In 1918, a small prayer band of eight women began in the home of Emma Mockabee. It is said that Betty Henry gave this prayer band the name “Nazarene Mission”. With the help of God, Rev. Baxter Barnett, other local ministers, mothers and church members, The Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church was officially organized in 1919.
The early organization moved several times while establishing itself as a church body. The first organized church service was held at Olive and Heidelbach. Nazarene then moved to Canal Street near Tenth Street. In 1921, Nazarene moved from Canal Street to Elliott Street, between Lincoln Avenue and Canal Street. In 1934, Nazarene moved to Castle Hall at fifth and Chestnut.
Rev. Barnett served from 1919 to 1920 and several Ministries and Clubs were established. Rev. Barnett was succeeded by several different Ministers between 1920 and 1934. Under the leadership of Rev. Drake from 1934 to 1936, the lot at 518 Lin-wood Avenue was purchased in February 1936. Rev. M.D. Banks was called to pastor Nazarene from 1937 to 1958 and continuing in prayer saw the building at 518 Linwood constructed and completed. God called Rev. Banks home in June of 1958. Rev. Brans-ford Utley was called to pastor Nazarene on Nov. 9, 1958. In 1966, the mortgage was burned and in 1967, the Olivet Presbyterian Church
was purchased at 867 E. Walnut Street. On July 14, 1968, the congregation marched from 518 Linwood Avenue to its present location, carrying the name Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church with them. God called Rev. Utley home in
June 1974. In November 1975, Rev. J.D. Marks was called to pastor Nazarene. He was the 1st African American Pastor in the City of Evansville to enroll in the Hospital Chaplain program at Deaconess Hospital. Under his leadership, Nazarene furnished a room in Griggs Hall at the American Baptist College in Nashville Tennessee. Rev. J. L. Trask was the Pastor of Nazarene from 1978 to 1988.
In February 1989 Rev. Larry A. Rascoe Sr., became pastor of Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Rascoe, several projects and improvements have been made to the church. Our Missionary program is stronger than ever and as God continues to bless us, new ministries include: Sunday 8 A.M. worship service, bi-monthly Youth In Worship services, a new audio system, a church newsletter; “The Nazarene News”, a renovated church nursery; “Noah’s Ark”, the “Willing Workers” Ministry, an additional ministry to the Usher Board; the “Greeters”, also numerous community retreats and workshops. In 1998 the conception and development of Joshua Academy was born; it is
now a Charter School for students three years of age through fifth grade.
In the summer of 2003, the Nazarene Sanctuary Choir recorded its first CD, which
was released on May 14, 2004. On April 25, 2004 Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church dedicated its’ new Educational Wing, which is located on the Bedford Street Side of our church. As Pastor Rascoe continues to be led by God, several of his visions for the ministry have been fulfilled. Ministry accomplishments include a degree from Oakland City University, a weekly radio broadcast ministry and global extension of his ministry included a mission trip to West Africa in 1997. Great, God-inspired leaders have truly blessed the Nazarene Missionary Baptist Church! Let us pray that we continue to follow the path that God has laid before us.