radio bible class
- RBC Ministries is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 300 employees. It produces several devotional publications, radio and television programs.
St. John Missionary Baptist Church
In August 1899, the Rev. Hilliard R. Johnson led a small group of African Americans to establish St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Houston’s Third Ward. During his years as pastor, 1899-1901 and 1904-1924, he pioneered the practice of two morning church services, spring revivals, and baptisms held in Brays Bayou. In 1920 the growing congregation built a brick building on Dowling Street near McGowan Avenue.
The Rev. Sanderson A. Pleasants, Jr. served the church from 1925 until 1953 and began many organizations and outreach programs, including a Home Mission Department, a Silent Department Deaf Ministry, a Prison Ministry, a church band and orchestra, and a radio group. With over 5,000 members in 1948, the congregation needed a larger sanctuary. The new building, completed in 1950, features a classical revival architectural design with colossal columns, symbolic of the spiritual strength and influence of the church in the community. By 1953 the church was said to be one of the largest African American churches in the country.
The Rev. Marshall M. Malone led the church from 1953 until 1983. A weekly radio bible class was broadcast from the church in the 1950s. The M. M. Malone chapel and educational building were built in 1963 adjacent to the 1950 sanctuary. The church played an important role during the turbulent political and social climate of the civil rights era. In 1958 the church hosted the 25th Commencement Ceremony of the Erma Hughes Business College with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the principal speaker. In 1965 the church hosted the 85th National Baptist Convention of America, which was the first religious event to be held at Houston’s new Astrodome.
From left: Candy Green, BRN Program Services Manager, Rich Bott, BRN President/CEO, Katie Appold, Radio Brand Manager for Radio Bible Class/Discover The Word broadcast, and Dr. Dick Bott, Founder and Chairman of BRN.