Daily Archives: December 29th, 2012

Homegoing of a Saint: Dr. Brenda J. Little, Evanston, Illinois

by Robert Earl Houston, Sr.Little_Brenda

I woke up this morning to the sad news that one of my colleagues in the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. had made her transition from death unto life – Dr. Brenda J. Little.

Dr. Little was one of the trailblazers in her area in ministry and she was the first female pastor of the Bethany Baptist Church, Evanston, Illinois. Her arrangements are as follows, produced by her family and the Bethany Baptist Church:

It is with bittersweet joy, we announce the passing of Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little, Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ in Evanston, Illinois. She passed on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 after a valiant battle with cancer.  A two-day public celebration in honor of her life, ministry and legacy is scheduled as follows:

Friday, January 4, 2013 – 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lay-in-State Visitation
Bethany Baptist Church of Christ
1225 Elmwood Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202

Friday, January 4, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Musical Commendation and Loving Tributes
Second Baptist Church
1717 Benson Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

Saturday, January 5, 2013
Visitation (9 a.m.) and Home-Going Service (10 a.m.)

Northwestern University, Alice Miller Chapel
1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

PLEASE NOTE: In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that you send gifts to Pastor Little’s selected organizations, in her memory: Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, United Negro College Fund and/or the American Cancer Society.

This is from Dr. Little’s church website:

The African-American Pulpit Winter Quarter issue features revivalists of the decades. Featured in the 1951-1980 Modern Revivalists is one woman among eight men: Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little.

Dr. Little is a modern-day preaching trailblazer just as Jarena Lee was (1783-1849?). Her sermon is being featured in the journal, along with twelve other sermons by great revivalists. For Baptist women, this is history in the making among African-Americans. Dr. Little was the first woman to be ordained in the historic Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois. She was the first woman to become full time Assistant Pastor to Second Baptist Church. Rev. Little also trail blazed in the area of chaplaincy. She was the first African-American female to be Chaplain in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital System. She also made history in being the first African-American woman to graduate with a Master of Divinity degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This pioneer of women in ministry was given the distinct honor of being listed and placed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. as one of the pioneers of women in ministry. Rev. Dr. Brenda J. Little was the first African-American female Baptist preacher to preach in the Ministers Seminar in Detroit, Michigan at the Progressive National Baptist Convention.Dr. Little continues to be living history among her congregation. She is the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church of Christ, a 78 year-old Baptist congregation in Evanston, Illinois, where she was called by congregational vote, March 18, 1990. She is the fourth pastor in the church’s history, and the first woman to pastor an African-American congregation in that city. A trailblazer in her own right, Pastor Little gives God the praise, honor, and glory for all He has done.

In June of 2006 after successfully completing 5 years of rigorous study, Pastor Little obtained the long deserved recognition of Doctor of Ministry from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.


by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

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