To all who are weary, and need rest; to all who mourn and need comfort; to all who are lonely and need a Friend; to all who sin and need a Savior; to all who are tempted and need strength; to all young and old; wise and unlearned; sick and poor; saint and sinner... this Church opens wide its doors in the name of Jesus Christ bids you welcome!
We are a unified body of believers who love one another as Christ loves us. We will share the WOrd of God with all people in hopes that they will come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the body of Christ will be edified!
GIllis is committed to being a Bible Based community that seeks to impact our world for Jesus Christ through engaging in:
Evangelism, Worship, Fellowship
Discipleship & Service
Jesus Provided for Your Salvation.
" Who (Jesus) His ownself bare our sins in His own blood on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
In 1860, in the home of Brother George Richardson, the late George Gillis Russell, grandfather of Attorney George Russell, founded Gillis Memorial Methodist Church. During the period of 1860 to 1932, very little was recorded about the church and its history. In 1933, Rev. Theodore C. Jackson, Sr. was appointed Pastor of Gillis Methodist Church, located on Stockton Street. The church had five (5) active members and was known as “The Friendly Church Around the Corner.”
In 1947, Gillis was able to move from Stockton Street to Calhoun and Mulberry Streets, thanks to a generous loan of $5,000 for the down payment on the church by Mr. and Mrs. Allen and others who used their homes as collateral for the loan. This new edifice was a dream come true in the life of Rev. Jackson, Sr. and his beloved wife, Lucy Jackson. A beautiful church where souls would be saved, Christians revived and spiritual guidance given was a blessing from God.
One Sunday morning, the Bishop came to Gillis to remove Rev. Jackson, Sr. as Pastor citing he was not qualified to pastor such a large congregation. Immediately, the ushers and other members of the congregation surrounded the pulpit denying the Bishop access and stopped the process. When the bishop saw the demonstration and the refusal of the congregation and its Pastor to comply, he left the church leaving Rev. Jackson, Sr. as the Pastor of Gillis. The Bishop’s attempt to remove Rev. Theodore C. Jackson, Sr. as pastor of the church prompted the membership of Gillis Memorial Methodist Church to vote to leave the Methodist Conferences. On August 7, 1951, The National Association Council of Community Churches of America and Elsewhere, Inc., now known as The United Council of Community Churches of Maryland and Vicinity, Inc., was organized under the leadership of the late Wilbur Waters, and Gillis Memorial became a member and the name of the church was changed to Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church. In December 1968, Gillis Memorial Christian Community Church moved to 4016 Park Heights Ave, its present location, after the City of Baltimore demolished the church to make way for an expressway. As the church continued to flourish, Rev. Jackson, Sr. appointed Rev. Tinnie Chaney to the position of Assistant Pastor. Rev. Chaney was the first woman to be appointed Assistant Pastor in the City of Baltimore.
On July 3, 1970, Rev. Theodore C. Jackson, Sr., passed from labor to reward leaving the church in the capable hands of his son, Rev. Dr. Theodore C. Jackson, Jr. In 1975, Lucy Jackson, mother of Dr. Jackson, joined Rev. Jackson, Sr. in Glory. Despite the transition, the membership continued to grow to over 2,000 members, which we maintained for at least 30 years.
After serving 45 years, Rev. Dr. Theodore C. Jackson, Jr. became Gillis’ first Pastor Emeritus in May 2015.
Reverend Theodore C. Jackson, Sr.
Lucy Milburn Jackson “Mama Lucy”
ONE OF THE FIRST
Gillis was known for its radiating spirit of friendliness and warmth felt by all that came within its doors, as well as its praying and singing bands. Our church was one of the first churches in Baltimore to open its doors to some of the nation's most outstanding singers and groups such as Mahalia Jackson, Roberta Martin Singers, Clara Ward & the Ward Singers,
Dixie Hummingbirds, Kings of Harmony, Rev. James Cleveland, The Harmonizing Four, Sam Cook, Clay Evans, Tye Tribbett, Kierra Kiki Sheard, and others. It is for this reason Gillis received the name "The Singing Church." Rev. Theodore C. Jackson, Sr. was one of the first Black ministers to broadcast on the radio along with the narrator, Chuck Richards, and Mrs. Pauline Wells Lewis (Aunt Pauline) and Mrs. Sylvia Person (Aunt Sylvia), the Gospel Duet.
The songs of Zion and the Word of God were broadcasted over the "The Open Heart Hour" daily on radio station WANN. Through this broadcast, the Word of God, and soul stirring selections, many people came to Gillis and joined its membership. Over the years, Gillis has broadcasted not only on WANN, but WSID, WBGR, and WCAO, Heaven 600.
Gillis can boast of hosting some of the world’s most outstanding personalities. Did you know that Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, preached the Installation Service at Calhoun and Mulberry Streets and his wife, Hazel Scott, renowned pianist, was the guest soloist? Over the years, we were honored with the presence of Governor Theodore McKeldin, a frequent visitor at the Stockton Street location; Vice President Hubert Humphrey; Senator Joseph Tydings; State Senator Verda Welcome; Congressman Parren Mitchell; Judges George Russell and Milton Allen; former State President of the NAACP, Dr. Lillie M. Jackson; and many other outstanding ministers and civic leaders too numerous to mention.
Here is another first. Both Rev. Theodore C. Jackson, Sr. and Rev. Dr. Theodore C. Jackson, Jr. served as President of The United Council of Community Churches of Maryland and Vicinity, Inc.