At Greater Second Baptist Church,
our mission is to love the Lord, love others, and make disciples of Jesus Christ as we go.
We are a diverse and welcoming community of believers who come from all walks of life. Whether you are young or old, single or married, or have a different background, we invite you to join us in worship and fellowship.
At Greater Second Baptist Church, we believe in taking our faith beyond the walls of our church and into the world. We are involved in a variety of local and global outreach programs, from feeding the hungry to supporting missionaries around the world.
GSBC HISTORY In 1936 property was purchased at 22nd & Madison Streets and that building was later destroyed by fire. For the next three years, services were held in various locations including Gay’s Hall, Arkansas Baptist College, and a building at 24th & High Streets. In 1939 the church purchased property at 12th & High, and in 1948 the old building was torn down and a new building was erected. Rev. Alf Bosley was called in 1937, and he pastored from 1937 until 1939. From 1939 until 1948, Rev. E.D. Moore was pastor. From 1948 until 1954, Rev. S.M. Mixon was the pastor. From 1954 until 1956, Rev. H.O. Floyd was pastor. From 1956 until 1958, Rev. R.L. Donald was pastor. Rev. Charles Cole was called to pastor from 1958 until 1961. Rev. C.C. Holmes was the next pastor from 1961 until 1963. In order to accommodate the growing congregation, the church relocated; and on March 19, 1962, the church purchased a structure at 29th & High Streets. During this time Rev. C.C. Holmes was the pastor. The late Rev. C.C. Holmes and the late Deacons William Denson, R.J. Carnell, and L.C. Floyd were the pioneers instrumental in this move. Trustees in 1962 were R.J. Carnell, William Denson, G.C. Floyd, Frank Scott, and Sylvester Young. In September of 1963 Rev. Curtis Ridout was named Pastor of Greater Second Baptist Church. The Junior Usher Board was organized in 1965 under the supervision of Betty Wilder-McAllister and Bernice Benjamin. Sis. McAllister served from 1971 through 1993. Growth in the number of youth and the development of the program necessitated a change in the name to Junior & Young Adult Usher Board. Due to continuing growth in 1981, the Junior Usher Board was moved to a separate auxiliary. Sis. McAllister and Sis. Benjamin also formed a youth male choir. The Jolly Bee Club was organized in 1969, and the first president was Sis. Dorothy Day who served eleven years, after which Sis. Willie B. Colclough was elected. There were several other clubs that made great contributions toward the finance of the church: Starlight, Willing Workers, and Universal & Lighthouse, to name a few. On September 22, 1970, a charter was issued by the State of Arkansas bearing the name Greater Second Baptist: the name change was made to make a destination between the other Second Baptist Churches of Little Rock, Arkansas. On December 1, 1972, the church authorized the Deacon Board to seek means of appropriation for a building program through the Baptist Building & Bonds, Inc. The church was later approved by the Baptist Building Bonds, Inc. The first bond for $126,250.00 was dated December 1, 1972, so the church was on its way to a new building. Many dinners were sold as members tried to help raise money for the building of a new church. Greater Second Baptist Church was rebuilt in 1973. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on July 1, 1973. The last worship service in the old building was held on Sunday, May 13, 1973. While the new edifice was being erected, worship services were held in the old Mt. Vernon Church at 908 Gaines Street from May 20, 1973, until January 20, 1974. The first service, which was the Dedication Service, was held in the new edifice on January 27, 1974, at 3:00 p.m. Since 1976 the church has purchased two lots to accommodate additional parking spaces. In October of 1981, the church purchased property at 2817 High Street with the anticipation of building an educational building in memorial to the late Deacon R.J. Carnell, who had donated his property to the church in 1962. The property at 2817 High Street was paid off on October 15, 1983. In November of 1992, the church purchased property at 2815 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The intent was to expand the facilities. This property was paid off in August of 1994. The Our House