"From the very beginning, Main Street was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, Gospel centered church."
Main Street Baptist Mission was born out of a vision that some members of FBC Pineville had in the early 1980’s. In the preceding years, downtown Pineville had begun to change racially and economically. Many Vietnamese, Cambodian, and African American families began to move into the area. FBC Pineville started the Mission as a church plant to reach these groups (from the very beginning, Main Street was a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural church). In the summer of 1987, the missions committee from FBC Pineville, met with the representatives of the Church Extension Department of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the North Rapides Association Mission Office, and Dr. Leon Hyatt (interim pastor of FBC Pineville). The group agreed to begin work toward the establishment of a mission church in the area.
In June 1988, the Missions Committee, with the support of FBC’s new pastor, Dr. Larry Baker, presented a recommendation to purchase the old Rex Market building located at 312 Main Street. Through the help of LBC grants and two sponsoring churches (Olivet Baptist in Sulphur and Rocky Springs Baptist in Lisbon), the purchase was made possible. Dr. Leon Hyatt, Jr. led an old fashioned tent revival and the ministry of the mission had begun. Following the revival, summer missionaries worked in the area doing backyard Bible studies to gain community interest and support. In September, the negotiations on the building were completed and Guy Pujol was called as the first pastor.
During the 1990’s and 2000’s, the ministry of Main Street Baptist Mission continued to meet the needs of its community – both spiritually and physically. During those years, many programs such as a food pantry, a clothes closet, and tutoring programs were established. Most importantly, the church continued to meet – creating a place where many of the unchurched could feel welcome and hear the gospel.
As the Mission continued to grow and reach its community, God laid it on the heart of several women from area churches to begin to minister to the growing homeless population in Central Louisiana. As it turned out the Mission was the perfect location to reach this population. So in the summer of 2007, women from Kingsville Baptist, FBC Pineville, and Philadelphia Baptist began opening the Mission on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. Soon, the ministry and the number of volunteers began to grow. By 2011, the mission was open for a meal, a clothes closet, a food pantry, and many other services. As these ministries began to grow, so did the ministry of the church. Many of the families and individuals being reached through our daily “Mercy Ministries” began to filter into our church. Many came to make decisions for Christ and many began to call Main Street Baptist Mission their church home.
Since then, the ministry of Main Street Baptist Mission has continued to adapt and grow to meet the needs of its community. The church has continued to expand, and the Mercy Ministry has continued to reach the community. We are excited about what God is doing right here in CENLA, and we are ready to join Him wherever He leads us next.