Our History

August 26, 1928, a day, a month and a year never to be forgotten; when a small group of 28 disciples for Christ split over what could have been a personality conflict, left the Mount Moriah Baptist Church. They met at the home of Deacon Jeter and Sister Mary Satterwhite located at 1126 Steffens to lay plans for the organizing of what is now the Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church.

Included among these disciples were such stalwarts as Deacon Solomon and Sister Callie Fears, Deacon Gilbert Lindsay, Deacon George Belt, Sister Bessie Bell and Deacon Shepard.

Founded as the Second Baptist Church of Lockland, regular church services were conducted at this location through the year 1929. 

After holding services in these modest facilities, the young fellowship was eager to improve themselves. They worked to save enough money to purchase three (3) lots on Byrd Street. The first building constructed on this site was nothing more than a shack and in time a new sanctuary would be built to the glory of God where the original church still stands, today. 

Thus, the work and progress began for God's kingdom and developed in this church a guiding light to men, women and children; developing in them to better Christians and citizens in the Lincoln Heights community by winning souls for Christ.

Reverend A. W. Wise became the first pastor of this new church. He remained with the church through most of 1930.

The young fellowship struggled through the latter part of 1930 without a pastor, but with a strong abiding faith, they began to construct a more permanent sanctuary. Working after their regular jobs and using their own muscle power, they dug the foundation by hand. 

The latter part of the 1930's proved to be difficult for the young fellowship, especially trying to grow and develop without a shepherd to lead the flock. 

Early in 1931 the church called Reverend George Davis to the pastorate and under his leadership the membership grew and the upper portion of the sanctuary was completed, but not without much difficulty, because this was the beginning of the depression years in which jobs and money were hard to attain. 

Thus, growth and development slowed. Under Reverend Davis' leadership the name of the church was changed to Byrd Street Baptist. Reverend Davis served until his death in early 1940.

In 1942, Reverend Richard D. Wess was called to fill the vacated pulpit and lead the flock. 

Under Reverend Wess' leadership the church enjoyed its greatest growth and development. The depression years had been most difficult for the young fellowship's growth.  

Reverend Wess accepted the challenge of a church that was about $7,000.00 in debt, a depleted treasury and a real possibility that the church could be padlocked and property repossessed. 

This great leader, strong in convictions, a deep abiding faith, keen qualities of leadership and administrative abilities, was able in a few years to erase the financial problems and establish tax exempt status for the church.

Under Reverend Wess'  leadership, the main auditorium was remodeled completely with new seating, lighting, floor covering, hot and cold water, along with a gas furnace. New sections were added to the main part of the church with a church office, choir room, balcony, new baptismal and a complete new front for the church. 
The cornerstone for the new front section was laid in 1951. The church received its charter of incorporation in 1951 with a new name, "The Lincoln Heights Baptist Church."

Reverend Wess was the pastor of the church for 22 years. His health necessitated his retirement in the early 1960's. In 1965 the great leader, teacher and preacher of the gospel was called home to hear his Master say, "well done, well done."

Reverend Bennett Walker Smith was called to the pastorate of Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church in October, 1965. During his tenure, which lasted seven years, this charismatic and dynamic interpreter of God's word, spiritually moved the church to even greater heights. 

Its membership continued to grow. Additional remodeling efforts to the church continued, including a paved parking lot, securing additional property and installing central air conditioning in the church. He also developed plans for an educational wing for the church. 

During the years of the mid 1960's, Reverend Smith and the congregation played a major role in the civil rights movement for the entire valley, including marches on Washington D. C and Selma, Alabama.

In 1972, Reverend Smith resigned his pastorate and answered a call of a Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York.

With only their faith to sustain them and the cloak of Jesus to protect them, the congregation without a pastor for over a year remained intact and moved forward.

In 1973, their prayers were answered, when Reverend Jethro F. Hill, Sr. accepted the pastorate of Lincoln Heights Baptist Church. During his administration which emphasized a direction of soul winning and a bus ministry, the church remained stable.

Under his leadership improvements were made: a new heating system, new pews and lighting, and the purchasing of a church parsonage. Reverend Hill stepped down as pastor in February, 1978.