Program was organized by Sis. Rebecca Hughes. The Mission Society along with the Adult Usher Board prepared and served wholesome and nutritious meals for the residents of the Our House facilities for the homeless every fourth Tuesday. The Adult Usher Board was organized in 1978. Due to the ages of the members, Pastor Ridout saw a need to change the name from the Young Adult Usher Board to the Adult Usher Board. It was originally under the supervision of Sis. Betty McAllister. In 1982 it became a separate auxiliary under the leadership of Sis. Laverne Williams was president until 1989. In 1982 under the direction of Minister of Music, Maestro Danny Jones, The Ridout Choral & Chapel Choir was organized. Sis. Arma Walker served as the director. Maestro Danny Jones also formed one of the largest Young Adult Choirs in the city, which had 75 members. This Greater Second Baptist Young Adult Choir was very well known throughout the city and one of the best in the State of Arkansas. They recorded an album at Greater Second Baptist Church under the direction of Maestro Danny Jones. Cub Scout Troop Pack #599 was organized in 1983 and Carl Williams was the initial Cub Scout Leader, assisted by Donnie Haynes, Rosie Powell, and others. Girl Scout Troop #544 and #545, Brownie & Junior Level, was organized and began functioning in September of 1984 with Mrs. Blanche Odum as leader. Mrs. Verdia Ridout was the Leader of the Brownies and Mrs. Odum was the Leader of the Juniors. Because of the large increase in membership, an Assistant Leader, Sis. Carol Green, was appointed for the Brownies, and Sis. Patricia Wilkerson was appointed for the Cadet & Senior Level. An adult level was also formed. Because of a great increase in the number of youth ages 6-12, other youth ministries were added, which included a sign language choir. In 1985 Sis. Myrtle Griffin organized and introduced the first group of GSBC “Inspirational Fingers.” As the ministry grew, advanced signers (teenagers) were needed; therefore, the GSBC “Hands of Praise” was organized for youth ages 13 to 18. In 1987, the first GSBC Drill Team was organized by Sis. Arma Walker, Sis. Myrtle Griffin, Sis. Joyce Richardson, and Sis. Christine Carrier for youth ages 8 -18. The Brotherhood was formed in either 1989 or 1990 and the first president was Earl Moore. At the time, their function was to oversee the Boy Scouts, the Senior Citizen’s Committee, the Children’s Church, the Scholarship fund, Future Involvement, the Community Elderly Care, and the Mission. Deacon Charles Harris later became the leader. After a decrease in participation, Deacon Harris reenergized and reorganized this ministry. The name was changed to the Men’s Ministry, with over 50 active members. This ministry offered much support and assistance, not only to the church but to the community as well. The Church Constitution was revised and adopted on January 15, 1994. In 1995 Sis. Beverly Aaron initiated a Praise Dance Ministry at GSBC for young girls ages 8 and up to express their love for the Lord through Movement. She was assisted by Sis. Penny Hammond, who later teamed up with Sis. Corla Ridout in 1998 to expand this ministry. Sis Ridout and others included more male and female dancers and initiated such praise dancers as the Precious Treasures, the Ambassadors, the Conquerors, the Agents of Truth, and the Women of Faith. In early 1996 Pastor Ridout informed the church that God had given him a vision for the church to move. After his meeting with the Church Council, it was approved to start looking for a new place of worship. The pastor had looked at First Baptist Geyer Springs, which was not yet on the market for sale; however, he was being directed by the Holy Spirit. On March 3, 1996, the church gave authorization to the Trustee Board to seek financing for the property of the First Baptist Geyer Springs Church at 5615 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock, AR. The “Find Us Faithful Campaign” was organized in May of 1996 by Rev. Gerald Spicer of the First Baptist Geyer Springs Church, which was to be for a three-year period of time. The membership supported the campaign with pledges for a period of three months toward the purchase of First Baptist Geyer Springs Church. Pastor Ridout and the church held prayer meetings for guidance from the Lord for this three-month period. Through many prayers and “Divine