History of Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church
In December 1945, a group of eighteen believers resolved to band themselves together in faith fellowship. They held their first worship service on January 16, 1946, in a small building in the China Town district of Seattle, Washington. The membership grew rapidly and on February 17, 1946 they organized into a church with 32 members.
Among the membership was a minister named Rev. Norman Mitchell. He was one of several ministers at the new church. The membership saw something special in this young preacher. It was evident that God had placed a calling on his life. He was a dynamic speaker and definitely had leadership qualities. It was his suggestion that they name the church Goodwill Missionary Baptist. Rev. Norman Mitchell was chosen as Pastor in March of 1946.
Installation services were held March 31, 1946. Rev. Cornelius Brown officiated at the ceremonies. From the beginning, God lead the body of Christ at Goodwill to reach out to those in the metro Seattle area and beyond. Members were telling the story of Goodwill and the membership continued to grow.
It was God's desire that Goodwill would be a church that reaches out to the world around them. On August 9, 1946, with a vision of a revitalized teaching and evangelizing church, Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church decided to join the General Baptist Convention. They wanted to continue to build on the vision God had given them.
Early in 1947, the membership had grown so large; another place of worship was sought. Even though the membership was praying for their own sanctuary, they moved to another larger temporary building. That move happened on February 22, 1947. God blessed the Goodwill membership financially as well as spiritually and their prayers were answered when they were able to purchase a vacant lot at 19th Avenue and South Washington Street.
The shovels were poised to break ground when the membership learned that a Methodist Church at 1445 So. Main Street was up for sale. That building was purchased and the membership had the pleasure of worshipping God in a their own church home for the first time.
Dedication services were held October 9, 1949. God was continuing to work and the membership continued to grow. Goodwill had a mind to work knowing that God is an ever-present helper in the time of need. They soon found that the building on So. Main St. was too small for the growing congregation.
The set their sites again on the lot that they had purchased on South Washington Street, but heard that a Jewish Synagogue on Fir Street had recently come on the market. The shovels were laid down again and inquiries went out to purchase that property.
Negotiations were successful and Goodwill was on its way to their new sanctuary. Dedication services were held January 17-24, 1957.
Through dedication, sacrifice and the blessings of God, the mortgage was paid in full by March, 1962. In celebration of this accomplishment, a mortgage burning service was held on April 26, 1962. The church continued to grow and plans were made for future growth in this marvelous work of God.
For eleven years, Goodwill worshiped God and sang his praises in that building. By being faithful and obedient, God provided a way for them to build a new sanctuary on the same site.
On Sunday, December 24, 1967 groundbreaking services were held.
On January 3, 1968, the congregation moved their services temporarily to the Washington Hall, located at 153 14th Ave. So. That building was leased to use until the new edifice was completed. During that time the congregation continued to sing and pray as never before. They continued to praise God for his many blessings as they viewed their new sanctuary rising from the ground.
On October 1968, their vision became a reality, the new edifice was completed. Dedication Services were held October 20-27, 1968. The Rev. Dr. O.B. Williams of the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon brought the dedication sermon.
Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church, with a membership of over 800, continues in its spirit of unity of divergent people through affiliation with The General Baptist Convention and The American Baptist Churches. Through support of missions and sending members out as ministers, missionaries, musicians, and Christian educators, the church reaches out to unify the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Goodwill encourages the women of our church to exercise their gifts of the Spirit and to heed their calling to the ministry. We were blessed in April 2001 when Rev. Betty Woodard became the first female minister of our church.
Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church has seen a steady growth in its ministries to the homeless and incarcerated fin the Pacific Northwest. Goodwill has hosted numerous fine Women's & Men's workshops, choral concerts, community oriented prayer services, and interdenominational worship events. Many of our newer members have been attracted to Goodwill because of the combination of its unique commitment to its community with its vibrant, powerful, and well planned worship services. Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in January of 1996. The congregation looks toward its future even more expectantly.
In March of 2004 Bishop Garry L. Tyson became the 6th Pastor of Goodwill.