0UR BEGINNINGS in 1928 and by God's grace our continued existence has been celebrated with numerous anniversaries: 1968, 1973, 1988 and 1993. Anniversaries are always significant for they represent milestones and hilltops upon which we may stand to look over our past and to look forward to our future.
Mount Pleasant began as a mission of a dozen or more Christian believers first held its services in the schoolhouse on West Inman Avenue. Later they gathered on the porch of the late Deacon Charles Price, Sr. and his wife, Mary. From there the membership of the "Little Red Church" grew. Some of the original members were: Mr. & Mrs. A. Jackson, Mrs. Mary Kato, and Mrs. Babe demons. Until a pastor was called, Reverend C. Williams of Newark and Reverend Weaver were preachers’ on an interim basis.
In the late 1930's the church called the Reverend Herbert Barnes as pastor. Reverend Barnes, who was ordained by the Shiloh Baptist Church of Plainfield, faithfully led the congregation for twenty-one years. Under his guidance a building committee was formed consisting of the pastor, Deacon Charles Price and Reverend Elmer Wilson. These men and many others labored to erect the building that became known as the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church on Grove and Inman Avenues in-North Edison, New Jersey. In Jtifie'1951, “the white church with the steeple" was dedicated. This building served as a symbol of Reverend Barnes' dedication and as well as a place of worship for the congregation until 1985. During Pastor Barnes administration, Mrs. Hannah Franklin organized the first Usher Board. After the first Mrs. Barnes passed away. Reverend Barnes married Hallie. Pastor Herbert and Hallie Barnes faithfully served the congregation until he was called to be with the Lord in 1959. Mrs. Hallie Barnes continued to serve until her death in 1961.After the death of Reverend Barnes, Reverend Norris served as pastor for a little more than a year. Following Reverend Norris, Reverend
James Anderson became the pastor and served for only two years. In 1962 the church was incorporated in the State of New Jersey.
In December 1964 at a meeting presided over by the late Reverend Francis Tillman,
the church elected the Reverend Samuel C. Carpenter as the pastor. Pastor Carpenter began his tenure on the first Sunday of January 1965. With God's help and the sincere cooperation of the "faithful few", an outstanding loan was paid. The church membership began to gain new
insight and was given a spiritual uplift.
In the years to follow, the spirit of the membership was extended into the community and abroad through various programs formed in the church as a service to all mankind. A scholarship fund was established and has today contributed more than $5,000 to aid students in their pursuit of a college education. The scholarship fund was named in memory of Minnie Belle Veal. Mrs. Veal a woman who labored unselfishly as the church school superintendent for twenty- five years and served the community of Edison for over forty years. Missionary efforts included medical supplies and assistance to Mrs. Sarah Cyrus, R.N. at Bendo Industrial Mission, Liberia, West Africa, and financial support to missions in Madra, India, the Virgin Islands and Haiti. Another effort consisted of financial support to a family in McClellanville, South Carolina, where hurricane Hugo destroyed their home and personal belongings
To further the proclaiming of the Gospel, one member, Brother Howard, was called to the ministry and licensed. In July 1972, two members the late Plemmie L. Lawson, and the late Bennie L. Hunter, Jr. were ordained as Deacons. In 1978, two additional members, the late Robert Lang and Randy Lawson were ordained as deacons. In 1982 Reverend Carpenter appointed Mrs. Marion Johnson to the Deaconess Board.
Pastor Carpenter always encouraged involvement in worth’s endeavors led the church to serve as a working tool in the community. Our church has been opened to the local branch of the-NAACP and to other projects to strengthen the community. During the 1960's a local Women's Presbyterian group assisted us in starting our first Vacation Bible School. Many years later in 1986, the church renewed its commitment to Christian outreach by sponsoring annually a Vacation Bible School. Faithfully the church contributed to the work of the Northern Baptist School of Religion.
Under Reverend Carpenter's administration during the 1970's, the former building went through a period of renovation and redecoration. Deaconess Lelia Williams and Deaconess Henrietta Lang in conjunction with the Willing Workers Club spearheaded this project. The late Mrs. Eleanor Waters and the Usher Board furnished the church with new Bibles. In an effort to beautify the sanctuary, a Flower guild was organized by the late Edna Dasher Randolph. Later in the flower guild was named in her memory.
In 1978, after 20 years of wrangling and uncertainty, it was determined that the church would remain on its original site and as a result the congregation purchased an additional 35,000 square feet of land. As the years passed, the federal government and the Edison community agreed upon the location of the Urban Renewal Project. After long and tedious negotiations under the direction of Pastor Carpenter, the congregation accepted the offer that led to the building of the new church.
In February 1984, the Groundbreaking Service was held for the construction of the new building. Mrs. Daisy Anderson, representing the older member of the church, and Miss Charese Henry, the youngest participated in lifting the first shovel of dirt from the ground. Later that year in November Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge conducted the Cornerstone Laying Ceremony. Representatives from the community and the church family were present to witness this long awaited event.
The final worship services were held in the old building on Easter Sunday April 7,1985. Reverend Carpenter preached on the "Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ". With memories of the old church still fresh in our minds and its destiny unspoken, the congregation made the long walk, led by Reverend Samuel C. Carpenter and the Deacon Board to the new edifice. A hush of reverence was noted as the first service in the new building was conducted in the new church and the congregation read responsively, "Give and it shall be given you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running, over, will He put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:38) the first baptismal service in the new building was held after the morning service on Sunday, April 28, 1985. Nine candidates were baptized on that glorious day.
Through the thirty years of his administration, Pastor Carpenter stressed achievement through love, loyalty, understanding and cooperation. Truly, those years and his time with us were appreciated and contributed greatly to our walk with Christ. We were blessed with peace, love and goodwill in membership and finances. Pastor Carpenter departed from this life on May 1995
On Father's Day, June 18, 1995, the congregation voted to accept the Reverend B. R. Mims as pastor. On September 24, 1995, the church installed him as the 5th pastor of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Edison, New Jersey. Under divine direction Pastor Mims led the congregation to a holistic ministry that strived to meet the total needs of individuals, the church' and community. His innovative leadership led him to assess the needs of the church, seize the goals of past pastors and establish new ministries to meet the needs of the congregation and the community. Through his leadership, the church restructured interior space to provide for a church business office, an audio visual sound booth and taping booth, a projection system, purchased a bus for outreach ministry, a copy machine, computer, color printer, while at the same time ensuring that the church would remain debt-free.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, sound doctrines and visionary leadership, Mt. Pleasant experienced being "Bible Fed and Spirit Led". This experience led to the Spirit birth of two sons to provide support to the Mt. Pleasant ministry, Minister Oscar L. Turk, Jr. and Brother David McDaniel.
We are thankful that the Lord gave Pastor Mims the courage to teach and preach without compromise. Pastor Mims and his wife, Sister V. Erlena Mims gave unselfishly and untiringly to the support of the congregation and the ministries of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
The Reverend Tom J. Culley was elected as Pastor by the congregation on May 29, 2009, becoming the sixth Pastor in the history of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. He initiated many positive changes to the church by bringing the congregation closer together, such as modifying the worship service format, re-establishing the Usher Ministry, organized a new Gospel Choir, enhanced the visitor welcome package, initiated a church website, newsletter and Internet Streaming of worship services; refurbished the church physically and revitalized the church spiritually.