The Northside Missionary Baptist Church began January 19, 1952, with the late Brother Manual Huff as organizer.


On the first Wednesday in January, 1952, Brother Huff had a called meeting in the home of Brother and Sister Willie Taylor at 1702 North Clinton Street.  Brother Huff had asked all those who lived in the immediate area and were interested in having a church in the north end of town to attend this meeting. 

Individuals present at the meeting were: Mr. & Mrs. Manual/Lucinda Huff, Mr. & Mrs. Robert/Elvira Esko, Mr. & Mrs. Solomon/Pattie Bates, Mr. & Mrs. Willie/Nonnie Taylor, Mr. & Mrs. L.V./Lenora Taylor, Rev. & Mrs. G.W./Annie Washington, Mr. George Washington, Mr. W.G. Scott, Mr. Roy Sangster, and Mr. Ezell White. Those in attendance at the meeting were told by Brother Huff that the Lord had shown him the need for a church in a dream.  Plans were made at this time to meet at a different home every Wednesday night.

1901 N. Railroad Ave, Decatur, IL

1901 N. Railroad Ave, Decatur, IL

Formal Organizational Meeting

On February 9, 1952, the Church was organized in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Manual Huff.  The meeting was opened with a song by Brother Bates, scripture by Rev. Washington, and prayer by Brother Huff.  The meeting was opened for business.  Brother Huff motioned that Rev. S. W. Hale of New Salem Baptist Church be Moderator.  Sister Bates seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Rev. Hale made some timely remarks on how a Church should be organized.  He then asked for those individuals who had obtained their letters from other Churches to present them at that time. Those members were: Brother & Sister Manual/Lucinda Huff, Mother Ollie Huff, Brother & Sister Solomon/Pattie Bates, Sister Annie B. Love, Brother Dock Huff, Brother W.G. Scott, Brother Ezell White, and Brother Johnnie Phillips.

Brother Manual Huff motioned that the Church will be named Northside Missionary Baptist Church.  Brother Bates seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  The doors of the Church were opened for new members.  Sister Lenora Taylor, Sister Elvira Esko, and Sister Nonnie Taylor became new members.  The motion was made to accept them as new members by Brother Huff and seconded by Sister Annie Love.  Motion carried.

It was motioned, seconded and carried, to give Sister Lenora Taylor, Sister Nonnie Taylor, and Sister Elvira Esko their letters of dismissal from New Salem Baptist Church.  Rev. Hale made remarks on how a Church should run and the auxiliaries the Church should have.  Sister Pattie Bates motioned that Rev. G.W. Washington become Pastor. It was seconded by Sister Ollie Huff.  Motion carried.

Other ministers present were: Rev. P.W. Fields and Rev. T.J. Jackson, Sr. of Antioch Baptist Church.  Deacons present were: Jack Owens and Oliver Slaw of Antioch Baptist Church; R.D. Broadnax, Willie D. Shipp and Isom Bright of New Salem Baptist Church.  A closing prayer was given by Rev. G.W. Washington.

Sunday services were started in the basement of Brother and Sister Esko at 1675 North Clinton.  The first Pastor was Rev. George W. Washington. The first Church meeting was called to order on March 20, 1952.  The membership had grown to 27 members.  At this meeting Church officers were elected.  It was motioned, seconded and carried that the following persons would be elected officers: Deacons: Brother Manual Huff, Brother W.G. Scott, Brother Dock Huff, and Brother Solomon Bates.  Trustees: Brother L.V. Taylor, Brother Willie Taylor, Brother W.G. Scott.  Church Secretary: Sister Pattie Bates, Church Treasurer: Sister Elvira Esko, Church Clerk: Sister Lenora Taylor, Sunday School Superintendent: Brother Ezell White, Usher: Sister Lizzie Woods, and Mother: Sister Ollie Huff.  The following week the Senior Choir and Usher Board were organized.

The Church had programs and sold dinners to raise money to purchase the lot at 1901 North Railroad Avenue from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Moore for $600.  Under the leadership of Rev. G.W. Washington, a basement Church was built on the 1901 North Railroad lot and the membership grew to 110.  Rev. Washington resigned in 1953.

In December 1953, Rev. R.H. Pack was elected Pastor.  Under his leadership, the Gospel Chorus was organized.  The first floor addition was added over the basement portion at 1901 North Railroad and utilized as the Sanctuary.  The basement level was used for classrooms and kitchen area.  Rev. Pack resigned in 1958.

On May 30, 1958, Rev. N.E. Pierson was elected Pastor.  His pastorate lasted for three (3) months, ending in August 1958.

In December 1958, Rev. Floyd Campbell was elected Pastor.  Under his leadership, the pews were purchased, the Church remodeled, the Cornerstone laid, Choir No.4 was established, and the Nurses Aid Society was organized.  Deacon Manual Huff, the organizer of Northside, was licensed to preach.

