Church History

In the beginning the E. J. Burke family Enterprises owned the land. The Enterprise began to move Old barracks from Camp Cushion to be used as low rental apartments. All the properties were located west of Spriggsdale. The area east of Spriggsdale was sold in lots and developed into private homes.

In 1951, The Burke family saw the need for a place of worship. They offered to give the land on the corner of Hub and Baxter to anyone that would build a church. The New Light Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. P.S. Wilkinson, Sr. and the members accepted the offer. A church was erected in 1951. The church was furnished and paid for by the New Light Baptist Church.

On January 1, 1952, Rev. P.S. Wilkinson sent thirty-one volunteers from the New Light Baptist Church. They were to form the nucleus of the new church for spiritual worship. Some of the pioneers were: Dr. Norris, who was the first Superintendent of the Sunday school. Other pioneer members who came were: Deacon Roy Jenkins and wife, Brother L.M. Keys and wife, Almeta, Sister N.W. Word, Sister Reba Langhum, who served as the first musician of the church. The first ministers who conducted the worship services before a pastor was called were Rev. Langhurn and Rev. Olice Jones, associate ministers from the New Light Baptist Church. Rev. P.S. Wilkinson asked Rev. J.T. Highbaugh of Indiana to come and be the first pastor of the church.

After the members of the New Light Baptist Church organized the church; the worship service held on March 25, 1952 with about forty-five persons, formed the charted members. Some of the members were: Sister Doris Taplin, Sister LV. Woodard, Sister  Almeta Keys, and Brother LM. Keys. Sister Keys served as Church Secretary for over forty years and Sister Taplin served as Church Recording Secretary. The Church under the pastorate of Rev. J.T. Highbaugh was named the Coliseum Park Baptist Church. After about four years as pastor, Rev. Highbaugh gave his resignation.

In 1957, after a brief period without a pastor, Rev. T.I. Ray from the New Light Baptist Church was called to serve as pastor of the Coliseum Park Baptist Church. He was pastor for about eight years. Under the leadership of Rev. Ray, the fellowship hall, classrooms and kitchen were added to the church. Rev. TI. Ray resigned in 1965.


In 1966  Rev. W.J. Gaskins was called by the church to be the pastor. He served as pastor until 1970. Rev. Gaskin and several members left to organize Gideon Missionary Baptist Church.


In 1971 the late Rev. Lemuel Smith from the New Light Baptist Church was called to be the pastor of the church. Rev. Smith served about twelve years. He suggested to the Deacons and Trustees to start saving monies toward the purchase of land across the street (101 HubAve). Rev. Lemuel Smith expired in 1983. The fellowship hall was later named in his honor.

In 1984, Rev. Rander Draper was called to be the pastor. He came from Houston, Texas. Rev. Rander Draper resigned from the Coliseum Park Baptist Church after serving for four years. Rev. Rander Draper left to organize Maranatha Baptist Church

In 1988, Rev. Gregory W. Jones, was called to pastor the Church. The church worshipped at the inaugural site until August 16, 1992. Under the leadership of Pastor G. W. Jones., the church relocated to a new edifice at 101 Hub Avenue. Rev. Jones left after four years. He departed to organize True Vision Baptist Church.


In 1992 the members of Coliseum continued to sacrifice and work hard to liquidate the loan on the new edifice. By the Grace of God and hard work from the members of Coliseum Park Baptist Church, the church was paid off two and a half years before the note was due.


In 1993, Rev. Paul Wilkinson the grandson of the late Rev. P.S. Wilkinson, was called to pastor the church. He served for two years.


In 1995 A Pulpit Committee was formed by the church to seek and find a pastor. While the committee was seeking a pastor, Rev. Howard Anderson, from the First Baptist Church, became the Interim pastor for six months. The pulpit committee recommended him to become the next pastor. The church voted for him to become Pastor in 1996. Under Rev, Anderson's leadership, the church started a ministry to feed the homeless under the bridge. On March 22, 1998, Star Tom Lodge No. 100, Prince Hall Affiliated tested, tried and laid, according to ancient custom, the Corner Stone in the southwest corner of the church building situated at 101 Hub Avenue. Rev. Anderson named the VBS (Vacation Bible School), the "E.B. Walker VBS" in June 1996. Rev. Anderson was the pastor for about nine years. He resigned from the church in October 2005. Rev. E.E. Brown served as interim pastor.


In 2006 Rev. Edward K. Maney was called to become the Pastor of Coliseum Park Baptist Church. Rev. Maney resigned from Coliseum in 2009 after serving as pastor for 3 years.


The church went without a pastor for a short period of time.  During this time the Deacons selected a couple of ministers to fill in on Sunday morning.  A plan to select  ministers for periods of three weeks at a time was implemented.  The first of these ministers was Rev. La Carlton D. Stephens.  Rev. Stephens preached his first sermon in October 2009.  The Deacons decided with the encouragement of many of the members to ask Rev. Stephens to serve as our interim pastor. Rev. Stephens served as the interim pastor until December 2009. In December 2009 the membership voted to call Rev. La Carlton D. Stephens as the next pastor of Coliseum Park Baptist Church.  Rev. Stephens accepted the church’s offer and was installed as our current pastor in February 2010.


Under Rev. Stephens leadership the church has undergone improvements and restructuring in several areas.  The Fellowship hall located at 102 Hub was completely remodeled in 2010.  The entire interior of church at 101 Hub was repainted and roof of both facilities were replaced. The sound system and instruments have been upgraded. A new Minister of music was hired in 2011.  The choirs have been restructured and reorganized.  The male chorus was renamed to The Park Harmonizers and The Son Shine Choir was formed.


The Coliseum Park Baptist Church is affiliated with the American Baptist Eastern District Association, the American Baptist General Convention of Texas and a lifetime member of the NAACP.


In 2000, the youth of Coliseum Park Baptist Church buried a time capsule on the grounds of the church. It will be unearthed in 2012. The church has had many past events, where many members have served in the Life of the church. The members and workers are too numerous to name. However, we are grateful for members, young and old, who have sacrificed their time and talent for the growth of our church. May their Christian service be a beacon for all to follow.