Where It All Began
Mount Pleasant A.M.E. Church came into existence in the 18th century at its present location. During this era, Mount Pleasant was known as Pleasant Hill A.M.E. Church. In 1881 the people in the community worshipped in a building, which was rented from Mr. John Reese. The property was later purchased from Mr. Reese and a new church was erected for worshiping. During the week, Pleasant Hill was used as a school and on Sundays as a place of worship.
Sunday mornings started with Sunday School being taught by Miss Josephine Fax and Mrs. Alberta Norris under the supervision of the superintendent Mr. Isaac Ghee, grandfather of Brother Clarence Ghee, one of the musicians at the new Mount Pleasant A.M.E. Church. Prior to Bro. Isaac Ghee becoming superintendent, Mr. James Alexander Bronson was the superintendent and Mrs. Minnie Clark Hebron was the musician for the Sunday School as well as for choir rehearsals.
The first Sunday in June was observed as Children’s Day. The children would go into the field to pick daisies and make a big daisy chain to decorate the entire church. Each child was given a recitation to speak on that day. September 4, 1921, the Sunday school received a certificate of Recognition of Honorable Mention for Satisfactory Representation at the Sunday School Convention of Hagerstown District. During this time, Mr. Elmer A. Henderson was the superintendent.
Mt. Pleasant A.M.E. was on a circuit connected to Union Bethel A.M.E. and Campfield A.M.E. Church. Services would be held on a rotation (one of three Sundays) per month. Rev. Murray was the minister followed by Rev. Nelson. It is also noted that there was a circuit rider during this era named Rev. Henry Bell.
It is important to note that the first $25.00 was donated to the church by Mrs. Rachel Clark, a positive and faithful supporter of the church. Because of activeness and dedication, the backroom of the church was officially named the Rachel Clark Center. The dedication Service of the Rachel Clark Center was held on Sunday, June 24, 1956 at 3:00 p.m. with the sermon being rendered by Dr. E. B. Hines, Presiding Elder, of the 16th Episcopal District, Jamaica, West Indies. Rev. Edwards was the minister at the time.
Prior to Mount Pleasant being taken off the circuit, Rev. Brown was the pastor. He served as minister until 1969 when he went from labor to reward. The circuit/station was broken in 1969 when Rev. Ira Cutler became pastor. Rev. Cutler remained at Mt. Pleasant until April 1963. During his ministry the first Missionary Society was organized in 1971, under the leadership of the first Lady, Mrs. Lillian R. Cutler.
Rev. William Hayden held the leadership as pastor from 1983‑1984 followed by Rev. Thomas Odellas who retired in August 1986. Rev Clifton E. Sparrow Sr. was than assigned to Mount Pleasant A.M.E. Church.
The membership and the organizations at the church began to grow. Not only did the church grow in numbers but most importantly, in faith. Many annual days were in place. The church purchased its first vehicle, which was used to transport members young and old to worship and other important places. Mount Pleasant grew from a Senior Choir to a Male Choir, Youth Choir and a Sunbeam Choir. Days of great importance and to be remembered are Men and Women’s Day, Choir Day, Lay Day, Missionary Day and Candlelight Service as well as other inspirational days.
Mount Pleasant experienced an electrical fire in September 1993, which damaged the roof of the church and the social hall. October 1994, the church was totally destroyed by arson. Sunday services were held at Owings Mills High School. Although the church was burned down, the members were not burned out. They continued to serve God in a holy and righteous way. The membership did not stop increasing. We learned to believe that the building is not the church, but that the church is within you. It took a lot of prayer and faith, but we kept on believing that the lord would make a way.
Sunday, December 8, 1996 the members marched from the Owings Mills High School to the NEW MOUNT PLEASANT IN SONG AND PRAISE. The pastor, Trustees and the children led the way. The Trustees unlocked the doors to the church and all were welcomed in.
It is important to mention some of the first members of the church not previously stated. They were the foundation of Mount Pleasant, Miss Laura Norris, Elias and Alberta Thornton, Mr. Louis Gray, Mrs. Louise Ghee, Mr. James Alexander, Miss Nancy Bronson, Nicholas and Louise Davis, Mrs. Viola Clark Nesbitt and E. Bennett Bowen.