Rev. Dr. T.A. Hodge, Pastor
Regular Baptist church (RBC)
In 1842, the Old Baptist Church in New Orleans came together with the Old Union Society who purchased a lot of ground on Fifth Street and the corner of Cova Street (now called Weyer Street.) The land measured seventy-one feet and one inch on Fifth Street and one hundred fifty-three and five inches on Weyer Street. In 1866, a year after the final guns of the Civil War had been silenced, a tall graceful bible carrying man of the gospel, Reverend Charles Matthews, was called to pastor the church. Regular became the first black church on the Westbank. Upon the death of Pastor Matthews in 1889, the membership went into prayer asking God to send them another leader.
Three years later, Reverend Edmund D. Coleman was sent by God to pastor Regular Baptist Church. At the turn of the 20th Century, Reverend Coleman, eager for new ideas, gave an added dimension to Christian leadership. During this period of great social change, members of Regular were among the first blacks to exercise the right to vote. Reverend Coleman and the Regular Baptist Church membership saw the birth of World War I. They saw the city incorporated in 1913 and the church demolished during a severe storm in 1916. In 1929, the great depression struck. Regular was feeling the financial pinch as other churches. Nevertheless, Reverend Coleman held strong to his commitment in serving God and faithfully served as pastor for thirty years into the 20th century. On October 12, 1930, he was called home to receive his just reward. Again the church went down in prayer in search of another spiritual leader.
On November 2, 1933, God smiled on Regular. A man small in stature but tall in courage, a spiritual and dedicated man endowed with the Holy Ghost, was called and ordained to pastor. Reverend Louis H. Harrang took over the helm. Faith in God and the inspired leadership of Reverend Harrang proved victorious; the church followed Pastor Harrang into the dawning of a new day. In 1958, Reverend Harrang led his flock into a new and larger edifice. The debts of the new church were quickly paid. A strong leader, a dedicated preacher and a God sent pastor, Reverend Harrang gave his all. Knowing that one day the leadership of Regular would go to another leader, Pastor Harrang recognized a zealous young preacher, a future leader, Reverend Daniel J. Powell, whom he ordained in September 1953. In July 1963, God called Pastor Harrang home from toil to eternal rest.
On November 2, 1963, Reverend Daniel J. Powell was unanimously elected pastor of Regular Baptist Church. A divinely inspired preacher-teacher, Pastor Powell led many souls to Christ. After much prayer and sacrifices, it was decided by the membership to build a larger edifice. Pastor Powell dreamed a dream of a congregation free from the burden of financial debt. Under the inspired leadership of Pastor Powell and the generosity of the congregation, we marched into a new Regular Baptist Church on Sunday, July 25, 1982 debt free. A beautiful edifice dedicated to the winning of souls for Christ. “Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be open unto you.” We have asked and it was given. God has opened the window of heaven and has poured out his blessings upon us. Regular has purchased the following properties debt free: 427 Weyer Street (Reverend Daniel J. Powell Educational Building and Fellowship Centre’ with a fully equipped commercial kitchen), 904-906 Fifth Street, two vans for the transport of members to and from church services. We are truly blessed at Regular Baptist Church. In the ladder part of 2002, Pastor Powell, with the direction of the Holy Spirit, led Regular into another spiritual endeavor, the “Renovation of the Church”, a gigantic undertaking. On the first Sunday in February 2003, Regular began holding services at Evening Star Baptist Church. Evening Star’s pastor, Reverend Keith Paul Stewman, and his congregation graciously allowed Regular to hold services at their church. On November 15, 2003, we marched back into Regular, an edifice dedicated to praising the Lord. We thank God for a beautiful sanctuary fully renovated and equipped with modern technical equipment, pews, carpet and many, many more features. In April 2004 we were blessed to purchase 902-904 Fourth Street and in 2005 God showered his blessing once again with the purchase of a van.
After 42 years of pastoring Regular Baptist Church, on July 2, 2005, God dispatched an angel from heaven and lead Pastor Powell into a new home, a home not made by hands. Our Regular family has lost a truly anointed under Sheppard who faithfully lead the Regular family. We will be forever eternally grateful to God in His infinite wisdom and loving kindness to have appointed and anointed Reverend Powell to lead his flock towards the high mark in continue prayer and trusting that the battle is the Lord’s, not ours.
