Born From Revival
In 1936, a group of Pasadena Baptists began meeting together in the Pasadena High School auditorium for church services. They decided to conduct a two-week revival and invited Rev. L. S. Chambers from Kentucky to be the guest speaker. He accepted the invitation and the revival began on July 19, 1936.
On Sunday afternoon, July 26, a meeting was called to discuss organizing a new Baptist church in Pasadena. There were 51 present who helped form the church, with 69 others joining during the last week of the revival, making a total of 120 Charter Members. It was decided to call the church, “The Pasadena Missionary Baptist Church.” Rev. Chambers was called to be the first Pastor by a unanimous vote.
At a special meeting on August 3, the name was changed to “Memorial Baptist Church.” This was done as a memorial to Christ; to honor the memory of Mrs. T. A. Moore, who was a faithful Christian worker; and in memory of the Texas Centennial, the 100th birthday of Texas.
For the first nine months, Memorial met at Pasadena High School. In May of 1937, the first building was completed at 323 S. Main St. at a cost of $6,000. It was the first brick church building in Pasadena, Texas.
A Time of Growth
In 1942, Bro. H. D. Hale was called as Pastor, beginning a time of much growth and prosperity at Memorial.
By May of 1945, the first church building note was paid off, and in 1948, educational space was added at the rear of the original church building.
As a strong evangelistic, mission-minded church, Memorial reached out to Pasadena. The Mexican Mission on Red Bluff Road was adopted as a mission of Memorial in 1940. In 1953, Memorial Chapel was built by Memorial in the Deepwater area. It later became Thomas Avenue Baptist Church. Many other opportunities were taken to minister to people in the surrounding areas through the years.
Memorial caught a new vision for its future in June of 1978, voting to begin the process of relocating the church to a new area of Pasadena. Dual services were begun in September 1978 at the South Main site and at Miller Intermediate School on Fairmont. Each week, crews would set up and take down chairs and equipment for Sunday School and Church services at Miller. The dual services continued for four years until services were combined at Miller on October 3, 1982.
In January 1981, under the leadership of Dr. Fred Bender, Memorial voted to trade the entire S. Main Street property for fifteen acres of land on Fairmont owned by First Baptist Church. The Spanish and Korean missions of FBC relocated to the South Main St. facilities. Groundbreaking services at the Fairmont location were held on March 28, 1982. On July 22, 1984, all Memorial services were conducted for the first time at the new facilities on Fairmont.
By 1990, growing pains brought the addition of a new educational wing, Fellowship Hall and additional parking. As the church continued to grow, a Multi-Purpose Building for worship and education was planned. The new building was occupied on November 4, 2001.
Digging Deeper & Reaching Wider
As we moved into the Twenty-First Century, Memorial reached out to people in the community by offering Christian concerts; establishing Gone But Not Forgotten, a group for people who have lost a child to death; providing a place for older adults to socialize through the Triple L group, and participating in softball, basketball and volleyball leagues where there were opportunities to connect with others in the community. The church organized House of Hope in order to help people who were in need of food and clothing. Both adults and youth participated in Mission Trips to Peru and Chile, as well as trips to North Carolina, Marshall, San Francisco, Montana and Alaska.
The Awana program was begun during this time, and it has continued to grow each year. In 2014 the Chapel and room 101 (the original fellowship hall) were renovated for Youth Worship and fellowship. A new prayer room was opened where members can pray individually or with others.
Memorial continues its mission to Dig Deeper & Reach Wider and is looking forward to what God has in store!