About Us



Mount Pleasant Church has been a fixture of faith in Newark for 90 years. Located on the corner of Montgomery & Prince Streets, Mount Pleasant Church is a Missionary Baptist Community centrally located in the city of Newark, attracting people from all parts of the state & surrounding areas. More than a convenient location, people are drawn to Mount Pleasant because it’s a GREAT PLACE to GROW…in FAITH…in LOVE…in COMMUNITY…in RELATIONSHIPS…in SERVICE.


From our small beginnings in 1930 — in a house on Baldwin Street — to our present location at 100 Montgomery Street, Mount Pleasant has ministered to multitudes of people over the years. Our church was officially organized on Sunday, June 22nd, 1930.  Over the years, we have been blessed to purchase 3 properties, build 2 church buildings, and build a multipurpose center. We thank God for the pastors who faithfully served us over the years: Rev. William Williams (1 year) Rev. A. W. Thompkins (26 years), Rev. E. J. McCoy (Interim), Rev. S. M. Massey (14 ½ years), Rev. Dr. T. Van. B. Rhoe (25 years), Rev. Dr. Earl C. Johnson (6 years), Each pastor brought growth to the personality and character of Mount Pleasant. 


On Sunday, December 5th, 2010 Mount Pleasant unanimously accepted the lead of God to have Rakeem S. Thomas to be our 6th and youngest Senior Pastor in the history of Mount Pleasant. Under Pastor Thomas' leadership, we are experiencing an abundance of growth in areas of fellowship, discipleship, membership, worship, relationship, and stewardship.  We have renovated, restored, and revitalized 80% of our facilities at a cost of $550,000. 


On September 7th, 2019, we were blessed to re-dedicate and enter into our beautiful, completely renovated sanctuary. With an awesome partnership between pastor and people, Mount Pleasant is blessed to have funded all improvements and enhancements to our facilities with no debt. 


In addition to the growth and wellness of our physical location, God has blessed us to establish Mount Pleasant E-Church and Mount Pleasant Mobile Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Thomas, we are leveraging all avenues to share the good news of Jesus Christ.


God has given Mount Pleasant Church a rich and vibrant history, filled with repeated instances of His favor and faithfulness. The story, growth, and impact of Mount Pleasant is all because of Him. To God be the GLORY.


Now unto him, that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…

Ephesians 3:20


As we commit to the spirit of QUALITY & EXCELLENCE, the mission of Mount Pleasant is to be an INFLUENTIAL, WORD CENTERED, and WHOLISTIC ministry for our members, our community, and our world. We seek to do this by Worshipping in His presence, Walking in His power, Working His plan, Witnessing to the lost.


Being on one accord with our visionary, Pastor Rakeem S. Thomas, we seek to be a family-oriented church that will use our energies and spiritual resources to win the lost, develop, and empower Christians in areas of MEMBERSHIP, WORSHIP, DISCIPLESHIP, STEWARDSHIP, RELATIONSHIP, and LEADERSHIP.



“Let all things be done decently and in order.”

1st Corinthians 14:40


The Core Values of the Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church answer the “why?” behind what we do. Because we are diverse people we all have slightly different values with regard to how we go about serving Christ. Yet certain common values unify our efforts and define our distinctive. It is from these core values that we are committed to developing spiritually as a church family. As we serve together as a church family:



  1. BIBLICAL- Prioritizing the Word of God (II Timothy 3:16, 17)

  2. ETHICAL- Practicing morality and integrity (I Corinthians 6:19, 20)

  3. EXCEPTIONAL- Striving for excellence (Colossians 3:23)

  4. INFLUENTIAL- Making a positive impact on society (Matthew 5:13)

  5. INSTRUCTIONAL- Embracing consistent & systematic teaching with a teachable spirit. (2 Timothy 2:2)

  6. LIBERAL- faithfully, regularly, and consistently giving of our time, talents, and treasures -through tithes, offering, and sacrificial giving (2 Corinthians 9:6)

