Our History

Our History

On October 28, 1959, a group of believers met at 1061 Hart Ave.  This was the home of Rev. & Mrs. Johnny Leo Kemp.  The purpose of this meeting was to organize a church.  The meeting began by singing, “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross.”  Bro. Thomas Jackson read Psalms 36.  The church was given the name Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church by Sister Alberta Gibson.

In November 1959, Rev. Kemp and the membership secured a building at 839 Balzar Avenue for worship services.  Rev. Kemp was ordained/installed as pastor by Rev. V.C.L. Coleman & I. W. Wilson.  The scripture which was used was Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.”  Bro. Jack Thomas, Sis. Mable Stant and Sis. Jessie L. Harris was installed as officers of the newly established Church.  The membership at that time was 27.  Among the members were Bro. Billy Johnson, Sis. Eugenia Washington and Sis. Maggieline Kemp.


On April 5, 1964, construction of a Church began at 1189 W. Hassell Ave.  The construction was completed on July 28, 1964.  When the building was completed, the church membership numbered 135.  On January 9, 1966, a cornerstone was laid and improvements were made to the church.

Under the spiritual leadership of the late Rev. J. L. Kemp, the church continued to grow.  Rev. Terry B. Cox, Sr. joined the church in 1991.  Rev. Cox took on many of the responsibilities of shepherding the flock, due to Rev. Kemp’s deteriorating health.  Rev. Levy Washington and Rev. Stanley Hicks also served on the Ministerial Staff during this period of time.  Pastor Kemp passed away on October 23, 1993. The resolution, which was submitted in Pastor Kemp’s honor, concluded with these words:  we resolve that while we mourn his home going, we are resigned to the Devine Will and will keep in memory his consecrated life of service. Rev. Cox served as Pastor from December 8, 1995 to September 8, 2005.  Rev. Willie R. Cherry served as Pastor from June 2006 to October 2017.


Pastor Cherry resigned effective October 29, 2017.  God had a ram in the bush, in the person of Rev. Frank Richardson.  Rev. Richardson remained at the helm from October 2, 2017 until June 16, 2018.  The Pleasant Grove Family praises God for his faithfulness, and also that of Rev. Frank Richardson.


The membership prayed that God would send a man after his own heart.  On June 11, 2018, He sent Anthony Nixon, Sr.    Since Pastor Nixon’s installation on August 17. 2018, the membership has continued to increase.  The pulpit staff now consists of 5 male and 3 female.  Rev. Adrian Allen was recently named Youth Pastor.


Our dynamic worship service, together with our Outreach Program, serves this community with the vision to take the uncompromised Word of God to the entire world – starting with our homes, and then making an impact on non-believers in secular Las Vegas and the Nation with the message of Jesus Christ.  That will never change. 


We thank God for the late Reverend Johnny Leo Kemp, our founder, and for Rev. Anthony Nixon Sr., as we continue to strive toward the vision that He has for us.