A Brief History of Parkview Baptist Church

This history was compiled for our 90th Anniversary Celebration in 2016

Parkview Baptist Church was founded and organized in 1926 as East Chester Baptist Church.  This was a mission of South Royal Baptist Church which has since relocated and is now Highland Park Baptist Church.  The name was changed to Parkview Baptist Church in January of 1936, apparently because there was a view of Centennial Park from the church.

In 1926, the East Jackson of today was considered to be out of the city limits, and East Chester Street was not paved and was quite muddy at times.  The mud problem hindered many from attending a church two to three miles away.  Therefore, several God-fearing Christians who were members of South Royal Baptist Church decided that the East Jackson area needed a local church in their neighborhood.  Therefore, in April of 1926, approximately 17 charter members, accompanied by several professors from Union University, met in a home on Belmont Avenue to organize the East Chester Baptist Church.

Services during the first month of the church’s life were held in the homes of the people in the community.  There were additions to the church in almost every service.  At the close of the first month, a tent was purchased and seats furnished for a place to meet.  The services in the tent began with a Revival meeting and a large number of people were added to the church in this meeting.  Late in November the church was forced out of the tent by severe cold weather.  They met, for a short time, in an old box factory warehouse at the South end of Belmont Avenue.  Due to a lack of heat, they moved into a small room in the back of a little store on Belmont Avenue.  They met in the small 16 x 18 foot room for the first winter and many were turned away because of the inadequate space.  One of the members opened his home for Sunday school classes to meet during this time.

On February 20, 1927, the church began to meet in the basement they had constructed for the church building at 900 East Chester Street.  In 1928, the church was composed of 78 members and continued to grow.

In 1955, Parkview Baptist Church started a small mission in the community known as East Union.  Brother Charles Maraman was called as a bi-vocational pastor of what was known as the Bethany Chapel Mission.  The mission was organized into East Union Baptist Church in November 1960.  East Union continues to impact its community for Christ.

The church moved to its current location in 1982. During the following years, Parkview continued tobuild on this property to better facilitate discipleship and ministry.  The desire to reach people for Christ and help them mature in their faith has continued to be a focus.    Members continue to build relationships with people in the community, with educators, with community leaders, and with other churches with the goal of impacting our city and communities with the love of Christ and the good news of salvation through Jesus.

Most Importantly, Parkview has been blessed to baptize 1,052 people from 1936 to 2016.