Vacant Pulpit: New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan


Denomination: Baptist

Weekly Attendance: 700

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Vanderbloemen is honored to present this role.

The role: The Senior Pastor for New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church will be a visionary individual with a proven track record of high capacity leadership with ever increasing responsibility. They will be highly relational and able to work with church leadership, ministerial staff, and the congregation at large.

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Meet New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church

In June of 1924, a few officers and members of Mount Beulah banded together and organized a church which they named Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. Two ministers worked together in the organization of the church. This small, faithful group of people purchased a lot at 20470 Wisconsin in Detroit. More people moved into the area, joined Mount Lebanon Baptist Church and the name was changed to First Baptist Church.

Reverend Charles B. Heath was called as pastor in the spring of 1939. Much was accomplished under Reverend Heath’s administration. Due to the fact that there were two churches in Detroit with the same name, Reverend Heath had the church change its name from First Baptist to New Prospect Baptist Church.

In early 1960, the church purchased the church at 6330 Pembroke. Reverend Heath pastored the church for 28 years until his death in 1967.

In early 1968, Reverend Dr. S. Leon Whitney from Jackson, Mississippi was called to lead New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, more property at the Pembroke location was obtained, and the facilities were expanded. There was much growth under Reverend Whitney until his death in 1989. Two other pastors served until March 1999.

On March 1, 1999, history was made in Detroit. Reverend Wilma Robena Johnson, a female Assistant Pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, was elected Senior Pastor of New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. Under Reverend Johnson’s leadership, the old sanctuary was remodeled and converted to administrative offices and multipurpose rooms. In 2009, construction was completed on a $7.5 million Light Center that included a worship chapel, library, bookstore, nursery, fine arts center, and classrooms. In addition to the physical footprint, the ministry footprint was broadened; the church partnered with a local elementary school to establish an afterschool program to provide tutoring and enrichment activities, provide monthly worship services and meals to residents at a low income housing complex; minister to senior citizens in three different nursing homes, and provide a monthly distribution of food to members of the community from the church’s food pantry. Other active ministries include Sunday School, Christian Education, Prison/Correction, Cancer Support, Bereavement and Hope Support, Children and Youth, Evangelism Outreach, Married Couples, and Seasoned Senior Citizens.

In 2016, God called Reverend Johnson home to her eternal reward after a long battle with cancer. She left a rich legacy of faith, godliness, and perseverance. New Prospect has since been led under the very capable leadership of its ministerial staff. We have now come to a new season of ministry and seek God’s will to find our next Senior Pastor.

The vision for the future is to strengthen our existing ministries and to be a church that provides programs and activities that address the needs of all groups, including baby boomers, Generation Xs, millennials, youth, children, and all others. New Prospect also desires to continue and strengthen their ongoing relationships with local community groups and organizations.

About the Senior Pastor

The ideal candidate will be spiritually mature and possess a passionate love for God, His Church, the community, and reaching the world for Jesus Christ. They must be a creative preacher/teacher, able to powerfully teach God’s Word, and have demonstrated ability to effectively connect people to Christ and the church.

They will develop and cast the mission, vision, and values of New Prospect and work with the ministry leaders to identify and align ministry strategies to fulfill the church’s mission to the community.

The Senior Pastor will: 

  • Encourage and promote a strong sense of unity and increasing spiritual health.
  • Win the trust and respect of leaders and the congregation.
  • Gain the trust and respect of the ministerial staff.
  • Oversee metrics that will show demonstrated attendance increases.
  • Promote and oversee increased financial support in all areas.
  • Work with church leadership in developing a strategic plan for the foreseeable future.
  • Cast new vision for church ministries, community outreach, numerical and spiritual growth.
  • Encourage and assist Trustees, Deacons, Staff, and Congregation in accomplishing the mission.

General Duties

  • Be the spiritual and ecclesiastical leader of the Church responsible for preaching and teaching the gospel, administering the ordinances of baptism and Holy Communion and promoting its spiritual growth.
  • Work with the leadership team to guide and direct the church in all other major matters.
  • Jointly approve, with the leadership team and the Deacon Ministry, spiritual and doctrinal matters of the church, prior to their presentation to the church body.
  • Supervise all church staff, administrative functions, church ministries, and pulpit functions.
  • Plan and conduct Sunday worship services, conduct traditional weddings, funerals, memorials, revival services, church business meetings, etc.
  • Represent the church at local Council of Baptist Pastors meetings.
  • Represent the church at local, state, and national conventions.
  • Select and approve the training of members to serve on the Trustee Ministry.
  • Select members to serve on the Deacon Ministry.
  • Provide training to and ordination of Deacons.
  • Be responsible for the training, licensing, and ordination of Ministers as appropriate.
  • Provide final approval of all ministry chairpersons.
  • Serve as an ex officio member of all ministries and special committees with voting rights and privileges as warranted.

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What you bring: 


  • Must have an undergraduate degree or higher from an accredited college or university, as well as a seminary degree from an- accredited school, college, or university.
  • Must be licensed and ordained in accordance with Baptist Church principles and concepts.


  • Must have a minimum of five years of experience as a Baptist Pastor, Associate Pastor, or Assistant to the Pastor.

Personal Characteristics

  • Possesses strong leadership skills.
  • Is highly organizational and able to give guidance to all ministries.
  • Is a highly effective communicator of God’s Word.
  • Is acutely knowledgeable of doctrine and theology.
  • Possesses a heart for the community and City of Detroit.
  • Is involved with social justice issues as warranted.
  • Possesses a shepherd’s heart for those attending New Prospect.
  • Demonstrates high emotional intelligence and is highly relational – loves people.


Required competencies and characteristics for the position of Senior Pastor at New Prospect Baptist Church are as follows:

  • Must be able to provide evidence of managing a team as well as proven administrative skills and abilities.
  • Must have effective written and verbal communication skills with evidence of planning, teaching, and conducting worship services as well as teaching Bible study.
  • Has a defined plan that emphasizes spiritual development, Christian education, and membership retention.
  • Evidence of having developed programs and/or initiatives designed to integrate the participation of children, youth, and young adults in the life of the Church.
  • Evidence of how you have or how you envision the use of modern technology to enhance the worship experience.


What it’s like to live in Detroit, Michigan: 

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the state of Michigan, the largest city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture, and design. Detroit is also known for Muscle cars, Motown, Techno music, a culture capital, foodie magnet, and trendsetting. Detroit is a tenacious, enduring, and persevering city long associated with industry and automobiles.

Detroit was noted as one of the top travel destinations in the world for – 2018, with  the New York Times naming it one of the world’s top places to go in 2017, Detroit is capturing worldwide attention. The city’s rich musical and industrial heritage is more alive than ever before, mingling with an ever-expanding array of museums, performing arts, events, and international cuisine as considerable development in the city contributes to its growth and popularity

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by Pastor Robert Earl Houston

H.B. Charles Jr.

About life, preaching, church, books, and other stuff.

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