THE HISTORY OF GREATER BURNETTE BAPTIST CHURCH
The BURNETTE BAPTIST CHURCH was organized, Sunday, October 10, 1953, in a small storefront located at 3584 Dubois at Mack Avenue in the city of Detroit. Rev. James Allen Caldwell, along with his wife, Mrs. Rosie Lee Caldwell and a few of Pastor Caldwell’s co-workers from Briggs Chrysler plant-John H. Dove, Frank Chandler, and Rev. and Mrs. G. G. Harris met on that Sunday and the Burnette Baptist Church was organized, "A Church That Burns With Heavenly Fire and Sinners Are Caught In Christ’s Spiritual Nette".
God worked a miracle on that Sunday morning. The Lord sent so many people to the service there was no standing room in the building. People were standing on the outside listening to the Word of God being preached by this young preacher. Thirty-five souls were saved on that Sunday afternoon. The Burnette Baptist Church was formally organized and set up by the late Rev. W. G. Scotts with the late Rev. D.G. Speller presiding over the services. After eight months of services on Mack and Dubois, members outgrew that site and a search began for a more spacious edifice. Through such dedicated workers as Altress Roney, Billie and Patricia Neal, Jessie and Sarah Van Arsdale, Eddie Chinn, Robert Cuffie, Mother Mable Kelly, Josh Jones, Mary Grant, Mother Aimer Caldwell, Mary Berry, Rosie Lee Caldwell and co-workers, the property located at 4600 Russell Street was purchased.
After two years, the membership had increased to more than nine hundred and this was beyond the four hundred fifty seating capacity of the building. In December 1961, Rev. Lamar Thrasher came to the church with the opportunity to purchase one of the most beautiful and spacious churches in Detroit. On the second Sunday in September 1962, a motorcade left the east side of Detroit and journeyed to the west side of Detroit to 6000 30th and Cobb.
Once again, the church had outgrown their facility. Thus, on the fourth Sunday in August 1978, the church was moved to the present location, 16801 Schoolcraft, a spacious and beautiful location. In 1978, the J.A.C. Private World of Learning was opened to service the Church and community by educating our children academically and spiritually. Over these 63 years, thousands of lives have been touched by the foundation laid by the founder the late Rev. Dr. James Allen Caldwell. Although, their physical presence is stilled, their contributions continue to impact our lives. Of the thirty five original Charter members, one continues this Christian journey, Sister Elrece Smith.
In 2005, our beloved Rev. Dr. James Allen Caldwell exchanged the trials and tribulations of this world for eternal repose in heaven. Dr. Nathaniel Caldwell succeeded his father and became the Pastor of Burnette Baptist Church, and in keeping with the Word of God to do “greater works,” the Church emerged as the GREATER BURNETTE BAPTIST CHURCH. During Dr. Nathaniel Caldwell’s 10 year tenure, many improvements were made to the Church and a very successful community outreach ministry was implemented.
On November 12, 2016, the Lord selected and the people of God elected Pastor R. Patrick Johnson to carry on the vision of our church and was installed as our 3rd Pastor on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Under his leadership, we have moved into the 21st century through online presence including a new website, social media engagement and online giving. We have made great improvements to our campus through the installation of a new sound system in the Sanctuary, a new baptismal pool in our prayer chapel and renovating the Tolefree Lounge. Our community has been impacted through initiatives including our quarterly homeless outreach, weekday Prayer Line and our “Hallelujah Fun Night Trunk or Treat” for our children and young people. We have licensed three ministers and performed a number of baptisms and baby dedications.
"To God Be the Glory For the Things He Has Done!"