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History of Samaria Baptist Church

Rev. W.M. Bowden

April 25, 1952 – June 1962

Samaria Baptist Church was founded April 25, 1952 at 925 Verbena Street, Fort Worth, TX in the home of the Bowden’s with approx. 25 members.  The church family later moved into Pinkston Funeral Chapel for Sunday Services.  Under the watchful eye and the determination of Rev. Bowden, the church family moved to the corner of Daggett and Illinois Street.  Pastor Bowden was a dedicated leader until his death in 1962.


Rev. David Crockett

November 1962 – July 1, 1966

Rev. David Crockett was called to pastor Samaria Baptist Church in November 1962.  Through prayer and determination, he held the congregation together until his health failed.  Most of his time was dedicated to building the young struggling church. Pastor Crockett’s health began to take a toll on him, due to his age and health.  Rev Crockett recommended that Rev James Ray Evans, Jr serve as the new pastor in his stead.


Rev. James Ray Evans, Sr

July 6, 1966 – January 9, 1979

Rev. James Ray Evans, Sr was called to pastor on July 6, 1966.  He was a powerful, praying, preaching, teaching pastor.  He was a firm believer in the power of the Holy Spirit; and that “God could do anything”.  He regaled the congregation and the city with his powerful prayers and his extraordinary preaching methods.  It has been said by many that after J.R. Evans finished praying, the benediction could be given.


Being led by the Holy Spirit, in March 1968, Rev. Evans, the Deacons and Trustees set out on a mission for the Lord, with a vision to build a new church. The Lord guided them to the corner of Bessie and Tennessee Streets on the Southside of Fort Worth. In March 1969, the church entered the newly built Samaria at 1201 E Bessie Street.


The church was blessed both spiritually and financially. The membership continued to grow with leaps and bounds under the leadership of Pastor Evans. It soon came to the pastor’s attention that the congregation had outgrown the newly built Samaria. Thus, on January 31, 1977, the Pastor, Trustees, and Deacons, set out once again on a final mission for the Lord to find a permanent new home for Samaria Baptist Church. And, once again, the Lord was with them, and guided them to the Tarrant Roads Baptist Church at 4000 E. Berry Street.


Negotiations began, meetings were held, and financing was secured. Ultimately, the congregation agreed to purchase the property at 4000 E. Berry Street. The church moved into its new home in the summer of 1977.  The Lord blessed, and the congregation grew, thus many new programs and Auxiliaries were implemented under the leadership of Pastor Evans.  Pastor Evans remained faithful, steadfast, loyal, and dedicated to the church until his unexpected and untimely death on January 9, 1979.


Rev. McKinley Jackson

February 14, 1979 – February 26, 2013

Rev. McKinley Jackson, former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Terrell, TX, was called to pastor Samaria Baptist Church on February 14, 1979. Being led by the Holy Spirit, exemplifying the fruits of the spirit, Pastor Jackson immediately took over the responsibilities of the grief-stricken church.  Under his leadership, he prepared the church for the march to do the will of our Father in heaven. The church began to prosper, and there were many accomplishments under Pastor Jackson’s leadership.


Samaria was blessed under Sr. Pastor Jackson’s leadership with 12+ sons in the ministry, and 24 Deacons were ordained.  The church membership grew to approx. 450 members, a minster of music was acquired, numerous ministries were formed, and many revivals, marriages, and counseling sessions were held.  An extension number of repairs and purchases were made for and to the church.  He saw the need to place a cornerstone at the entry of the church facing the east, with the name of the church inscribed thereon, along with the founders and organizer, the late Rev. W. M. Bowden. The cornerstone also bears Pastor McKinley Jackson’s name, and 17 Deacons and Trustees.


In 1979, Pastor Jackson took over the administration of the church’s Day Care Center.  Being concerned about the community, he chose to use the center as an Outreach Ministry for low-income families.


During the early years of Pastor Jackson’s administration, the church sustained a $90,000 fire in the Education facility.  As devastating as the conditions were at that time, Pastor Jackson sought the guidance of the Lord, consequently the Educational facility was reconstructed, and the chapel was renamed “Jackson’s Chapel” as a landmark. Additional, under Pastor Jackson’s leadership, the Fellowship Hall was name “J.R. Evans Fellowship Hall”, after the late Pastor James Ray Evans, Sr.


On May 5, 1977, the church had a $231,251 note secured by a Deed of Trust, under the leadership of Pastor Jackson, the full and final payment of the note was executed on September 21, 1995.  During Pastor Jackson’s administration, two additional lots were purchased.  The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd phases of the Parking Lot were completed, a new fence added to surround the property, new transportation was acquired with the purchase of a 15-passenger 2001 Ford Van.


Pastor McKinley Jackson remained faithful and dedicated to the church until his death on February 26, 2013.




Dr. William McKinley Jackson

August 1998 – March 2002

March 2006 – October 2014

October 2018 – Present

With recommendation from Sr Pastor Jackson, his biological son, and son in the ministry,

Dr. Wm McKinley Jackson, was called to pastor the church in August 1998.  Samaria was then blessed to have two pastors, Sr. Pastor McKinley Jackson and Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson.


In March 2002, Dr. Wm McKinley was called to pastor the Starlight Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX.  In March 2006, due to a decline in health and with the church’s blessings, Rev. McKinley Jackson, asked the church to entertain a motion that Dr. Wm McKinley Jackson would become Pastor of the church.  The nomination was gladly made and seconded by the membership.  In October 2006, Dr. Wm McKinley Jackson, Pastor of Starlight Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX, took over the Pastoral Leadership of Samaria, once again.  In November 2006, the Rev. John Adolph of the Antioch Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX officially installed Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson as Pastor.


Upon his return, Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson welcomed in, and baptized, many new members.  The finances and the moral of the church improved greatly. Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson conducted a Leadership Conference motivating the members to work together.  The church adopted the vision statement: “Moving To The Next Level”, and the purpose statement “Exalt the Savior, Equip the Saints, and Evangelize the Sinners”.  Under Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson, the church was beautified with a $300,000 building renovation.


In October 2014, Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson was called to pastor the Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.  However, in August 2018, due to the Samaria Church facing weakened sustainability following three membership splits, and two short-tenured Pastors (Rev. Talben T Pope, Sr 2014-2015 and Rev. Kenneth Johnson Jr 2016-2018), the Board of Trustees, alongside Pastor Ross Johnson, Jr of Tulane Memorial Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA and Pastor Kenneth Jones of First Zion Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX, petitioned the church to consider the motion that Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson would once again become Pastor of the church. Samaria’s remaining membership gladly accepted the return. Thus, in October 2018, Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson once again took over Samaria’s Pastoral Leadership.  


Within three months upon his return, the church was successful in gaining 68 new members.  The church’s ministries are once again being formed and executed, and the new member class is back in effect. Under Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson, the church has also been successful in converting the Youth Building into a Transitional Home to assist female individuals get situated in life.  In years to come, with the help of the Lord, and the guidance of Pastor Wm McKinley Jackson, the church is prayerful to “Move to the Next Level”.

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