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Our History

 


In order to appreciate who we are, where we're at and where we're going, we must first have a clear understanding of where we come from.  The history of Mt. Ararat actually began in the early 60's in the heart and mind of Rev. W. L. Jones.  Rev. Jones was a member of the Open Door Church of God in Christ under the pastorate of the late Elder P. P. Mann.  It was at the Open Door Church at the Lord saved him.  He left the Church of God in Christ and joined the New Zion Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. S.K. Lewis.  After a short stay with New Zion, Rev. Jones Realized that God had a special mission for him that was even greater that he realized.

His mission was to cross the Baptist denominational line with a Pentecostal message and a lifestyle of Holiness.  The mission burned in him so bad that he testified of going from door to door in the community sharing the Word of God.  He could preach to whoever would listen.  As a result of his obedience to the Lord, souls were added to the Kingdom and people began to seek out his ministry.  So much, so that he had acquired a rapidly growing congregation of followers.  Thus a sanctuary was needed to house the congregation.  After much prayer and medication the vision for a church was conceived.  In the year of 1962 at the General Motors Foundry plant in Tonawanda, Rev. Jones, Theo Smith, James Easley and Allen Johnson came together and discussed plans to purchase a place of worship. The name of the church Mt. Ararat was chosen aft the mountain Noah's Ark landed on after the flood.  The name was symbolic of a new beginning and we became Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.

On Sunday, June 9, 1963, the doors of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church were open for fellowship at 653 Clinton Street in Buffalo, New York.  The facility was small but power filled wit the love of God.  After each service the pews had to be nailed back together for the next service.  As praises and the word preached went up, the membership of the church increased and it became necessary to search for a larger sanctuary. A Board of Trustee was soon established and the search for a new sanctuary began.  The search ended when the Masonic Hall at 971 Jefferson Avenue was purchased.  In June 1965, the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church members marched from 603 Clinton to the new sanctuary.

Mt. Ararat fastly became known as "The Church on the Hill."  Mt. Ararat was a very unique church, in the sense that it was a Baptist Church with a Holiness pastor.  History must also testify that in the city of Buffalo, Mt. Ararat was the first Baptist Church to allow drums, guitars, shouting and a free expression of praise without ridicule.  It was because of the zeal for God that people came from all over the city and from other churches to fellowship with Mt. Ararat.  The church was blessed with a Holiness Pastor, a powerful message, a great choir and throngs of people.  However, there was a price to pay.  Rev. Jones suffered and endured great persecution from his peers and various denominational conferences because it was very unacceptable and highly unpopular for a Baptist preacher to preach a Holiness doctrine.  Doors began to close in his face and councils ceased fellowship with him, but he kept on preaching.

Concerned about the members of Mt. Ararat when they reached their golden years, Rev. Jones initiated the development of housing for senior citizens.  In 1982, the new God's City Housing Development located at 175 Pershing Street was opened to senior citizens and their handicapped.

Shortly after these great accomplishments were completed, Rev. Jones became ill.  It was during these turbulent years that the church experienced a great demonic attach of the enemy.  It seemed like what was meant to be a blessing turned into a curse.  All types of evil spirits set in: property once owned by the church was sold, the spirit of discouragement set in and the church suffered a great slip. However, god always has a remnant and a few members determined not to leave.  Thank God they chose to stay and pray.  In the midst of what seemed to be great devastation, Rev. Jones' illness became progressively worst.  On November 10, 1992 the Lord called him home to rest.  After the burial of their leader, the remnant of Mt. Ararat began to seek the Lord for a Pastor. While they are praying, God began to work God began to work, He began to move on Elder Dwight Brown and called him out of the Church of God in Christ just like Rev. Jones.  The Lord spoke to Elder Brown three times in an audible voice to get him to come to the church.  Elder Brown came on a Sunday morning and preached a message entitled, "Thank God our Hair is Growing Again." (Judges 16), and the church was uplifted.  It was that same Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at Elder Brown's home the Lord spoke again in an audible voice and said, "I'm going to give you Mt. Ararat Baptist Church."  Elder Brown responded, "I don't want it."  However, the church kept calling him back to preach.  On January 30, 1993, the church voted Elder Brown as the new Pastor by unanimous decision. 

On March 7, 1993, he was installed as Pastor.  It was with great faith in God and a commitment to Holiness that Elder Brown accepted the gauntlet and immediately began to set the house in order, through uncompromising preaching and teaching of the word and a lifestyle of Holiness.  The saints prayed, the word was taught with anointing and the Lord filled the house.


However like Rev. Jones, Elder Brown also had to endure great persecution from both is Church of God in Christ and Baptist Brethren.  Petitions were drawn up to dismiss him, lies were told, his name was slandered from Buffalo to other cities, traps were set, but no weapon prospered!  It appeared that the more he was attached the stronger he preached the message of Holiness.  Under his leadership the church came out of debt in two years time.  The entire inside of the building was renovated and the membership grew so rapidly that there became a need for two Sunday services 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  The Lord continued to bless and the church purchased the "old Hoffman Printing Building, renovated it and moved the Administrative Offices there.  At a business meeting, September 7, 1997, the church unanimously acted on the God given vision of Pastor Brown and gave birth to the New Mt. Ararat Temple of Prayer and a new logo,

In the very near future the New Mt. Ararat Temple of Prayer will worship in a new edifice that will house a 2,000 seat sanctuary.  Thus the history isn't over because God is still moving and we're moving with God.
  
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