History of S.M.B.C.
The late Rev. Square Melvin Moore, who was the church’s first Pastor, founded the Samaritan Missionary Baptist church in 1946. The church was located in the home of Rev. Moore at 3600 Benson Street in Detroit, Michigan. Some of the church leaders in 1946 were Deacon James Ferguson, Chairman of the Deacon Board; Deacon Eddie Starghill, Deacon Otis C. Starghill Sr., Deacon Dewel Andrews, and Superintendent of Sunday School; Sister Nancy Cobbs, Secretary of Sunday School; and Senior Choir Members: Sister Ruthell Andrews, Sister Ferguson, Sister Marqurite Carter, Sister Williams and daughter, Brother Dwel Andrews, Brother Henry Hobson, and Mrs. Wittstone, Pianist.
During 1948, property was purchased on Hendricks Street near Chene for the purpose of building, however, due to city zoning regulation, this had to be discontinued. Diligently, during this time the church continued to grow with the following additions: Rev. WM. Moore, Rev. J.E. Moore, Deacon Henry Cheeks Sr., Deacon Babe Moore, Deacon George Whynn, Deacon John Leon Lindsey Sr., Deacon Calvin Rogers, Deacon Charles Rogers Sr., Sister Ida Lindsey, Sister Leara Rogers, Sister Mamie Rogers, Sister Christine Moore, Sister Marie Sanders, Sister Whynn, Deacon Charles Rogers Jr., Sister Lucy Sanders, Sister Ola Williams, Brother Paul Sanders, Sister Martha Sanders, Sister Gayle Sanders, Sister Dolly Sanders, Sister Rosalee Cheeks, Freddie Hunt and Lorraine.
In 1953, the church moved to 8821 Mack Avenue, and the said building was soon purchased as the Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church home. Rev. S.M. Moore served as Pastor from 1946 until his death in 1972. Called to the ministry under the leadership of Pastor Moore were: Rev. Otis (deceased), Rev. Rider (deceased), Rev. McCoy Yancey, Rev. Joseph Goins, Rev. Burt Steveson and Rev. Robert E. Starghill Sr.
Rev. Burt Stevenson was appointed as Pastor in 1973 and served faithfully until his death in 1980. Ministers serving under the leadership of Pastor Stevenson were Rev. Joseph Goins (Assistant Pastor, deceased in 1995), Rev. Cleveland Thomas (deceased), Rev. McCoy Yancey (deceased), and Rev. Robert E. Starghill Sr.
Rev. Robert E. Starghill Sr. succeeded the late Rev. Stevenson as Pastor in 1980 and continued as the Pastor of the Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church until he retired on October 24, 2015. Reverend John L. Lindsey was voted in as interim pastor by the congregation of Samaritan on July 3,2016.
In 1985, the property located at 8806 Mack Avenue was purchased and a new Sanctuary was built with new pews, central air conditioning and an adjacent paved parking lot. In July of 1991, six years after its purchase, the mortgage on the new church was paid off. Additional properties were purchased: the block across from the church on Mack Avenue from Crane to Rohns; the property directly behind the church on Crane, which is presently an extension of the paved parking lot. Also in trying to preserve our neighborhood and create affordable housing for our community, the church purchased the dwelling and adjacent property located at 9360 Schiller in Detroit, Michigan. In 2008, renovations and additions to the old sanctuary were completed. The Lord blessed Samaritan with a new 350-seat sanctuary, chapel, classrooms, office, fellowship hall, kitchen and enlarged rest rooms. In 2009, the property located directly across Mack Avenue was leveled, graded, lighting installed and was enclosed with a wrought iron fence.
The goal of the Church is to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the members and the community. This is being done through THE VISION the Lord had given Pastor Starghill that the Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church be a "Lighthouse" on Mack Avenue. This is being accomplished through the work of its many ministries: Angel Tree, Brotherhood, Christian Education (Sunday School, Bible Class, Vacation Bible School, Workshops, Seminars and Children's Church), Evangelism and Prayer, Marriage, Music, Multi-Media, New Discipleship, Nurses, Outreach, Pantry, PURPOSE Character Building for Girls; RUTH Women Outreach Center, Scholarship, Ushers, Women's Ministry, Youth Ministry (Young Adults, Teens and Children) and S.O.S. (Soup on Saturday) Outreach.
