About The Grove
In March 1902, Deacon Lewis Watson called a small group of Baptist believers together to begin holding religious services in a two-room house on 38th Street, Englewood. As attendance grew, the first pastor, Rev. L. R. Price was called. Rev. A. B Berth, who served a short time succeeded, Rev. Price.
The members continued to meet in the small frame dwelling and the membership continued to grow. In 1905, the people began to be more concerned and conscious about a place of worship. As a result of their thinking and the welfare of their church, they selected another leader that might be able to inspire a building program. It was at this time that Rev. L. W. Norman was called to serve as Pastor. With the assistance of Deacon Watson, a building program was started. The owners of the Oakland Cemetery donated an old house, which was the first building. In 1907, the first corner stone was laid and inscribed with Rev. L. W Norman, Pastor and Lewis W. Watson, Deacon.
The following ministers served as pastors between 1907-1922: Rev. Madison Rhodes, Rev. Gwinn, Rev. William Lane, Rev. A. C. Henley, Rev. Yancey, Dr. J. C. Cunningham, Dr. William Spencer, and Rev. C. H. Taylor.
In 1923, Rev. D. B. Edwards, a very energetic, capable, youthful and progressive man of God was called as pastor. After coming to Pleasant Grove, Dr. Edwards immediately set plans for the construction of a new church building. In 1926, a new building was completed and another corner stone was laid, inscribed, Pleasant Grove rebuilt in 1926. Rev. Edwards was called from labor to reward in December 1961.
In April 1962, Rev. Rector E. Avery became pastor of the church. In February 1964, the Highway Department purchased the church site to make way for an interstate. The church purchased property on Fifty-third Street and Avenue D and later purchased two lots on Fifty-second Street and Avenue D.
Groundbreaking Ceremonies were held on July 26, 1964, on Fifty-second Street and Avenue D., Fairfield, Alabama at 3:30 p.m. The church furniture was stored and the church began worshipping at the Christian Industrial Hall, Fairfield, AL in August 1964. On September 5, 1965, they entered the new sanctuary.
In May 1994, Rev. Avery retired as pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church due to illness. He served loyally and faithfully for thirty-two years. After an intensive and prayerful search, on October 3, 1994, the present pastor, Dr. Willie Wells, Jr., became the church’s 14th pastor.
Under Pastor Wells’ dynamic and spiritual leadership, several ministries have been implemented and/or expanded; and membership has grown and finances have increased greatly. In 2005, the membership dedicated the new existing sanctuary and a renovated education building and fellowship hall.
The testimonies of this age will forever note Pastor Wells, as an Ordained Shepherd with a vision rightly leading God’s people in fulfilling the mission of the founding fathers that was started one hundred and six years ago, and instituted by Jesus Christ over two thousand years.
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Dr. Willie Wells, Jr., is the Pastor of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Fairfield, Alabama. His ministerial objective is fulfilling the great commandment of winning souls to Christ and teaching the word of God to enrich the knowledge of man in the acceptance of the Holy Word. He is married to Carol A. Johnson Wells of Birmingham, Alabama and the proud father of two sons & two daughter in-laws, Willie & Valencia Wells III and Andrew & Andrea Wells.
Dr. Wells is a graduate of Woodlawn High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree, BS, in Marketing from Alabama State University. He received a Bible Certificate, Bible Diploma, and a Bachelor of Theology degree, Bth, from the Birmingham/Easonia Bible College. He received his Master of Ministry in Arts degree, MA, from the Birmingham Theological Seminary. The Birmingham/Easonia Bible College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree, DD, in recognition of his community leadership and humanitarian commitment.
Pastor Wells has served as Moderator and 1st Vice Moderator of the Peace Baptist District Association, a lecture in the Peace Baptist Congress and Association. He is a certified instructor by the National Baptist Publishing Board. He is instrumental in the teaching of the Certificate of Progress Program, COPP, and the fundamentals of setting up of the COPP throughout the State of Alabama. He is an Alpha Man, a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a community leader and many other worthy organizations.
Dr. Wells is recognized as a renowned Lecture and a Motivation Teacher. He is “An ordained Shepherd with a Vision Rightly Leading God’s People,” truly a humanitarian. He is a professor at the Birmingham Theological Seminary. Dr. Wells strongly believes in continued growth in Christian Education. Presently, he is enrolled at Covenant Theological Seminary in the Pastor’s Summit in St. Louis, Missouri.