Our Church History
On February 26, 1992, the fellowship held its first Wednesday night Bible Study in the Bandana Square Apartment complex meeting room. This same date, it was agreed upon by all members present that the fellowship would be named Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. It was also affirmed officially by the group that Dr. Earl F. Miller would be the spiritual leader.
Sunday, March 1, 1992, the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church held its first Sunday school classes, worship service and cummunion at the Macalester College Chapel in St. Paul, Minnesota. Subsequently worship services and Sunday school classes were held at the Weyerhaeuser Administration Building on the Macalester College Campus.
Responding to the need for organized church music, Ms. Jo'Ethel Fullilove organized the first church choir. Our first month of choir rehearsals and business meetings were held at the Martin Luther King Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Friday evenings during the month of March.
On April 1, 1992, the Progressive fellowship moved to facilities at the Cathedral YWCA at 198 Western Avenue in St. Paul. The fellowship continued to have its Wednesday Bible Study, 9:00am Sunday school classes and 11:00am worship services. All three were well attended.
On April 12, 1992, God sent Mr. Lloyd Jones, a pianist, who serviced the fellowship well and was a blessing to the music ministry.
At the first Easter Sunday, April 19,1992, three services were held at 6:00am, 8:00am and 11:00am. For the first time, the doors of the church were opened for membership. Over 90 persons came forward to recommit their lives to Jesus Christ and become part of the Progressive Church Family.
Sunday, May 17, 1992, the church held its first Founder's Day Celebration. The membership had grown to 167 people.
Through the dedication and hard work of the membership, the church raised over $40,000 in six weeks and paid $25,000 as a downpayment to purchase the church properties at 1505-11 Burns Avenue East in St. Paul. The properties included a church building with a sanctuary, fellowship hall, a large kitchen, Pastor's study, church office, library, eight double classrooms, a nursery and several large storage rooms, a nine-room house and four car garage, all on 4 1/2 acres of land with a city park attached.
By a miracle of God, on August 23, 1992, the progressive Church family marched into their new church home. The parade started at the parking lot of the East St. Paul Target Store, went west on Burns Avenue and into the new church building. Praise and celebration continued throughout the entire day.
On Sunday, September 21, 2008, once again we marched from the Target Store parking lot to the new $5,000,000 "Monument to God," only by the miracles God performed to get us here.
Now that we occupy our "Monument to God", we must be serious about the business of building a model ministry. Our hearts' desire is to give God our best in the organization and administration of the vision for the Ministry that He has given us. We must now put "New Wine into Fresh/New Wine Skin" (Matthew 9:17).
During the years of our ministry, based in this facility, over 1800 new people had dedicated or rededicated themselves to Jesus Christ and become members of the Progressive family. The 11:00 AM Worship Service reached capacity and in January of 1996, an 8:00 AM Worship Service was started to accommodate the rapidly growing worshipping membership.
The Progressive Native African Fellowship was started to accommodate the needs of approximately one hundred (100) native Africans who are Members of Progressive. The fellowship met every Sunday at 4:00pm.
In August 2003, a Spanish Fellowship, named Garden of Eden, was started. The Fellowship met on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of each week. Five staff members were added in 2003; an Assistant Pastor, Church Administrator, Minister of Music, Church Receptionist, Maintenance Engineer and Property Manager.
In January 2004, a "Move the Mountain Campaign" was launched to pay off the remaining $154,000 balance on the Church mortgage.
On the first Sunday in January 2005, a third Worship Service was added to accommodate the growing Worshipping membership. Worship services were held at 8:00am, 10:00am and 12:00pm. Sunday School continued to meet at 9:30am.
On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005, the $500,000 mortgage was paid off and the Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held.
At the Bi-Annual Church Meeting held in July 2005, a vision of the future Church was presented in architectural drawings and in a miniature model. By God's grace and power, the new church facility will be built within the next two years. The theme for the next three years was "Building a Model Ministry and a Monument to God."
From Easter Sunday April 19, 1992 to Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009, a total of three thousand, one hundred and seventy-two (3,172) new members joined Progressive.
In January 2006, the Church launched a building campaign to raise $300,000 as a down payment to build a new Church building. On June 24, 2007, a ground-breaking ceremony was held. On August 8, 2007, the Franklin Bank in Minneapolis approved a mortgage loan to the Church for $3,700,000. Construction started soon after.
The Church moved out of the old Church building on Sunday, August 20, 2007. For one year and one month, our Church family wandered in the wilderness. The Holiday Inn Ballroom and the Battle Creek Middle School were our Worship centers. Ames Elementary School and New Hope Baptist Church were our Ministry centers, and the White House was our business center. God sent two angels, Dr. Delores Henderson and Rev. Runney Patterson to help us through the wilderness.
We know from scripture, when the Hebrews occupied the Promise Land, there were challenges. Likewise, there will be giants, well developed and fortified strong holds wanting to challenge us. We need prayers, support and involvement of every member in order to fulfill the vision for the Ministry God has given to us in this place.
The foundation of Progressive, based in the Word of God and led by the Holy Spirit has been well laid. As we move forward into these next years, our efforts will focus on making disciples of our members, evangelizing our immediate community and building a facility to accommodate our current and future membership.
Sunday May 28, 2017 Rev. Dr. Earl F. Miller retired as Senior Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church after many years of faithful leadership. On Sunday, November 5, 2017 Rev. Dr. Earl F. Miller passed the torch to his youngest son Rev. Dr. Melvin G. Miller who was formally installed as Senior Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church.
To God be the glory for the things He has done!