On September 20, 1981, Rev. Henry E. Emery and a congregation of community citizens began meeting at the Douglass Center Annex for 11:00a.m. Worship service in Champaign, IL. While waiting on the Lord to direct them; Deacon and Mother Willie Joe Cooper made it possible for the congregation to use their vacant house at 608 E. Columbia in Champaign.
On September 27, 1981, Rev. Emery and congregation voted and approved the name Jericho Missionary Baptist Church as the church name. This approval leads to the petitioning of the General Conference District in order that the name "Jericho" is legally adopted into the Missionary Baptist District. There were 88 chartered members who included four Deacons: Henry Butler (who later resigned to become a Trustee), Joe Lewis, Porter Halcrombe and Raymond Winfrey (who later became an ordained Minister). Four Trustees: Lorelei Williams, Glen Sibley, Elzie Kyse (now deceased) and Dorothy Harris.
The current edifice at 801 Killarney Drive was purchased on July 7, 1982. On August 8, 1982, the congregation motorcade from Douglass Center Annex to the new Sanctuary for the first 11:00 a. m. worship service.
The evidence of the congregational prayers was known when a blessed event took place on October 4, 1981; in which the Church's Ceremonial Service was held. The congregation was inspired when Pastor and Sis. B. J. Tatum (Canaan Missionary Baptist Church, Urbana, IL), Pastor and Sis. W.B. Keaton (Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, Champaign IL), Rev. Roosevelt Davis (Danville, IL) and Pastor Lundy Savage (Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Champaign, IL) were present. Pastor W. B. Keaton served as Moderator of the Ceremony. After the reading of the resolution and voting by the congregation, Jericho Missionary Baptist Church became official with Rev. Henry E. Emery serving as the church's Pastor and Organizer.
In April of 1990, Rev. Henry E. Emery's tenure ended at Jericho. Under his leadership, many members were added and the roster grew to 350 members. Some members fell by the wayside, some found new church homes; but the strong dedicated members remained; praying, working and praising the Lord! Between April 1990 and February 2009 Jericho’s pastoral leadership included Rev. Ronald Baker, Sr., who served a total of fifteen years, Rev. Van Lee Tiner, and Rev. Timothy Mennifield.
In 1993, under the leadership of Pastor Ronald Baker, Sr. Jericho’s congregation pledged over $14,000.00 toward the Phase I Building Addition. The ground breaking ceremony was done in faith on Resurrection Sunday and construction of a 150 seat capacity fellowship hall began one year later. On Sunday, January 19, 1995, Jericho dedicated its PHASE I Building Addition known as the A. J. Rawls Fellowship Hall; which was named in memory of Jericho’s Assistant Pastor, the late Rev. A. J. Rawls. Pastor Baker’s leadership also brought us growth through the purchase of a church van, a coach bus, a part-time church secretary and a financial secretary.
Through prayer and determination, Jericho continues to experience increase through membership, spiritual and financial growth. The congregation has been blessed to have many ministries including the Adult and Youth Choir/Music Ministry, Senior and Junior Usher Ministry, Gospel Workers/ Pastor's Aide Ministry, Praise Dance Ministry, Altar Club Ministry, Mother's Board Ministry, Nurses Guild Ministry, Willing Workers, Special Effort Ministry, Deacons Board Ministry, Parish Nurse Ministry, Missionary Ministry, Building Fund Ministry, Benevolent Ministry, Women's Fellowship Ministry, Singles and Married Couples Ministry, Culinary Ministry and Greeters/Hospitality Ministry.
Rev. Lekevie C. Johnson of Cleveland, Mississippi was installed as our Pastor on Sunday, May, 25, 2009 with Pastor Lundy Savage and the Mt. Olive B.C. being the guest church. Pastor Johnson, his wife Lady Rochelle and two children, Kaleb and Kennedy have united in the Spirit of Love as one family committed to doing greater works, and moving to higher heights in the Lord.
As we journey from year to year, God has continued to shower his blessings on the Jericho Missionary Baptist Church for all to witness. “And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18). Our proud past is etched in faith, hope and love. Our future lies with Matthew 28:19 wherein we are commanded to “GO YE AND MAKE DISCIPLES.”
7:00 p.m. Walking through the Word Bible Study