The Covenant Baptist Church has a long and illustrious history. We began over a saloon on Russell Street (near the present-day Ford and Chrysler Freeway Exchange). On the evening of November 21, 1894, thirty-two hearty souls gathered and signed the document to establish the Olivet Baptist Church. Thus, we began as a mission outreach of the Woodward Avenue Baptist Church. Within a year, we tripled in size, and began a journey of name and location changes: Ferry Avenue Baptist Church (1895-1916); Maranatha (1920-1926); Dexter (1926-1942); and The Covenant Baptist Church on James Couzens (1942-1977).
The Covenant Baptist Church grew into one of the premier churches of the American Baptist Churches/Convention, staying in the James Couzens location for 35 years. By 1977, Covenant responded, again, to the flow of population migration of the Detroit area in its northwestern direction and moved the congregation to its current location in the suburb of West Bloomfield where we have remained for 40 years.
We celebrate the history of Covenant through a glimpse of its Senior Pastors:
Emanuel S. Wilson (1894-1897)
Charles E. Lee (1898-1905)
Sherborne S. Clarke (1905-1906)
Walter L. Riley (1907-1911)
Nathaniel T. Hafer (1911-1912)
Christopher Burnett (1912-1920, 1924)
C. Edward LaReau (1921-1924)
William W. McMaster (1925-1933)
Warner R. Cole (1934-1964)
Harm A. Weber (1964-1969)
William F. Keucher (1970-1981)
Joseph L. Baker (1983-1994)
Fred W. Johnson (1994 – 1996)
Barry Lovett (1999 - 2001)
Jon Good (2005 - 2017)
Jabulani McCalister (2019 - to date)
The legacy of Covenant can be seen by looking at its past through these principles for a dynamic church: a pattern of progressive ideas; a commitment to lay ministry; an international goal-directed ministry; a willingness to pay the expensive price for growth; a belief in the power of prayer and faith; a clearly focused vision; and a desire for a ministry beyond ourselves.
Today, we celebrate our history as a community of believers with a diverse multicultural congregation positioned among the largest Arabic and Jewish communities in the United States. We began as a mission outreach and, as we celebrate our 125th anniversary, our focus is still “On Mission with Christ.”