December 1984 to November 11, 2012
Time for a new beginning
He was asked, and Pastor Brown answered, “Yes!” When
the flock heard, they shouted and danced, and praised God!
Soon after, they wanted to know what the church would be
called. “Let me pray about it,” said Rev. Brown. Two weeks
passed before he returned to them saying, “God gave me
‘New Haven’. New Haven will be the name, because the
people need a haven to go to,” he explained.
Rev. G.G. Brown
shepherded this flock for
24 years, from 1985 until
his retirement on July 31,
2008, at age 83. Though
having passed the torch
on, this Man of God can
still be found on the
battlefield for Christ here
among the body of New
Rev. Brown was one of
the co-founders of New
Baptist Church, along
Also, the first President of the Mothers’ Board, it was Mother
Burrell who met with Rev. Brown in December of 1984, soon
after he had resigned from True Vine. She asked him not to
leave town, but to stay and help them build a new church
that they had already started with a handful of others who
had come from True Vine.
The New Haven Mother’s Board now consists of Sisters
Dorothy Gatlin, President and eldest daughter of Mother
Burrell, Callie Bobo, Lela Johnson, Ethel Dunbar, Geneva
Ewing, Thretha Carter, Iola Johnson, and Sis. Velma
On the battlefield for most of their adult lives, Mother Burrell
(grandmother of Rev. Corbin) and Sis. Bland were surely
watching from above as the congregation marched that
Sunday from Jerry Street to our current home.
Mother Mary Bland was a faithful worker and
the first President of the Usher’s Board. During
their earthly service, She and Sis. Frankie
Burrell were a formidable and inseparable tag
team for Christ!
Sis. Ersaline Bryant made each of the crossings
from 5th Street to West street, and was with us
at this site, for 6 years before going to be with
the Lord in 2010.
And, now under the pastorship of her son (Rev.
Rodney Corbin), Sis. Marie Corbin continues to
be a faithful member and willing worker here at
In December 1984, Sis. Bland, Mother Burrell, Sis Bryant and Sis. Corbin--
these four women held the first Sunday morning worship service at the home
of Sis. Bland. This little house at 415 Garland, in West Helena, served as the
first church of what was the start of New Haven Missionary Baptist Church.
The women were joined there that morning by 4 other adults (and their
children), who had also left True Vine soon after them.
On This Rock...
The Garland Street Church Roll
Sis. Queen Jarrett
Sis. Vivian Banks Bradford
Sis. Brenda Johnson
Sis. Ruthie Rogers
Sis. Mary Bland
Sis. Ersaline Bryant
Sis. Frankie Haire Burrell
Sis. Marie Corbin
Most of these women had children and/or grandchildren
who came with them. Including the youth,
there were 21 who first gathered to worship at the
little house church that wintry December Day.
Our first choir rehearsal was
held at the home of Sis.
Queen Jarrett (Bro. Elbert) in
West Helena. The first New
Haven choir was made up of
17 women and children.
There were no instruments.
They sang hymns acapello,
with the stomping of feet and
clapping of hands as their
only accompaniment. But it
was a high holy time!
More Than Just A Building...
To most who first laid eyes on it,
it was an old ragged shack...
“But to us, it was a palace..”
-- Sis. Ersaline Bryant
New Haven’s second church home was an old hamburger hut, called the
Buccaneer, leased to the fledgling flock by Bro. Clyde Bobo. It still stands on
Panama Road in West Helena. When the church opened its doors there in
February of 1985, that Sunday morning, nine new members were added to the
roll, joining those would had come from the Garland Street house church.
...I Will Build My Church
Those nine were:
Sis. Rosie Norvell
Sis. Elizabeth Honey Sanders
Sis. Dorothy Gatlin
Bro. Troy Bobo
Sis. Mattie Sanders
Sis. Tosha Johnson
Sis. Phyllis White
Sis. Lottie Stone
Sis. Emma Lee
There were not the men
to comprise a deacon
board back then. So, as
God uses whom He will,
these women were
officially the first
deacons of the church,
coined “deaconesses” by
Pastor Brown. They
served from the start of
the church’s time in the
Buccaneer and through
out a long portion of time
at Jerry Street. They
were Sis. Elizabeth
“Honey” Sanders, Sis.
Ersaline Bryant and Sis.
Marie Corbin. Sis.
Brenda Johnson, now
deceased, was also on
Members going all the way back to the Buccaneer are Sis. Choice Peer, who
would later follow Sis. Bland as Pres. of the Usher Board. Sis. Lucille Maxey (C)
became the Pastor’s first nurse. She went home to take her rest in 2010. Sis.
Vanilla Burrell Kemp (daughter of Mother Burrell) joined at Jerry Street working
throughout as a dedicated usher. She saw the foundation of the current home
be laid, but passed on to her eternal home before the building was completed.
