When we as Christians are inspired by God to recognize the church as being “The Body of Jesus Christ”, God’s loving gift to the world then, and only then, are we led to unite our forces and build for Him a House of Worship. He tells us to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.
We are sure that it was from these words of inspiration, in the year 1865, that a group of newly freed slaves, Christian pioneer citizens migrated from North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana to form Piney Point Community in West Houston. Piney Point Community is defined by the streets of Westheimer, Jeanetta, Dunvale, and Westpark. The Pioneers took a step closer to God, and made a property purchase of the 8000 block of Westheimer (currently 9100 block of Westheimer & Jeanetta Road). The property was purchased from Ms. Willie Canfield, for $1.50 per acre.
The name Pilgrim Rest was submitted by Rev. Max Austin, Sr. and adopted by the church. The first minister to be called as pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church was Rev. Max Austin, Sr. (1865-1870). Rev. J. Blackstock (1870-1900) succeeded Rev. Austin as pastor of the church. Rev. Blackstock pastored the church for approximately 30 years. It was under his leadership, because of transportation inconveniences, the church was moved to the corner of Westheimer and Jeanetta, leaving the remaining property in its entirety for memorial space.
By 1965, the Missionary Society of Pilgrim Rest was well established and active. In the late sixties, Pastor George Wilkins (1955-2000) officially added “Missionary” to the name, making it “Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church”.
In May 2002, newly elected Pastor James Blake aggressively inquired about all church properties and developed dialog with boarding property owners. As the vision unfolds, God commissioned Rev. Blake to “expand the boundaries” in 2004. This act of faith now is the result of 15 properties of ownership (2004-2015).
With much prayer and fasting from the Pilgrims, God allowed Pilgrim Rest to expand her boundaries as the “best fit” for the property known as 9101 Richmond Avenue, Pilgrim Rest Annex Building and North Campus.