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History and Mission

Church History

The History of Bella Vista Missionary Baptist Church began through the missionary work of Rev. G.H. Nickerson and Sis. Lillie Byrd.  In October of 1950, Sis. N. Perry located a place to lead church services at 3221 Airline.  It was a tavern, but renovation of the tavern began immediately and in two weeks prayer service commented.

On December 21, 1950, Rev. E. Stanley Branch, pastor of the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church, of which Rev. Nickerson was a member, summoned Rev. McKinley Williams, to formally organize the church.  At that time, Rev. Williams was the moderator of the Independent District Association.  The church was initiated with twelve members with letters of dismissal from Fourth Missionary Baptist Church.  Rev. George H. Nickerson, Sr. was elected as the pastor.  The name of the church was suggested by Rev. Nickerson’s wife, Sis. Pauline Nickerson.  It was named from the addition in which it was born, “Bella Vista”, a Spanish word which means “The Beautiful Vision.”

The church continued to grow for a number of years under the leadership of Pastor George H. Nickerson.  He served the church and the community well until his health failed him in December of 1965.  He departed this life March 7, 1966.

He was succeeded by his son, Rev. Paul Nickerson who served until July of 1967.  The next pastor was the Rev. Leonard C. Kirk, who served us for thirteen months.

Rev. Calvin J. Abraham preached his first sermon in January of 1969.  He was installed in June of 1969.

Pastor Abraham proposed a building expansion during a church annual business meeting in December of 1974.  He stated that by faith we would build in phases, so that we could really be called “The Church That Cares”.  The building phase consists of two phases.  Phase I, church completion was on August 8, 1978 and Phase II, members entered into the Multi-Purpose building in 1986. At that time an expansion was developed. Rev. Calvin J. Abraham retired as pastor and was voted as Pastor Emeritus in December of 2012.

December 28, 2013, the church voted and selected Pastor Jacari P. Davis as the 5th Pastor of the Bella Vista Church family.

Rev. Davis preached his first sermon as Pastor Elect on January 5, 2014.  To date, Pastor Davis is preaching and teaching the word of God, leading people to Christ, developing the Bella Vista MBC ministries and carrying out the building phase under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Davis encourages the Bella Vista Members to carry out the mission statement of the Church:


Mission Statement:   It is the mission of the Bella Vista Missionary Baptist Church to be a church that embraces a spirit of excellence in the service of the Almighty God!  We are committed to making Disciples of Christ, Developing Children, Deepening Connections, being Dedicated to Community service, and being a church that is Devoted to Caring! To this end, lives with be changed and souls will be saved by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  Bella Vista Missionary Baptist Church,

The Church That Cares!”