., A.E. Houston, and Enathan Smith were ordained as deacons.

As the church membership continued to grow, in 1945, Rev. H.T. Smith became the pastor and under his leadership the church’s base was expanded: a baptismal pool was constructed and a new deacon, Ray Kenney, was ordained. Also, an already ordained deacon, Jim Wyche, Sr., accepted his call to the ministry. Rev. H.T. Smith remained with Galilee for 16 years before retiring.

In 1961, God called Rev. Benjamin J. Hunter to be the Shepherd of Galilee Baptist Church. During Rev. Hunter’s pastorage:

  • In 1968, the church moved from the North Railroad Avenue location to this present site, 6609 Fairwood Road.
  • The church cornerstone was laid on July 6, 1970.
  • Liquidation of the church debt was achieved on August 6, 1978.
  • An educational/cafeteria, and a new parking lot were constructed in 1987.

Ministers licensed under the leadership of Rev. Hunter were: Rev. Leo Humphrey, Rev. George Jamison, Rev. Ruben Johnson, Rev. Andrew Robinson, and Rev. Al Stevenson.

Deacons ordained under the leadership of Rev. Hunter were: Brothers T.C. Alcorn, Jim Allen, Emerson Allen, Robert Lee, W.D. Benefield, Sr., Gregory Benefield, Michael Hunter, Cleveland Lane, Matthew McDaniel, Thomas McNeal, Roy Mathews, Samuel Richardson, and R.C. Williams. Also serving on the Deacon Board was Bro. Edwin Lestrick, who joined Galilee as a transfer deacon.

Pastor Hunter appointed the following Trustees under his leadership: Purvis Cotton, Willie George, George Haynes, Roy Mathews, Tobias Stubblefield, Ernest Scott, Dennis Simpson, T. Townsend, Daniel Wilkins, and R.C. Williams.

Galilee’s history also includes dedicated sisters who were spiritually willing and ready to serve, like Sis. Melinda Mike Price, who served as the church’s record keeper and secretary for 35 years, and promoter of the idea of a Galilee Women’s Day that is still celebrated to this day.

Throughout the 45 years of service that Rev. Hunter led Galilee as a church family, we saw many accomplishments as a congregation, including the B.J. Hunter Scholarship Banquet held in 1997 and Rev. Samuel Richardson preaching his first sermon in 2002.

In 2005, Rev. B.J. Hunter announced his retirement. On April 2, 2006, Rev. S.D. Siverand became pastor and under his leadership:

  • The church was remodeled and upgraded after being severely damaged during the September 2008 storm, Hurricane Ike.
  • Bro. Pervis Cotton was ordained as a deacon January 25, 2009.
  • Bro. Jimmy Anderson announced his calling and preached his first sermon in 2011.
  • Bro. Justin Williams announced his calling and preached his first sermon on Feb. 8, 2014.
  • The church developed and cultivated social media platforms establishing a name and presence on FaceBook and YouTube, followed by the development of the church website that officially launched on September 14, 2015.

In January 2016, Rev. Siverand was relieved of his duties as pastor, and Galilee persevered without a pastor from January 2016 to May 2017. During this time, Associate Ministers, Rev. Jimmy Anderson, Rev. Samuel Richardson, and Rev. Justin Williams continued to minister to the flock. The Pastoral Search Committee along with others established new bi-laws for Galilee and we began our search for a new pastor.

On October 8, 2017, Galilee installed our very own Rev. Darrell D. Glenn as pastor. Under his leadership to date, several deacons have been appointed: Brothers Johnny Anderson, Charlie Brown, Anthony Jammer, Dennis McDaniel, Ernest Price, and Ralph White.

The church has grown and expanded to reflect the strength of its members’ service, dedication, and faithfulness.

In 2018, the church purchased a new van and implemented a Junior and Tiny Tot Praise Dance Team. The Educational Committee voted on an increase to include more funding for the B.J. Hunter Scholarship disbursements, as well as increasing the number of recipients who could receive the scholarship based on overall contributions.

  • In 2019, a Galilee Church logo was established.
  • In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and with mandatory shutdowns handed down from the U.S. President, Rev. Glenn continued to lead the congregation through prayer and ministry; organizing and facilitating committee conference calling, advancing the FaceBook and YouTube platforms to include live streaming, and continuing encouragement of online giving via the development of the Galilee Church App and church website.
  • In 2021, the church purchased the adjacent land next to our back parking lot and a new state-of-the-art church sound system. And we look forward to so much more to come!

With a strong historical association to the development of Hitchcock, and with its emphasis on music, worship, outreach, and fellowship, the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church has played an integral role in the religious and cultural history of the Hitchcock community. Also, with a wealth of rich history behind us, we will continue to look forward to greater things to come as a thriving congregation and community.