Our History

How We Began

As an offshoot of the Chapel Hill Baptist Church, a small mission began in 1942 in the residence of Rev. Moses Small, 5218 Roosevelt Street.  In addition to Rev. Small, this small band included Rev. Glover, Bro. Cherry Miller, Bro. Solomon, Sis. Bessie Jenkins, Rev. Alexander and Sis. Amanda Summers, Sis. Bettie Bowman, Sis. Mary Thomas, Sis. Geraldine Vandergrift and Rev. Bennie Day.

After a short time, the mission evolved into a church and moved to 5126 Roosevelt Street.  At the suggestion of Sis. Clara Miller, the church was named True Love Missionary Baptist Church.  The Rev. J. S. Murray accepted the call to become the first pastor of this fledgling flock.

In 1943, The Rev. Ernest N. Cox was called as the new leader of True Love Missionary Baptist Church, a faithful servant of some 25 years and was succeeded in 1970 by Rev. Herbert B. Robinson, Sr.

Pastor Cox and his loving wife Martha, came from Rising, Arkansas.  They put their shoulders to the task and immediately their labors bore fruit.  The congregation grew from eight members to 47.  Pastor Cox spearheaded a financial drive and purchased property located at 2927 West Warren Avenue at a cost of $7,500.

This was a time of spiritual and numerical growth with the birth of many church auxiliaries, including a Sunday School, Baptist Young People Union (B.Y.P.U.), Senior and Junior Choirs, Mothers’ Board, Nurses’ Guild, and Senior Usher Board.  The church became associated with a quadruple church fellowship each fourth Sunday with Warren Avenue, Messiah, New Liberty, and later Oakland Avenue Baptist Churches.

Because of such rapid growth, we launched a successful drive to obtain monies for a new church plant.  On December 4, 1955, the congregation marched to its new home at 3987 Maybury Grand, a former Lutheran house of worship, which was purchased for the sum of $80,000.

The new edifice included a school with auditorium, cafeteria, and bowling alley.  The church continued to grow with the following auxiliaries being added:  Excelsior Choir, Pastor’s Chorus, Young Adult Chorus, Vacation Bible School, and The El Dorado Youth Club.

The Trustees volunteered their services and built a baptizing pool.  Sisters Vashti Bowman, Farrie Brandon, Vessie Bynum, Lovie Jefferson, and Sadie White, along with the wives of the Trustees, worked faithfully with Trustee Bro. James Bender to enhance the financial stability of the church.

True Love remained at its Maybury Grand address for 11 years, until city progress mandated that the congregation move to another facility to make way for the Fisher and Jeffries Freeways.

Pastor Cox and other committee members selected our present site, 8200 Tireman, for our new home.  The property was purchased and a church plant was built for $168,000.  This would be our first church home built from the ground up.  Prior to moving to our present location, we held services at 5050 Joy Road.

The congregation proudly marched into its new edifice on November 26, 1967.  Pastor Cox’s first sermon was entitled, “Upon this Rock, I’ll Build My Church”, with the text being Matthew 16:18.  New members were added and old members returned, and Pastor Cox continued faithfully in his ministry until April 19, 1970, when he answered a higher calling from God to rest from his earthly field of labor.

In September, 1970, Rev. Herbert B. Robinson, Sr., accepted the call to the True Love pastorate.  His faithful wife, Verdie and their four children, Velton, Herbert, Jr., Cedric and Kevyn joined him and the True Love Church family.  Under his leadership, we were challenged weekly with the precious promise of
Proverbs 3:5-6.

During Pastor Robinson’s tenure, many united with this fellowship.  His leadership spearheaded many positive changes.  The Seven Weeks of Prayer at the beginning of each new year has become an integral part of our worship services, during which prayer services are held three times daily.  The Sunday School attendance has more than tripled and has departmentalized.  The Baptist Training Union (B.T.U.) has been departmentalized, re-established and revitalized with a dean, teachers and classes certified by the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education.  The B.T.U. is now operating as our church School of Ministry.  Lessons were written by the Pastor and are still taught by in-house trained personnel.  These lessons/courses are offered on a 13 week/quarterly basis.  A Board of Christian Education was organized. The 15-36 Plan and Federal Credit Union was begun, and a Child Care Center served the community for several years.  Our Music Department has grown to include a Male Chorus and a Chancel Choir.  Other ministries added under the leadership of Pastor Robinson include: The Altar Circle, Benevolent Ministry, 7:00 a.m. Worship Services, Deaconess Board, Youth Fellowship, The Children’s Church (with its own minister, Rev. William Jackson,  ushers and choir), New Member Fellowship, the Nursing Home Ministry, the Consolation Choir, “Freedom School” (set up for our students during the 1973 and 1974 public school strikes), off-campus satellite for William Tyndale Bible College, Adult Education site for Detroit Public Schools,  Drug & Alcohol and Stop-Smoking Program, Annual Youth Round-Up, a youth Tutorial Ministry under our Community Development Program, called “Break Through: Knowledge Pursuit”, and the E. N. Cox Lecture Series held annually by the Laymen.

