METROPOLITAN MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
“We want something of our own.” From that statement 50 individuals made the decision to move their membership from Calvary Baptist Church to start their own church. On February 22, 1937 those 50 members organized Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church (MBC), located in Milwaukee, WI. Their motto was: Love and Charity. For approximately three months, they met at the O’Bee Funeral Home located at 736 W. Vine Street. From there, a move was made to a storefront located at 9th and Brown Street. Rev. Elliott A. Crockett was the founding pastor and served from February 22, 1937 until he resigned in June of 1945. In August, 1945 Rev. A. W. Wise of Muncie, Indiana became pastor. The church grew very fast and soon outgrew the Brown Street location.
In June, 1946 the members purchased a larger church at 9th and North Avenue. The congregation moved into that facility on June 16, 1946. After six and a half years Rev. Wise became ill and was unable to pastor.
In June 1953, Rev. Elbert M. Kelly, Sr. (who was then assistant pastor of Canaan Baptist Church – Milwaukee, WI), became pastor. As Metropolitan continued its growth, Rev. Kelly envisioned a new church – an edifice that would be built from the ground. The “Brick A Week” building fund drive was implemented, which requested that on a weekly basis each member purchase a brick for the new church at a cost of $1.00/ a brick. After much hard work, commitment and sacrifice a new church was built at 1345 W. Burleigh Street. The church was completed in April, 1968. Dedication services were held from April 7 – 21, 1968.
Sadly, in 1972 Rev. Kelly died suddenly. Upon his death, Rev. Willie D. Wanzo, Sr. (Assistant Minister of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church) was appointed interim pastor. Rev. Wanzo was later installed as pastor of the church in September, 1973. In 1978, the 1345 W. Burleigh Street location was paid for and the mortgage was burned.
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church members provided continuous efforts to maintain and improve the church’s physical structure. This included: the installation of an air conditioning unit in 1979, surrounding land acquisitions, parking lot additions, building additions and various remodeling. In 1998 the church began and completed a $600,000.00 renovation/addition project which included: the addition of 5 rooms, a multi-purpose hall (located on the main level), a pitched roof, and an elevator. Renovations and additions were made to the kitchen, 1st level ladies room and an improved updated air conditioning unit was added. The loan for this renovation project was liquidated in October, 2003.
Over the course of the years Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church has become affiliated with The American Baptist Association, National Baptist Association, USA and the Wisconsin General Baptist. State Convention. These organizations support the doctrine of the Church.
Priority toward the congregation’s spiritual growth includes: weekly Prayer Meeting, weekly Bible Study/Prayer Ministry, Christian Education Classes (Sunday School Department – cradle through adult classes), New Member Class, Christian Doctrine Class, Old Testament Class, New Testament Class, James Carey Bible Class, Bible Study/Prayer, Special Christmas Season Bible Study (Jesus is the Reason), Pre-Lenten/Lenten Season Bible Study, Children’s Church, Correspondence Bible Lessons, and Saturday Morning Prayer Devotion Classes.
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church established a General Mission active in local, national and foreign missions. Local mission projects include: neighborhood cleanup, monthly serving of food at the Guest House Homeless Shelter, monthly cards to sick and shut in members, visitations to members that are sick and shut-in/nursing homes, Project Focal Point, sponsoring and support of the Good News Club at Hopkins Lloyd Community School.. National projects include the Tchula, Mississippi project, sponsorship/support for Sister Marian Pledger ;and the National Baptist African Hospital Expansion project. Foreign mission projects include: The Christian Education Center in Haiti with Sister Ruth Applewhite (missionary), World Vision, and Child Evangelism Fellowship. In addition, the General Mission conducts an annual Christian Education Workshop.
Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church supports its high school graduates by awarding scholarships annually to Metropolitan graduating seniors who plan to attend an institution of higher learning. The Church holds its Baccalaureate Services in June each year.
In 2010 and again in 2012 during the illness of Rev. Wanzo, Rev. Keith B. Parris served as Minister-in-Charge .His responsibilities included: delivering Sunday morning sermons, assisting in administrative issues, visiting the sick and shut-in, assisting the bereaved, delivering eulogies, performing infant blessings and performing weddings. In October 2012, Rev. W. D. Wanzo passed away. At the time of Rev. Wanzo’s death, the church had seven associate ministers: (Rev. Wilbur Baker, Rev. Keith B. Parris, Minister DeLois Taylor, Rev. Alfred Turner, Minister Audrey Gillard, Minister Victoria S. Wanzo, and Minister Sylvester Rucker). Rev. Parris continued his duties as Minister -In -Charge through February, 2014.
After a six month period of mourning the passing of Rev. Wanzo, the Church appointed an Interim Pastor Search Committee (IPC). Rev. Brandle C. Morrow, Sr. was elected as Metropolitan’s Interim Pastor in January, 2014. Rev. Morrow began serving the congregation on February 22, 2014. Discipleship Bible Classes under Rev. Morrow’s leadership began to be held on Wednesday evenings (50+ attendance). Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church developed a concerted team (Interim Pastor, Joint Board of Officers and Pastor Search Committee “IPC”) in search for the minister God wants our Church to call as Pastor.
In May 2014 the Church elected the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws adopted July 19, 2013. The PSC was organized in an effort to select a pastor. Members of the Pastor Search Committee were selected by their department or elected by the congregation to serve as a member of the PSC. The first seven (7) selected were one member from each of the following departments, auxiliaries or boards: Sunday School, Mission, Music, Deacon Board, Trustee Board, Ushers and Youth. Their first meeting was held on August 2, 2014.
After an intensive local, state, national and international search for a pastor - on December 30, 2017, Rev. Brandle C. Morrow, Sr. was elected as the fifth pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church.
As we look to the future, we share with pride the achievements, sacrifices and successes we have obtained. We thank God for making all of this possible. To God be the glory for the things He has done!