Again, the church was without a pastor. A pulpit committee headed by the Chairman of the Deacon Board, Deacon Wilbert Dowdy, searched locally and nationally for a pastor. Their search took them to Omaha, Nebraska where they found Reverend Lloyd C. Williams. 

He was invited to come to Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church to preach. It was magnetism between him and the congregation at the first meeting. Truly the prayers and hopes of the entire congregation had been answered. The church voted unanimously to extend the invitation to Reverend Williams to accept the pastorate of the Lincoln Heights Baptist Church. 

After prayer, much soul searching and discussion with his family, Reverend Williams accepted the call. On March 11, 1979, Reverend Lloyd Williams was installed as the pastor.

Reverend Williams preached, taught, worked, sung and magnified Christian leadership into the hearts of all the congregation and the community. Reverend Williams led our congregation well during his tenure as the pastor of the church. After four years at LHMBC, he resigned and the church again, was without a pastor. For seventeen months the church searched locally and nationally for a new leader.

Finally, in September 1984, the Lord sent the new shepherd. Our new leader would be a man raised and educated both in Lincoln Heights and the Cincinnati area. The name the Lord laid on the hearts of the congregation was that of the "Reverend Freddie T. Piphus, Jr."

Reverend Piphus accepted God's challenge to lead our church in the direction of "Rising up, for the building of God's kingdom" and the building up of the walls of the Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church. Reverend Piphus, not only a great minister, an effective and strong teacher, he is also an accomplished musician.

Under Reverend Piphus' guidance, the planning, building and growing of God's kingdom moved forward. A new era began under his leadership. Pastor Piphus' philosophy of reaching, teaching, restoring and building, and the congregation grew to approximately 1200 members. A tremendous capital campaign began called Jubilee, with the theme "For the People had a Mind to Work so we Built the Walls," was started and finally the new sanctuary was built in Woodlawn at its present location. This dream started under the pastorate of Reverend Bennett Walker Smith and God finished it under the pastorate of Rev. F. T. Piphus, Jr. Let God be praised for His faithfulness. To God be the Glory!

Under the leadership of Pastor Piphus, Jr., the church gained even a stronger financial base with the ability to liquidate a fifteen-year mortgage of 1.25 million in seven years, in September 1996. To God be the glory!

After eighteen years as the pastor of LHMBC, Pastor F. T. Piphus left in November 2002 and started a new congregation called Zion Global Ministries, Inc.  

A pastoral search committee was formed headed by Deacon Robert Robinson, and they were charged to search locally and nationally for a new pastor.

During this time of searching for the next pastor of LHMBC, Reverend Robert R. Collins served as the interim pastor helping the congregation stay the course until the eighth pastor of LHMBC was on board.

In June of 2004, the Lord answered the prayers of the Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church family by sending us a strong and anointed  leader, Dr. Elliott Cuff.

Dr. Cuff led the congregation in doing things that matter most to God. With this in mind, Dr. Cuff had been using Biblical principles as the foundation of his teaching and preaching. His motto was to be relevant, be radical but most importantly, be right!

The gifted preacher/pastor was instrumental in provoking the Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church family in doing ministry outside of this local assembly, winning souls to Christ. Dr. Cuff had led the church in meeting the needs of Katrina victims, persons with Sickle Cell Amenia, and those needing a second lease on life. 

During his tenure a major renovation of the sanctuary took place, St. Martin de Porres property was purchased and renovated now housing our church's outreach focus-Lincoln Heights Outreach Inc. Also, property was purchased for the future site of the Isaiah Oasis project for senior and workforce housing. 

His anointed leadership of fifteen years at LHMBC is also reflected locally in Cincinnati and nationally as he served ten years as the Dean of the Congress of Christian Education of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.

Currently, Reverend Alfonza Jones, our Director of Ministries, has been named and is serving as the Interim Pastor and leads our congregation as we wait on the move of God for whom the Lord sends as our next senior pastor.


Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist Church 9991 Wayne Avenue Woodlawn, Ohio 45215 | [email protected] | 513-772-5422