top of page

Church History

Pastor & Sis Robinson.jpg


Pastor & Sis Jones.jpg

Sis. bernice banks jones


The Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1954 by a group of baptized believers in Christ. The church was organized in the basement of 2139 Pierce Street, Detroit, Michigan. This was the home of Deacon James and Maggie Robinson and Deacon Oscar Sr. and Pearlie Nalls. Rev. Eddie J. Albert acted as the chairman and Sister Manolia Wright was elected as the secretary.

Deacon Elmo Wright suggested that the church should be named “Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church”; Deacon Oscar Nalls Sr. and Deacon James Robinson Sr. seconded this; this would remain the name of the church. Rev. Eddie J. Albert was called as the church’s first Pastor. Elmo Wright was elected as the Chairman of the Deacon Board.

The church was first located at 1810 Canfield Street. Rev. Clark of the Aijalon Baptist Church consecrated the church. The church expanded at this point. With membership growing, the leadership had to make more room by knocking out a wall. However, by November of 1957 the church was planning a big move. On the fourth Sunday of that month, the church bought a building at a price of $55,000. Even though the building was beautiful, the small church was not yet able to bear the expenses. The church then called a Rev. Cox, but he also left after a year. The autumn of 1963 found Sweet Kingdom in search of both a building and a pastor.

On June 22, 1963, Sweet Kingdom moved to its current address at 4150 Chene Street, Detroit, Michigan. The cost of the original building was just $14,000; however, the church had no money, but Deacons James Robinson Sr. and Oscar Nalls Sr. each contributed $500 and this was enough for a down payment. At some point in late 1963, Deacon James Robinson Sr. was called to the ministry; and on January 26, 1964, he was installed as Sweet Kingdom’s third Pastor.

Rev. Robinson’s tenure as Pastor was to be a long and accomplished one. In 1969, the church purchased the building next door and by 1974, Pastor Robinson announced plans to build a new building on the church’s site. While the new building was under construction, the church was able to meet in a spare building owned by Greater Mountain View Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. Edward Smith served as the pastor. The church moved into the new sanctuary on the second Sunday in March of 1976. As the church’s membership continued to grow it was apparent that even the new sanctuary would not be big enough and in 1979 an addition was built at a cost of $41,000. With much prayer and effort on the part of the membership, both the construction of the church and the addition was paid off by 1983.


In September of 1993 the church was badly damaged, but not destroyed by an electrical fire. The church used this opportunity to make much needed renovations such as wheel chair ramps, new pews and updated electrical wiring. The church met in its own annex while the repairs were made. This seeming hardship actually brought the church closer together and in February of 1994 the congregation moved back into its sanctuary as a stronger and more closely knit body of believers.

In November 1998, Pastor Robinson became ill. The illness lasted until January 14, 1999 when the Lord called Pastor Robinson home. Pastor Robinson served Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church for 35 years. His spirit and legacy continues to inspire this congregation.

From November 1999 until November 2002, retired Pastor Jack Ealy served as Sweet Kingdom’s interim Pastor; however, it was apparent that Sweet Kingdom needed to call a permanent Pastor. In December of 2002, Sweet Kingdom called one of its ministers, Rev. Robert Jones, Sr., as just its fourth Pastor in over sixty plus years. In 2004, Sweet Kingdom celebrated its 50th Church Anniversary. The church has again bolstered its membership, with many of its earlier members returning for reinstatement. While the Deacon Ministry continues to be challenged, the Trustee Ministry is stronger than it has ever been. In 2003, Pastor Jones and the church’s leadership started extensive repairs and renovations (including electrical, heating, plumbing and flooring).  The church was able to straighten out the disputed property deeds and now the church has clear deed to the entire block where the sanctuary sits. In fact, in spite of the challenges of recession and urban blight in its surrounding neighborhood, Sweet Kingdom has continued to be proactive in its ministry of service.

In 2009 Sweet Kingdom received Federal recognition as a 501c3 organization, which has allowed the church the freedom to branch out into a number of non-profit endeavors. Sweet Kingdom has started or continued a number of outreach ministries. The church initiated and hosted a weekly meeting of Narcotics Anonymous. The church also ran a weekly Meals Program for the Homeless as well as a free lunch program for children during the summer. Sweet Kingdom has made substantial financial gifts to address special situations such as Tsunami Relief, Hurricane Katrina, Haitian and Ukrainian relief. These programs had to be put on hold due to the fact that someone vandalized the annex. The annex is currently under renovation and has been renamed, the James and Rose Robinson Community Center, in honor of the church’s longest serving Pastor.

The Robinson Center will service families in need, provide educational and vocational training for community members, It will host a makers space which will include a fab lab and other high tech resources. Pastor Jones is an award winning Storyteller and Music Educator. In 2018 he was awarded the prestigious Kresge Fellowship. With a background and an intense interest in the perpetuation of music and art education, Pastor Jones is also working to establish a Roots music education program in the community. Additionally, Sweet Kingdom has increased the amount of its Oscar Sr. & Pearlie Nalls Scholarship award to $2,000 for any Sweet Kingdom youth attending a four-year institution. Sweet Kingdom also has an award winning youth choir and a senior’s ministry called the “Seasoned Saints”. Other proposed initiatives would include workshops that teach essential skills such as food shopping and preparation, financial literacy, conflict resolution and mentoring.


In addition to new programs, Sweet Kingdom is looking forward to expanding its existing outreach programs by partnering with Freedom Dreams, a non-profit organization, with a special emphasis on providing meals, training, and other help to the underserved in its community. Now in its 69 th year of service, Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church has survived, by the grace of God, through this pandemic and seeks to continue in its

mission to spread the Gospel of Christ through love, education and service.

bottom of page