Pictured from left to right
Bishop Charles Harrison Mason – Founder of the Church Of God In Christ
Pastor William “Billy” Johnson – Founder of Buck Street Memorial Church Of God In Christ (1912-1936)
Pastor John Gamble – (1936 – 1979)
Pastor Charles Harrison – (1979 – 1990)
Pastor Pinkston Bell Jr. – ( 1991 – 2016)
Bishop Prince E. W. Bryant, Sr. – ( 2016 – Present)
Buck Street Memorial Church Of God In Christ was founded in 1912, by the late Elder William “Billy” Johnson. For the first five years, a mission was held in various locations that included Hill Street, Nance and Schwartz “Big Tree”, and Meadow Street. In 1918, Pastor Johnson purchased land at 2917 Buck Street. It was at this location a church was built and dedicated in 1922, as the Buck Street Church of God In Christ.
Under the dedicated leadership of Pastor Johnson and his wife Ellen, Buck Street Church grew as a diverse membership of more than 300 people. Pastor Johnson departed this life in April 1936 leaving behind a legacy that has continued for more than 100 years.
In August of 1936, Elder John Gamble was appointed as Pastor of Buck Street Church by the late Bishop E. M. Page. In 1937, the church was remodeled, and the seating capacity was expanded. In 1954, the property at 2917 Buck Street was sold to make way for the Eastex Freeway (Hwy 59). In 1955, the property at Des Chaumes and Legion Streets was purchased, and a beautiful brick edifice was erected, with a seating capacity of 500. The new church building was completed in 1956 and rename and dedicated as the Buck Street Memorial Church of God in Christ. Pastor John Gamble successfully pastored for 43 years until departing this life in October 1979.
On November 20, 1979, Elder Charles A. Harrison was appointed as Pastor of Buck Street Memorial Church by the late Bishop C.H. Nelson. On January 4, 1984, the interior of the church was destroyed by fire and worship services were held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church from January – November 1985. The sanctuary was renovated, and services recommenced at 3510 Des Chaumes Street. August 18-23, 1987, the church celebrated its 75th Anniversary as a fundraiser to begin expansion.
Eleven months after the 75th Anniversary Pastor Harrison was stricken with a massive stroke on July 24, 1988. The church administration was conducted by associate ministers serving on a monthly basis. Ministers serving during this time period were: Elders Pinkston L. Bell, Jr., John Wesley Boyd, Jr., Ronald Brookes, Sr., Lee Roy Kesee, and Gerald Peter. In 1989, Pastor Harrison appointed Elder Pinkston L. Bell, Jr., as Pulpit Coordinator.
The ministry continued to thrive during this time and the fellowship hall was completed and dedicated in honor of Bro. Holly Brewer who was a devoted benefactor under the tenure of Pastor Johnson. In addition, two adjoining lots on Des Chaumes Street were purchased for plans for additional parking. Pastor Harrison departed this life February, 1990.
March 1991, Pastor Pinkston L. Bell, Jr., was appointed by the late Bishop N. H. Henderson, Sr. Pastor Bell implemented many improvements to the edifice, business office, and fellowship hall. The old church cafeteria became the business office, classrooms, and ladies lounge. Upgrades to the sanctuary with new carpet and new pews. The roof and steeple were replaced. The sound system was updated. Properties were purchased on the south side and west side of the church, and other property was donated by Prime Bank in excess of $86,000.
Pastor Bell developed a mission statement for the church “To teach biblical principles that will affect a positive and productive change both naturally and spiritually in the hearts and lives of men, women, boys, and girls, preparing them for the second coming of Christ. Pastor Bell also created our motto “A Healing Place For A Hurting World”.
Pastor Bell established food distribution to seniors and disabled in the community by partnering up with Target Hunger.
During Pastor Bell’s waning years, he appointed Elder Weldon Green as his assistant to perform the duties of which he was no longer able to perform. Pastor Bell departed this life August 17, 2016.
Bishop Prince E. W. Bryant, Sr. became the Shephard of Buck Street Memorial Church of God in Christ on November 28, 2016. Since becoming the pastor, the Bishop has introduced many collaborative ideas that have potential for growth, both naturally and spiritually. New auxiliaries have been added. We now have Couples Ministry, Evangelism and Outreach, New Members Class, Liturgical Dance, Public Relations and Media Ministry, and a Youth Counsel. Two major church events have been added to the church calendar The Annual Choir Workshop and Winter Revival. It is the desire of Bishop Bryant to preserve and build on our rich heritage.