Where there is no vision, the people perish,” Proverbs 29:18
On Wednesday, November 14, 1973, the Reverend Henry Magee and a group of 77 baptized believers in Christ assembled at 201 Addison Road, Seat Pleasant, MD to establish the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Mission.
The first regular service was held on November 18, 1973, at the Mount Horeb Baptist Church in Washington, DC. On December 15, 1973, at the Second New Saint Paul Baptist Church, with Dr. Edgar L. Williams, presiding, the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Mission was set apart as the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church.
The Church held its worship services at DuPont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church from February 3, 1974, to December 7, 1975. In less than two years, Pilgrim Rest was blessed to purchase and renovate the site at 4601 Sheriff Road, NE, Washington, DC and on Sunday, December 7, 1975, Reverend Magee led the motorcade to our new Church home.
The Church continued to progress but because of illness, Reverend Magee was no longer able to serve as Pastor. The Reverend Freddie L. Jones, son of Parkview Baptist Church, served as interim minister from November 21, 1976 to May 16, 1977, until Reverend Freddie Davis was called to pastor.
On Sunday, July 3, 1977, Reverend Freddie Davis was installed as the second Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. Under Pastor Davis’ leadership, the congregation has progressed in areas to include the addition of many new ministries, choirs and outreach services such as, Feed the Hungry, and the creation of the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Therapeutic Services, Inc., a non-profit which operates The Better Way Program.
In March 1979, God blessed us to purchase the land at 4611 Sheriff Road, NE and on Sunday, April 1, 1979, the property was dedicated to the GLORY OF GOD for our new Church site. On Saturday, May 14, 1983, Pilgrim Rest held its Groundbreaking Ceremony and on Saturday, June 27, 1987, we marched into our new edifice. To God be the glory, in November 2005, we celebrated our mortgage burning! HE JUST KEEPS ON BLESSING!
Resulting from God’s continuous blessings, Pilgrim Rest has been blessed to purchase three church vans, and to purchase all but two pieces of property in the 4600 block of Sheriff Road, of which, 4601 houses The Better Way Program, 4607 houses administrative offices, and 4606 houses the Youth Ministry.
Through Pastor Davis’ teaching and preaching, strong faith and vision, our Church’s Spiritual maturity has been manifested in every aspect of the ministry. Consequently, each month since 1987, God has blessed the Church to have candidates to be baptized! Also, Pastor has licensed 17 ministers of the Gospel, of which, 3 are pastors, has ordained 37 Deacons, consecrated 52 Deaconesses, 32 Trustees, and has instituted more than forty ministries for Christian service and development.
We praise God for His many blessings, but most of all we praise Him for leading us FORTY-EIGHT YEARS BY FAITH.