Intervention,” the Trustees lead by Chairperson Sis. Carol Green were able to get the financial backing from the bank that was needed to move forward with the purchase of the church. On September 22, 1996, the church voted to purchase First Baptist Geyer Springs Church. The final closing date was October 22, 1996. Rev. Arthur Blood and Rose of Sharon Baptist Church purchased the property at 2823 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. In November of 1996, Greater Second Baptist purchased the First Baptist Geyer Springs facility, located at 5615 Geyer Springs Road. On December 1, 1996, history was made as three local churches all made the transition by caravanning simultaneously from their old church to the new church. This was the date of the first worship service in the new church. Greater Second Baptist then became the largest predominately black church campus in the State of Arkansas. The Dedication Service was held on April 13 1997. To serve the community, in 1997 Pastor Ridout had a vision to start a daycare at the church due to the ample available space. This project was given to the Trustees, and an Oversight Committee was formed with Sis. Pauline Blackburn as Chairperson. On June 7, 1998, The Kids “R” Us Daycare was organized under the leadership of Sis. Jackie Randall and Sis. Pauline Blackburn. Two years later the Day Care was incorporated under 501-(c)3 and renamed Greater Second Care Center, Inc. “The Edu-Care-Care Program” for children from 6 weeks to 4 years and from 4 years to 12 years was in the Before & After Program. The GSBC Communication, our first church newsletter, began in 1997 with David Henderson printing the first few issues. It dropped off and did not get a good startup again until January of 2004. Though it had a slow take-off, Senior Editor Gwen Miller and her staff of eleven persevered in trying to prepare quarterly issues. In December of 2004 after hearing one of Pastor Ridout’s sermons on Staying Focused, the staff changed the name to the GSBC Focus. The newsletter was later published on the church’s website. The Greater Second Baptist Church Wall of Fame Program was established by the Church Council in 1997. After the church moved to Geyer Springs Road and the membership increased, Pastor Ridout saw a need for a Dean of Religion. In 1998 he appointed Sis. Rebecca Hughes to this position as she had been the Mission President and Sunday School teacher for many years. In 1998 Sis. Myrtle Griffin became the sign language interpreter for the church. Thus, GSBC services became hearing-impaired accessible with the assistance of Sis. Griffin. Due to the size of the church campus, it became a necessity to provide parking lot security. During the year 2000, Deacon George Webb decided to solicit members to volunteer to form a security team. During the latter part of 2000, it was obvious that the church was growing rapidly with greater responsibilities to handle the day-to-day operations. The Board and Pastor agreed that the church needed a full-time Church Administrator, and Fred Harvey was hired to fill that position in January 2001. In 2001 The Trustee Board sponsored the first annual fellowship during the holidays for the membership. They organized a Gospel Holiday Celebration to be held every December. The first and second events were held at the Statehouse Convention Center. The third event was held at The Chenal Country Club. The guest artists were Helen Baylor, Twinkie Clark, and Keith “Wonder Boy” Johnson. In 2002 the Life Center was renamed the George Webb Family Life Center in honor of Deacon Webb, who passed away in 2001. The Tree of Life began in 2003. It was a program put together by the Trustee Board to raise money as a means of helping to pay off the church mortgage. The finance for the purchase of the tree was funded by the Trustees. Afterward, many church members purchased leaves or rocks to honor their family members and friends. On a Sunday morning in October of 2003, Sis. Rebecca Hughes, GSBC Dean of Religion, was called by God to her Heavenly home. In January of 2004, Pastor Ridout appointed Sis. Bobbie Earls Robinson as the new Dean of Religion and Sis. Brenda Wesley Williams as Mission President. Under the leadership of Pastor Ridout, a food pantry and a clothing store were opened where anyone in need could receive free assistance. These ministries were operated under the Mission Ministry, and