THE HISTORY OF SUNLIGHT MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Fifty-one years ago, a meeting was held on December 3, 1963 by Rev. J.K. Polk. It was in the home of Deacon and Sister Roosevelt Johnson located at 3412 Wabash Ave. in Kansas City, Mo. The purpose of the meeting was to organize a church. Thirteen individuals were present. The names of the thirteen were: Rev. Julius Rambo, Sr. Sister Mary Louise Rambo, Brother Huey Love, Sister Glossie Love, Brother Wiley Garner, Sr. Sister Lizzie Ashley, Sister Josephine Carter, Sister Beulah Jacobs, Brother Jacobs, Brother Joel Ashley, Sister Susie Walters, Brother Roosevelt Johnson, Sister Jessie Johnson. It was agreed that the church would be called Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Julius Rambo, Sr. was called as the permanent Pastor of the newly organized church. Officers were elected and 4244 Woodland was chosen as our first place of worship. The body united with the Sunshine District Association and also became a member of the General Baptist Convention of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.
The Lord blessed the church under the leadership of Pastor Rambo as he lead us under the divine guidance of God. Sunlight progressed steadily. In 1968, just three years after organizing, land was purchased (across the street from our current structure) at 1805 East 45th. Plans were drawn up for the construction of a new sanctuary in 1972. Completion was planned for March of 1973. Due to unforeseen circumstances, construction was halted much to the disappointment of the members. Our pastor was even more encouraged than discouraged about the dilemma. He repeated how he had a dream we would build and that very soon we would be in our new sanctuary. As Pastor Rambo had told us, things began to happen; new planes were drawn up, and new land was donated to us for the location of our new building. Finally, on Saturday, April 19, 1978, the dream came true! Pastor Rambo led us to a new church built by much love, faith, trust, and the sincere prayers of members. Rev. A.L. Johnson, Sr., the Pastor of the Zion Grove Baptist Church bought an inspiring message at our dedication service. Rev. John W. Williams, the President of the General Baptist Convention and Pastor of the St. Stephen Baptist Church also gave words of encouragement.
The membership continued at a steady growth. The construction of a new addition to the church began in February of 1992. On August 15, 1992 it was completed and dedicated. This expansion included more seating space in the sanctuary, a larger pulpit, and choir loft. A finance-room, fully equipped sound room and raised baptismal was also added. The secretarial office and Pastor’s study were enlarged. Also included was two paved parking lots, indoor and outdoor lighting and a new security system. February 27, 1998, we celebrated our Mortgage-Burning. Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church was our guest. Rev. Wallace S. Hartsfield brought the message entitled, “Lord what you have here for this grand occasion?” he reminded us that with the burden of paying a mortgage behind us, we can now focus all of our efforts on kingdom building. Words of encouragement were also given by Pastor Emeritus rev. A.L. Johnson of Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church and Pastor Emeritus Rev. Albert Colbert of Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church. Seven of the thirteen original members were present to take part in the burning of the mortgage. Ground was broken in 2006 for a new sanctuary. We purchased and demolished an old house and acquired two lots for the expansion. Challenges occurred but on March 14, 2010 we realized our dream and dedicated our new building. It includes a sanctuary with a balcony and seating for 700 people, mult-media projection screening, and expansive vestibule, four new offices, restrooms, an infant care room that’s sound-proof and a prayer room.
August 2013 marked history making events for the Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church. After 50 years of Pastoral leadership, Rev. Julius Rambo Sr. retired. On September 1, 2013, Rev. Rickey D. Rambo was installed as the 2nd Pastor of Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church. God has truly blessed us!