Several additional properties have been acquired; parking lots paved and the church plant has been completely renovated.  Our administrative offices are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.  Part of the renovation included a new library, new classrooms and a ladies’ lounge.  The Fellowship Hall has been named in honor of the late Deacon Mal Robinson, and our beautiful new library in honor of the late Deacon William R. Davis.  Many new accomplishments were achieved under the pastorate of Pastor Robinson; however, we are most proud of our continued evangelistic outreach efforts and ongoing pursuit of a deeper knowledge of Christ via revivals, retreats, and Christian Education classes.

On October 21, 1994, during our historical 52nd Church Anniversary, we celebrated the occasion with a banquet hosted and paid for by True Love Baptist Church at Cobo Hall’s Riverview Dining Room.  During the banquet, Pastor Robinson presented the 1st Annual Christian Service Awards to Deacon Howard Denson, Trustee Thomas Dixon and Deacon Ozzie Gardner, for their years of dedicated service and support to the True Love Baptist Church.  During our 53rd Anniversary, the 2nd annual awards were presented:  The True Love Christian Service Award to Deacon Earl and Sister Ruth Tindle; The True Love Tug Boat Award to Sister Alene Anderson and the Pastor’s Plaque Award (Perseverance) to Trustee Robert Daniel.  During our 54th Church Anniversary Service, The True Love Christian Service Award was presented to Sister Rosie Campbell; The True Love Tug Boat Award to Sister Christine Williams and The Pastor’s Plaque was awarded to Sister Genetta Newsom.

In November, 1997, Pastor Robinson led a delegation of members from True Love to Israel for a tour of the Holy Land where Bro. and Sis. Curley Moore renewed their marital vows with Pastor Robinson officiating.  Pastor Robinson also conducted baptismal services in the River Jordan for more than 30 persons.

In February, 1999, Pastor and Sis. Robinson journeyed to countries in Africa.  Upon their return, their report ignited a missionary fire in the souls of many congregants, whose response to their appeal resulted in sending more than 400 pounds of clothing and school supplies to the Ivory Coast.  Among many missions served, our church humbly appreciates the opportunity to serve Haiti, Campus Crusade (Mark Anthony) and The National Negro College Fund.

During the years of 1998 and 1999, True Love Baptist Church ordained several ministers who were:  Rev. James Marvin Cunningham, Rev. Herbert B. Robinson, Jr., Rev. John Whitby and Rev. Willie M. Williams, Sr.  The following men were ordained to the Deacon Board:  Bro. Amon Martin, Bro. Dennis Holland, and Bro. Ronald Pettway.  Added to the Trustee Board were:  Bro. Ivory Joe Weems and Bro. James Jackson.  Ministers who are a part of the True Love Baptist Church family who have been called upon to serve pastorates for other congregations are:  Rev. Cleophus C. Jackson (Christ Love Divine Baptist Church); Rev. Gregory Foster (Kadesh Full Gospel Baptist Church); Rev. James Moore (True Light Missionary Baptist Church), Rev. Mellwood Brown (New Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church), Rev. Willie Fountain/the late Rev. Willie Chambers (Co-pastors, Agape Fellowship), Rev. I. Miller former pastor of Greater Love Baptist Church now pastoring in Pensacola, Florida, Rev. Jimmy Perrien, pastoring in Meridian, Mississippi, the late Rev. O. W. Moore (New Whitestone Baptist Church), the late Rev. John Lewis (Calvary Baptist Church in Mt. Clemens, Michigan), the late Rev. J. A. Williams (Aijalon/Kadesh Baptist Churches), Rev. H. R. Ramsey (Christ’s Mission Baptist Church), the late Rev. Bennie Adams (Adams Chapel Baptist Church), and Rev. Thomas Benge (Covenant Baptist Church).  Another ministerial witness of noble character is Rev. Willie A. Roberts who has relocated to Augusta, Georgia.

By these strides we go on…

WINNING SOULS
by
WITNESSING FOR CHRIST
through the
WORD OF FAITH
and the
WORK OF THE MINISTRY
in the
WORSHIP OF HIS PRAISE
to the
WONDER OF HIS LOVE

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(Proverbs 11:30; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:8; John 4:34;
John 4:20-24; John 21:15-17)

True Love, it does not yet appear what we shall be, but until the Lord comes, let us continue to hold up the blood-stained banner and march forth in the army of the Lord.