  7. MOTIVATIONAL- Inspiring others to positive actions (Hebrews 10:24)

  8. PRACTICAL- Applying biblical principles reverently (James 1:22)

  9. PRAYERFUL- Integrating prayer into every aspect of our ministry (Jeremiah 33:3)

  10. PUNCTUAL- Seeking to be time conscious (Ephesians 5:16)

  11. RADICAL- Maintaining relevancy and Thinking outside of the box (Romans 12:2)

  12. RELATIONAL- Developing healthy relationships (1 Corinthians 9:22)

Our DNA reveals who we are as a church. DNA speaks to our culture and a unique set of core values that set us apart. We hope this will be helpful to you in understanding who we are and where we plan to go as a community of believers. Our DNA is rooted in scripture and when lived out, brings glory to God.




As Senior Servant, Pastor Thomas is helping Mount Pleasant Church realize God’s vision for what comes next. He is passionate about helping people find God, grow their faith, discover their purpose, and make a difference. He is well known for his commitment to practical, biblical, life application teaching. Pastor Thomas' passion is to see Christ bring about powerful life-change in people — stirring a spiritual movement that will change the world. Pastor Thomas engaging, transparent communication of the Word has sparked dynamic spiritual growth in the people of Mount Pleasant and beyond.



Pastor Thomas is a highly sought-after communicator of the Gospel. Young and seasoned alike have been blessed by his message of allegiance and authenticity, as well as his willingness to deal with relevant issues. Pastor Thomas dexterity with different audiences stems from his broad spectrum of experiences. In addition to his 9 years of pastoral experience, he has been preaching for the past 25 years (Age 14). Pastor Thomas attended both Cairn University (Pastoral Studies) and The New York Theological Seminary. He is a recognized voice that is a blessing to the masses. Moreover, he is a co-author of Movement Is Medicine: Men Determined to Break Free. In 2018, Pastor Thomas was elected as the State Vice President of the New England Missionary Baptist Convention (The oldest African American Baptist Convention). He is a passionate advocate for community transformation, development, mentorship. In addition to preaching, Pastor Thomas is a sought after teacher focusing on Church Development, Leadership Development, and Giving.

Pastor Thomas is the sixth and youngest pastor of Mount Pleasant. He was called to serve Mount Pleasant as Senior Pastor on December 5th, 2010. Since his arrival, Mount Pleasant has grown tremendously in areas of fellowship, discipleship, membership, worship, relationship, and stewardship.


He and his wife Jocelyn have three children – Savannah, Rakeem Jr., and Brice. In his off-hours, Pastor Thomas joys are family time, traveling, reading, laughing, & serving.  Pastor Thomas' life verses are Psalms 1 and Matthew 6:33.


Connect with Pastor Thomas on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)


Mount Pleasant believes that we’re better together. Our Leadership Staff is a dynamic team that facilitates the ministries of Mount Pleasant Church.  We are here to help you grow in your relationships, develop your gifts, and find success in your life.


Rakeem S. Thomas Sr. 



Johnnie Thomas - Deacons

Donald Daniels - Deacons

Joan King - Deaconess

Martha Washington - Deaconess

Ellison Dean - Trustees

Fred Mays - Trustees

Ramona Jackson - Treasurer

Tashiera Howard - Finance Team

Graham Bowers - Member at Large


Ann Davis

Ellis Graves

Jabrel Rolling

Willie Singletary

Zephaniah West


Tyre King

Prudolph Sherard

John Smith

Karlton West

Yoland Walton (Emeritus)


Ann Byrd

Zelma Edwards

Vernell Danard

Allison Frison

Julia Green

Tashiera Howard

Sharonda Johnson

Jean Montford

Janis Moye

Linda Poole

Francis Robinson

Sandra Rolling

Erica Rush

Jeanette Smith

Cythia West

Victoria Younger


Ann Davis

Ellis Graves

Jabrel Rolling

Willie Singletary

Zephaniah West