Now, we know that the effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much and God has truly blessed the Regular church' family once more and again. On April 20, 2008 the congregation elected, undoubtedly an awesome, courageous man of God who is full of the Holy Ghost and an "anointed" preacher/teacher, Reverend Toy Anthony Hodge, as pastor. Full of wisdom beyond his years, Rev. Hodge faithfully seeks God's counsel and guidance over all matters and arising situations. Under Rev. Hodge's leadership thus far there has been a rebirth and awaking of souls for Christ. The congregation has been encouraged and challenged to give our all to God; let God completely handle it, and dared to watch God move! As we venture into greater depths of coming into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Regular's growth and visibility in the community continues to expand and God's favor is boundless. In 2009, we renovated and re-dedicated the Daniel J. Powell Fellowship Centre', and a portion of Fifth Street was dedicated to the memory and service of the late Rev. Powell to the community. Through prayers and unwavering faith, God has continued to show favor upon the Regular church' family. By grace, the properties purchased on Weyer Street (Lots B & C) were beautifully transformed into spacious parking facilities, which provide additional parking for the members of Regular and our visiting friends. Knowing from whom all blessings flow, Pastor Hodge along with the members offered up sincere praises and gratitude to the Lord for His' faithfulness to our church' family and shortly thereafter, the newly renovated parking lots were dedicated to the memory of Rev. Edmund D. Coleman and Rev. Louis H. Harrang. With the completion of Phase I & II of the Coleman & Harrang parking lots, the church, by faith, was given more of God's grace and successfully acquired the adjacent property (Lot D) in 2010, which was also beautifully renovated, thereby completing Phase III of the church's parking facilities. Also in 2010, God continued to illustrate His' enormous, unlimited grace and construction/renovations began on the properties at 902-904 Fourth Street, which will be the future home of our Senior Citizens and Youth Centers. Phase I of this project is well underway and through God's continual blessings, we move forward with great expectation of our Seniors enjoying a fully modernized facility in the upcoming months.
In Habakkuk 2, the Lord says in His' word to "write the
vision and make it plain...For the vision is yet for an
appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not
lie...because it will surely come." The Lord has surely
spoken to Pastor Hodge, and the message has been delivered
to God's people. Again through faith, we have been
tremendously blessed and during the latter part of 2010 we
acquired the property at 900-902 Fifth Street, which is the
future home of the state-of-the-art Regular Baptist Church
Community Center. On Sunday, December 2011, under the
leadership of our Anointed Pastor, we have added a second
service to our Sunday worship times ensuring that more
opportunities are afforded to God's people to come into the
House of Worship and experience the liberty of worshipping
and praising a true and living God. Also in 2011, the first
phase of renovating the properties at 902-904 Fourth Street
was implemented as the Senior Citizens Center was completed
in early Spring with fully modernized amenities, and the
Youth Center was completed in December. In addition, we
have continued to be recipients of God's favor in that we
successfully renovated a portion of our Education Building
to include a technological advanced Computer Lab, which is
being used in conjunction with tutoring programs for our
youth, education/training for our Seniors on various local,
state, and federal programs, etc... By early 2012,
through advances in technology, weekly live streaming
broadcasting of Sunday services was unveiled, as well as the
church's mobile app, ensuring many opportunities for our
church family and friends to stay in fellowship and apprised
of current events within the RBC community and beyond.
Regular, we have been
abundantly blessed and as long as we continue to "seek ye
first the Kingdom of God and his' righteousness", there is
no end to the depths upon which we shall soar!
In August 2012, the favor of God's hand rested upon Regular once more. The Lord commended yet another son into the ministry, Minister Allen Banks was also licensed by Pastor Hodge to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. On January 27, 2014, the property at 425 Weyer Street was acquired. This property Will provide extra space for classrooms, meetings, counseling sessions and a full scale exercise room. This building is also used for community service, such as free tutoring, free IRS Income service and health care seminars.
As we approached the close of 2014, God blessed Regular by adding another son to its ministerial staff. Minister Kelford Francis, Sr. was licensed to preach and teach God's word. In 2014, Pastor Hodge had yet another vision. The 2nd service mass choir originated in order to utilize their gifts, talents and voices to sing for the Lord.
As the Lord continued to move Regular to higher heights in 2016, Pastor envisioned and instituted a choir dedicated to the "seniors", aptly named "The Golden Voices". Since their inception in April, these men and women lift their voices to usher in the Holy Spirit every opportunity they are given! In May of 2016, a portion of the Senior/youth Centre' was dedicated as a Counseling Room and name the Ovile Williams Counseling Room, in recognition of a committed long time faithful member who was reared in the house. In June of 2016, Minister Warren Atkins was licensed to preach. He joined the great fellowship of ministers who lift up the name of Jesus at RBC.
In 2018 God gave Pastor Hodge yet another vision.
The Missionaries of the church were elevated to the
Deaconess Ministry. They were later given Certificates of
Ordained Deaconess. The entire Deaconess Ministry was
elevated to also serve in the role as Mothers of the Church.
Although we are celebrating our 152nd Church Anniversary, the Regular church family has been Praising and Worshiping the Lord our God for over 152 years. We have a congregation of baptized believers, filled with the Holy Ghost. In 152 years we have had only five pastors, and have built four edifices and remodeled one. Let us continue to lift up Christ. We are climbing up the mountain, steadfast and immoveable!