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Rev. Willard Nance founded the church in November 1961 at a middle school gymnasium in Melvindale and remained as Pastor until May 2009 when illness caused him to step down.  He had been an evangelist for several years while working at Cadillac Motor full time.  He had also been broadcasting a weekly thirty-minute radio ministry for many years called “The Revival Hour” on Sunday afternoon.  Ground breaking for the current church took place in April 1964 and services in the new building began in June 1965.


In January of 2010 Evangelist Baptist merged with Downriver Baptist of Wyandotte and Downriver Pastor Thurman Holmes became pastor of the newly combined church.  Interestingly, both Pastor Holmes and the prior Downriver pastor, Sam Curtis had come to know the Lord as Savior under Rev. Nance’s ministry at Evangelist Baptist, joined the church and served in various capacities until being called into the ministry by the Father and then serving as pastors at Downriver.  Coincidentally, as an evangelist and before founding the church, Rev. Nance had preached and brought the message several times on Sunday evenings at Downriver.


Many physical changes have been made to the church over the years to beautify, improve comfort, provide accessibility and enhance the overall appeal of the church.  The things that have remained consistent throughout the years are the church’s love and devotion to the Heavenly Father and His sweet spirit and blessings

Rev. Willard A. Nance

Founding Pastor

We are an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church

Groundbreaking ceremony

April 1964

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