The following ministers were licensed under the leadership of Pastor Starghill and after an average of ten years of study were officially ordained to preach the gospel in August of 1993: Rev. Lloyd J. Steed Sr. (deceased in 2002); Rev. John L. Lindsey Jr.; Rev. Patrick O. Lindsey, Pastor of the Greater Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan; Rev. Dr. Britt A. Starghill (deceased), Pastor of the Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church of Camden, New Jersey; and Rev. Dr. John E. Duckworth, Pastor of the Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church of Westland, Michigan. On June 7, 2015, Pastor Starghill officially ordained Rev. Lula B. Doss, Rev. Steven Hicks, Rev. Denise Steed, Rev. Brandon Rambus, Rev. Terrence Johnson, Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, Westland, Michigan., Rev. Karen Swain-Crummie, Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, Westland, Michigan and Rev. Reginald Woods Sr., Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church, Westland, Michigan. Rev. Gregory L. Lindsey Sr. was licensed and officially ordained to preach the gospel in 1999. In addition, the following ministers have been licensed to preach the gospel under the leadership of Pastor Starghill: Pastor James Johnson (deceased); Rev. McCoy Yancey (deceased); Rev. Robert Barber (deceased); Rev. Lance Franklin Sr.,; l'vlin. Lula B. Doss, Samaritan's first female minister; Min. Denise Steed; Rev. Steven A. Hicks; Rev. Terrence L. Johnson and Rev. Brandon Rambus. The church is also thankful to the Lord for the following ministers who decided to make Samaritan their church home: Rev. Charlie Dillard (deceased); Rev. John McKenzie (deceased); Rev. Robert E. Doss, Sr., (deceased); Rev. Barry Thomas, Rev. Calvin Dixon Jr. ( deceased); and Rev. Robert Robinson, Pastor of the Greater Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan.
Deacon Charles Rogers was ordained under the pastoral ministry of Pastor Robert Starghill Sr. in 1983. The following Deacons were ordained in 1999 under the leadership of Pastor Starghill and Chairman of the Deacon Board Chairperson, Deacon Otis C. Starghill: Dea. Loice DeBerry (present Deacon Board Chairman), Dea. Michael Hester Jr., Dea. Darryl Rambus, Dea. Bill Warren Jr., and Dea. Dennis Weathers (deceased). In 2004, the following Deacons were ordained: Dea. Edward Johnson, Dea. T.L. DeBerry (deceased) and Dea. Roosevelt Thomas. The following Deacons were ordained in 2009: Dea. Gregory L. Lindsey Jr., Dea. Keith Moss Sr., and Dea. C.L. Peete. History must include our long serving ordained Deacons who have made their transitions: Dea. John L. Lindsey Sr., Dea. Artis Buggs, Dea. Calvin Rogers, Dea. Charles Rogers, and Dea. Bernard Smith Sr.
We recognize ladies who served on the Mother's Ministry of Samaritan, and who have gone on to glory: Mother Ida Brown, Mother Ruby Brown, Mother Jimmie Coleman, Mother Mary Esters, Mother Dora Johnson, Mother Annie Skeen, Mother Fannie Vernon, Mother Georgia Lenox, Mother LeVelle Cunningham, Mother Mary Louise Rogers, Mother Willie Mae Collins, Mother Estella Thomas., Mother Rose Holt, Mother Durgen, Mother Laura Howze and Mother Martha Graves. Others that have served on the Mother's Ministry are: Mother Irma Taylor, Mother Emogene Johnson, and Mother Betty Starghill, The Following ladies presently serve on the Samaritan Mother's Ministry: Mother Betty Lee, Mother Dorothy Simpson, Mother Minnie DeBerry, Mother Mable McKenzie, Mother Janice Smith, Mother Gloria Thomas, Mother Ida Lindsey, and Mother Helen Finley.
The church expresses with great thanks and appreciation to one of the Original Charter Members of Samaritan Deacon Otis C. Starghill Sr. for his contributions to the recording of the Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church History, for without him much of the original history of the church would be lost forever. The new Fellowship Hall has been named in honor of Deacon Otis C. Starghill Sr., the parking lot across the street is named in honor of Deacon Charles Rogers and the Administrative Office is dedicated in memory of Sister Maurer LaNell Simley. Most recently the chapel being named "The Robert Earl Starghill Sr. Chapel in honor of Pastor Emeritus, Robert E. Starghill Sr.
Pastor Emeritus & Mother Starghill
On November 19, 2017 Elder Alton K. Parks Sr. was elected Pastor of Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church and accepted the call to shepherd the local body of believers with a disciple driven ministry. On October 10, 2021 he resigned as pastor.