In 1964, the pastorate of Rev. Floyd Campbell ended.  The Church was split by a large margin, thus leaving Northside at a very, very low ebb.  The New Canaan Missionary Baptist Church was birthed out of the division.  However, by the Grace of God, and the Faithfulness of the few members that were left, God sent a leader, the Rev. Robert L. Washington. 

He was elected  Pastor in October 1964.  The Church advanced in every way. The Church celebrated its first anniversary during Rev. Washington’s pastorate.  He suggested that the Church should set the anniversary celebration closer to the day of organizing, which would be the second Sunday in February. Under his administration the Church was paid off and redecorated inside and out.  New carpeting, a new and larger hot water tank and water cooler were purchased.  On July 9, 1969, the Lord called Rev. Robert L. Washington home to rest.

After Rev. Washington’s death, Rev. David Hudson was Interim Pastor for seven (7) months.  However, the Church continued to flourish.

On February 22, 1970, Rev. Marshall Hughes was elected Pastor.  Under his leadership, the Church grew spiritually, financially, and in membership.  Rev. Hughes started the Mass Choir, the Building Fund, Young Adult Choir, complete First Aid training for the Nurses, Missionary Society No. 1 & No. 2, and the Pastor’s Aid.  A station wagon, two church vans, a bus, and the parsonage were purchased. After much growth in membership and a lack of ample space in the present building, Rev. Hughes informed the members that the Church needed a new building.  All were in agreement. Through various activities and pledges, the Church acquired enough money to buy land on North Morgan Street.  The Church later sold that land and bought the present location at 929 North Lowber Street.  In the Spring of 1983, the Church had a Ground Breaking Ceremony and laid the foundation. After securing a $200,000 Loan, the Church was completed.

In July 1984, the Church had a Grand March, led by Rev. Hughes, from 1901 North Railroad Avenue to the present location.  Rev. Hughes said the Church will be named Greater Northside Missionary Baptist Church.  Rev. Hughes resigned in 1990.

In 1990, Rev. Lloyd E. Jackson, Sr., was elected Pastor.  Under his leadership, in 1991, it was motioned, seconded and carried that the Church would officially be named:  The Greater Northside Missionary Baptist Church.  Several new auxiliaries, committees, and clubs were also organized.  Additionally, the Church parsonage was paid off, and the security system installed.  A weekly radio service, “Hour of Praise”, was produced and provided for the spiritual enrichment of the community each Sunday morning on WDZ 1050am. In 1994, the pastorate of Rev. Lloyd E. Jackson, Sr., ended.  The Church was once again split. The Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church was birthed out of the division.

The Rev. Clifford Mitchell, Sr., was elected Pastor in 1994.  Under his leadership, the dining area of the Church was named the Marshall Hughes Fellowship Hall in honor of Former Pastor, Rev. Marshall Hughes. The pastorate of Rev. Mitchell ended in November 1996.

In November of 1996, Rev. Jimmy D. Waddell was selected to be Interim Minister. In December of 1997, The Rev. Jimmy D. Waddell was elected Pastor of The Greater Northside Missionary Baptist Church.  Under his leadership, an Altar Set was purchased and dedicated.  He led the Church in retiring the Church mortgage and on November 15, 1998, the Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held.

In 1999, The Church’s parsonage was sold.  A full-time Church Secretary was hired.  Her office was moved to the first floor and the Pastor’s Office was moved to the lower level.  The trophy cabinet was built, classroom dividers purchased, Church van painted, funds invested for future building, and the Church’s “Wall of History” is in the making.  Rev. Waddell started the Tuesday Morning and Evening Bible Class, computer classes during BTU hour and also, under his leadership, the Church is supporting Rev. Jesse Jackson and The Rainbow/Push Coalition in the fight for equality in the schools.

In 2000, the preparation of the Church’s “Wall of History” was completed and is now ready for use.  A Steeple was purchased and added to the Church structure; a lighted Church Marquee was purchased and erected, attic fans were installed in the Church attic, and the front entrance of the Church was repaved. 

In 2001-2004, the church interior got a new coat of paint and more lighting added in the Sanctuary and Vestibule. New robes for the Junior Choirs were also purchased; the first Mother/Daughter Luncheon started, and the Father/Son Breakfast. The Nursery was decorated and re-opened for use. A new refrigerator, new office equipment for the finance office was purchased and a new roof installed. 2005-2010, a new van purchased, Assistance Committee was established, and Monday’s feeding of the needy. As we move through another 50 years of history, Pastor Waddell continues to preach the Gospel and teach true Biblical Doctrines as the Church continues to move to higher heights in the Lord. The Church continues to grow spiritually and financially.