they serve many people of the community as well as the membership. In 2004 the Board of Trustees approved the University of Arkansas of Medical Science (UAMS) Center contract to lease a portion of the GSBC facility to house its Headstart Program. In October 2005, Pastor Ridout presented his vision to pay off the church mortgage in five years using five formulas of pledging, called Find us Faithful II. The goal was to raise $289,000 per year. He appointed Sis. Carol Green as Chairperson. Deacon Charles Harris later became the new Chairperson; this committee was comprised of various members of the church. In 2005 a new marquee was set on the corner parking lot across the street from the church. On November 19, 2006, on the Church's Annual Day, our Cornerstone was laid. St. Paul Grand Lodge performed the Service immediately after morning service. A proposal was brought to the Church Council in 2007 in honor of Sister Rebecca Hughes, who began The Women’s Conference, to change the name of the Annual Women’s Conference to the Rebecca Hughes Annual Women’s Conference. The proposal was approved by the Council and accepted by the church membership as well. In 2007 Dreamland Academy from Texas sought the church’s facility to house a Charter School. After much negotiation with the Trustees and approval from the State, the proposal was approved and classes started in September of 2007 with approximately 200 children. On Friday, November 2, 2007, in Forrest City, Arkansas, the Youth Choir of GSBC was named the number-one choir in the State of Arkansas. Pastor Ridout added one new deacon to the board in 2008. In the year 2008 from January through October, the church added 122 new members. Pastor Ridout proclaimed that on every fifth Sunday, the Men’s choir would provide music. This choir was made up of members of The Men’s Ministry. There were five (5) deacons added to the board in 2009. Also, the church added 120 new members to its roll in 2009. After serving for 46 years as the pastor of one flock, GSBC, Rev. Curtis Ridout completed his earthly mission and went to be in the presence of the Lord on the morning of September 5, 2009. On September 27, 2009, upon recommendation from the Church Council and by a unanimous vote from the congregation, Rev. Robert James was approved to serve as Interim Pastor until one was selected. Rev. James had been a long-time member of Greater Second Baptist, holding various positions such as Sunday School Superintendent, Trustee, Chairman of Finance, and Deacon. In November of 2009, a Search Committee for a new pastor was formed, consisting of three deacons, the Chairman of the Deacon Board (Deacon Carl Williams), Deacon Herman Hubbard, and Deacon Charles Harris. Deacon Williams appointed Deacon Hubbard to serve as chairman of the Search Committee. Also, the Chairman of the Church Council, Sis. Willie Moss Johnson, appointed Vice-Chairman Bro.Thomas Green and Trustee Chairperson Sis. Carol Green, who appointed Sis. Moserine Harris. The two At Large Members, elected by vote of the church membership to serve on this committee, were Rev. Eddie Mitchell and Sis. Sharon Franklin. Per the Church Constitution, these were the seven people who made up the Search Committee. From October of 2009 through November 7, 2010, 172 new members were added to the church roll. On April 11, 2010, the members voted for Rev. David Featherstone as the new pastor-elect of Greater Second Baptist Church. On October 24, 2010, after the six-month trial period, the final vote was held, and Rev. Featherstone was voted as the thirteenth pastor of GSBC. The Adult Education Center was renamed the Dr. Curtis Ridout Education Center in December of 2010. From December 2010 to October 2011, 258 new members were added to the church roll. The First Annual Dr. Curtis Ridout Scholarship Banquet was planned and held in August of 2011. A month later in September of 2011, the Dr. Curtis Ridout Scholarship Fund (CRSF) was fully established. The CRSF was designed to honor our late pastor and to assist students in furthering their education by attending Arkansas Baptist College. The first Homecoming Outdoor “Community Fest” was held on September 17th, 2011, and was a great success. The Five-Year Find Us Faithful II Campaign ended in December of 2010. The church was paid off on November 10, 2011. The mortgage was burned at the church anniversary on November 18, 2012.