Prepare the Fatted Calf!
“We’ve been here for as long as it takes a woman to have a baby,” Rev. Brown
would say just as they were preparing to move from the little hamburger hovel
that they had transformed into a place where God was truly worshipped!
It was a cold Sunday morning when they left the
Buccaneer for the last time. Members
marched the way to what was to be their third church
home, shouting, dancing and singing ‘Moving
Up To Zion,’ as they went. A humble people were
making a crossing, and doing it with praise
for the One who made it all possible.
Once Pastor Brown had said, “Yes” to the new building that
had first been spotted by Sis. Bland, another of the co-
founders, Sis. Marie Corbin, found an angel who gifted the
church with the money for the down payment to purchase
Finally, while at Jerry
Street, the Lord sent
New Haven one of its’
James Carter, who has
since passed on. But
even with his coming,
men were still scarce.
So, the women
continued to work with
him in their role as
Deaconesses, until God
sent those men who
might be trained to
serve as deacons.
And, soon thereafter, God
did send men! The Deacon
Board sprouted .
(Left to right) Bro. Edward
Lewis, Bro. Ike Tribune,
Deacon Troy Bobo, Bro.
George Hicks (Deacon in
Training at Jerry Street), and
Bro. Marvin Jarrett. Not
pictured, Bro. Fate Heard
and Bro. Elbert Jarrett also
served for a time as New
Haven Deacons .
But, Rev. G.G. Brown
couldn’t have known
at this time, that he
and his congregation,
after a decade, would
soon be leaving Jerry
Street for something
greater that God had
in store for His
Oh, That You Would
And Enlarge Our
It was long time member, Mother
Earnestine Russell who first carried
the vision for a new church home.
Then, she and Mother Dorothy Gatlin
took the idea to Sis. Marie Corbin, a
member of the Board of Trustees.
From there, it was discussed between
the Trustees, the Deacons and Pastor
...And the body also believed! In the summer of 2002, they, too, said
“Yes” to the dream. The time had come! And on June 15, 2004, members
joined together for the historic ground breaking.
Those who were closely
involved with the project
would learn first hand of
the dips and sharp turns
that were to be endured
in this crossing. Yet,
they never forgot to look
to the Lord and to glorify
Yes, we had an expert guide who knew the course better than anyone else ever
could. His name was Jesus! With Him wearing the hard hat, the construction of
the fourth church home was begun. Set on 5 acres of land purchased from Bro.
Clyde Bobo, miraculously, it was built without there ever being blue prints drawn
up! Who could lead such a project but God?!
Entering into our new home on July 1, 2005, on that
blessed Sunday morning, the congregation once
again marched from the old place to the new one.
Oh, what jubilation! How we worshipped and praised
God that day!
And just as the Lord gave us a good Shepherd at the
start of our exodus, before we ever imagined Rev.
Brown’s departure in the summer of 2008, God had
already chosen the man to walk this way after him... It
was to be a young preacher who had grown up at True
Vine, under Rev. Brown, and who at this time resided
in northwest, AR. He was no stranger to New Haven.
Still, we could not have known...
So, with much
God to send a
preacher, but a
man of God
who lived the
type of life that
Yes, God heard our cry and
opened up the way,
moving one barrier after
another to bring this
preacher to us; allowing us
once again to witness only
a work that God could
perform—showing us that
He is with us, New Haven;
For, to know the story of
this Shepherd’s coming, is
to know that God sent him
So, on March 29, 2009, Rev.
Rodney Corbin preached his
first sermon as Pastor of New
Haven, to become only the
second Pastor to lead these
people during our 25 year
His official installation date was
June 28, 2009. Since this time
to the present, Rev. Corbin has
lead approximately 227 souls to
Not forgetting the
road less traveled,
or the faith and
work of those who
have come before
us. But, Looking
to our future... To
will tell...how the
final history will
read through the
efforts of us all
who are here in
has been and is a
haven for God’s
The path has been cut by God and first pressed down by the treading of
our co-founders, and by each of you– old and new members...
From a tiny
Since it’s founding, the New Haven body
has grown from 8 adult members to more
than 600 adults and children who have
accepted Christ as their Savior! Making
each one of you who were there from the
very first day of December 1984, to this, the
11th day of November, 2012—the 28th year, a
part of the history that is New Haven
We shall not be ashamed of our
history, for God commanded Joshua,
“Take twelve stones out of the midst
of the Jordan
and carry them over with you that
they may be a sign among you when
your children ask their fathers in
times to come,
‘What do these stones mean to
Yes, like the Israelites, we must let
Wait Here: Will read an introduction here before moving to the slide of Rev. Brown