Being personally invited to attend any church programs, anniversaries or other activities, is something I truly enjoy doing; however, the church anniversary that I attended recently was somewhat special to me. It was special because the Pastor of this particular church is my cousin who I personally watched grow up in the once all-black community of McNair.
The Pastor of this church is Dr. Steven Wade Richard Sr., the Senior Pastor of Fellowship Community Baptist Church of Baytown, which is located at 1700 Danubina Street. Somewhat to my surprise, I was greeted and welcomed by many of the church parishioners who are former students of the former historical Baytown George Washington Carver High School and other individuals I personally know. They all made me feel welcomed to their church anniversary celebration.
Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, Fellowship Community Baptist Church of Baytown celebrated 20 years of standing firm and making disciples. This church exists to reach non-believers, connect them with other Christians, help them grow in their faith, and challenge their growing to discover their ministry and honor God in their life.
The church celebration guess speaker who also delivered the Sermon was Dr. R. Elliott Mallory-Greene. He is the President/Principal – Discipleship Solutions/CEED – Houston, Dean of the Mays Biblical Institute of Life Transformation – College of Biblical Studies – Houston, Seminarian in Residence – Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church – Houston.
Dr. R. Elliott Mallory-Greene (a.k.a. “Prof”) has 39-years of pastoral experience and has taught Biblical Language and Exegesis for a total of 28-years; at Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas), Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia/Dallas), Redeemer Theological Seminary (Dallas), and professorships at Oikodome Bible Institute and Trinity Evangelical Bible Seminary, both in Houston. Most recently he was appointed as the Dean of Mays Biblical Institute for Life Transformation - Houston. MBILT is a ministry of the College of Biblical Studies.
During the Celebration, Dr. Steven Wade Richard, Sr. was presented a nice framed 20th Anniversary Proclamation by Dr. Randall G. Gilchrist, Executive Director for the San Jacinto Baptist Association.
Fellowship Community Baptist Church of Baytown entered into a New Church Covenant Agreement on August 2, 1999 with representatives of Fellowship Community Baptist Church, Baptist Temple, San Jacinto Baptist Association, and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
On September 5, 1999, Fellowship Community Baptist Church was commissioned at Baptist Temple. The following week on September 12, 1999, they conducted their first church service at Eastside Baptist Church with 134 people in attendance.
In 2009, Eastside Baptist Church and Fellowship Community Baptist Church became co-owners of the property located at 1700 Danubina Street in Baytown.
In 2013, Fellowship Community Baptist Church became the sole occupant of the property. Since that time the church extensively renovated the building and continues to expand their ministries.
In 2017, Fellowship Community Baptist Church began their Footprint Academy Afterschool Program as part of their community outreach ministries.
Reverend Dr. Steven Wade Richard, Sr. was born January 21, 1961 in Houston, Texas. He is the son of the late Bernice Richard of Opelousas, Louisiana and Rosie Lee White Richard of Crosby, Texas.
Pastor Richard, Sr. attended Harlem Elementary School in McNair, Highlands Junior High School and graduated from Baytown Ross S. Sterling High School in 1979. While in high school, he was a member of Ross S. Sterling High School track and field team.
He served a stint in the United States Army, obtained the rank of sergeant and received an honorable discharge in 1985 from the Schofield Barracks Military Base in Hawaii.
He attended the College of Biblical Studies from 1991-1998 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies in 1998 and Master of Arts degree in Christian Leadership in 2012 from Dallas Theological Seminary. Later in the fall of 2012, he enrolled into the Doctor of Ministry Program at Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned his Doctor of Educational Ministry degree with emphasis in Leadership Studies in May 2018.
He continues to serve on the Membership Team of San Jacinto Baptist Association. He is an active member of the African American Pastors’ Fellowship of San Jacinto Baptist Association.
Dr. Steven Richard, Sr. has worked for IBM, NASA and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The first half of his professional career involved setup, troubleshooting and monitoring electronic communication systems in the U. S. Military and IBM computers. After his exit from the military, he worked in inspections and operations via government contract at the National Aeronautics Space Administration. Shortly afterward, his full time work as a Senior Pastor began and continues to this day.
In the winter of 2003 he embarked on a career as a case manager for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and eventually retired in 2017 after fourteen years of serving in a managerial role over all religious volunteer programs as the Chaplain.
Dr. Steven Wade Richard, Sr. began his ministry under Bishop Sherman Gray, Jr. at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in McNair, Texas. He served as the Pastor of Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church for seven years before organizing the Fellowship Community Baptist Church.
He and his wife Shelia Ann Richard were married on June 16, 1982 in Augusta, Georgia and they have been happily married for thirty-seven years. They have three children Tiffany N. Hooper (Richard), Olivia D. Richard and Steven Wade Richard, Jr. They have one grandchild, Madison Grace Hooper.
His hobbies are fishing, sports, family time and studying the Bible. His favorite saying is: I may not be what or who I should be, but thanks to God I’m not what and who I used to be.
J. Warren Singleton is a local historian and resident of Baytown.