Our History


There is a rich and vital heritage of faith in the Lord Jesus Chirst and vision for ministry in His Name in the Livonia area shared by the members of Alpha Baptist church . That heritage sprang from the seed of a request presented in August of 1939 to the Coronado Baptist Church to sponsor a Sunday School in the neighborhood of the Dutcher home on Sherwood Lane. Permission was granted the following month and a committee was appointed to develop the project.

On October 29, 1939 the first Sunday School meeting was held , with 61 in attendance . The seed now planted , it began to grow into a living witness of faith and love for Jesus in Livonia. By January of 1940, a formal meeting was called to organize the members of the Sunday School as a church.

The decision was made to adopt the name Elm Baptist Church after the name of the school in which the church was meeting. The preamble, constitution and declaration of faith used by the Coronado Baptist Church was adopted .

On June 1940, the decision was made to change the meeting time from afternoon to morning, the first of several small steps toward becoming a church with regular Sunday morning services . On
March 12, 1941 , just over a year and a half after the initial request for sponsorship , the first election of officers of the Elm Baptist Church took place, with corporation papers being purchased and received on March 18th. By August of the same year lots were purchased at the corner of Grantland and Arcola and a basement church was built.

Finally, on October 25, 1942, dedication services were held for the little, unfinished basement church , filled with friends, neighbors and guest ministers, so symbolic of the growth and development yet to come. The calling of the Rev . R.E. Prince as pastor in 1944 was a real milestone.

Early in 1950, a sanctuary was erected on the basement church. On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1950, the first worship services were held in the new sanctuary. Also in 1950, the brief tenure of the Rev. Mary A. Alston as pastor of the church began.

In 1952, the Rev. Carlton W. Younge was called as pastor, thus beginning a pastorate which would span more than three and one half decades .

By July of 1952 the growth of the church made it necessary to sell the old church and move once again into a school. On September 17 of that year the church relocated to the Shear School.

One year later, on September 27, 1953, ground breaking ceremonies were held on the present church site with Deacon 0 . Van Keuren, who with his wife had joined the church in June 1940, and Pastor Carlton Younge officiating. To reflect this change in location a unanimous vote was taken on November 4 , 1953 to change the name from Elm Baptist Church to Alpha Baptist Church of Livonia.