Our History

75 Years Strong on the Hill

The Church Where Miracles Happen

On September 10, 1939, at 39 Waumbeck Street a few dedicated people, Rev. Samuel H. Bullock Sr., his wife – Lucille Bullock, Mrs. Jennie Simmons, Mr. Otis Simmons, Mr. Harold Hill, and Mr. Nathaniel Franklin came together to give birth to the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

After outgrowing its birthplace, the group was led by Rev. Bullock in purchasing this lot on which the church now stands at 155 Humboldt Avenue, Dorchester, MA.  The cornerstone was laid on December 14, 1941, and on Easter Sunday 1943, the partially completed building was dedicated.  On June 1, 1944 the church was chartered and incorporated.  In 1948 Pastor Bullock and the members entered the newly completed sanctuary singing the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.”  Rev. Bullock was instrumental in taking the church to the community.  Pleasant Hill became involved with juvenile delinquency problems, and contributed much to the educational development of the youth within the church, and the community.  He became a lifelong member of the NAACP, carried its ministry to the battlefield in World War II, and initiated a weekly Sunday radio broadcast.  The broadcast ministry continued for eight years and gained distinction for a congregation of color.  Rev. Bullock labored 30 years in the vineyard and completed his work for the Master.  The Lord in His wise providence called him from labor to reward on October 5, 1969.

In November, 1970 the membership of Pleasant Hill called Rev. Boykin Sanders, a doctoral candidate at Harvard University.  On February 7, 1971, Rev. Sanders became the second pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  Under his leadership the church’s physical appearance was renovated.  On January 13, 1974, the renovation proposal was approved.  By the end of 1975, renovations upstairs and downstairs were complete.  Several new features included a new heating system and a baptismal pool.  In 1989 the church acquired a piece of real estate abutting the church on Humboldt Avenue.  Rev. Sanders was pastor of Pleasant Hill from 1971 to 1990.

During the years without a pastor, the officers, members, and friends remained faithful.  After countless prayers and searching, the church called Rev. Demetrius K. Williams, a doctoral candidate at Harvard University.  On May 16, 1993 Rev. Williams was installed as the third pastor of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  Under the leadership of Rev. Williams the church continued its progress with the theme “A Church with a Vision.”  A special emphasis of Rev. Williams was the importance of family and community.  Under his leadership the church started the annual “Family Day” weekend and “Casual Dress Sunday.”  The church updated the church constitution and formed an advisory council.  In 1996, Rev. Williams left Pleasant Hill to take a position at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.

In June 1997, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church called its fourth Pastor, Rev. Miniard Culpepper.  Rev. Culpepper was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a Baptist preacher and the grandson of the founder of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Dr. Rev. Samuel H. Bullock, Sr.  He graduated from Brandeis University in 1976, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree.  Always aspiring to become an attorney, he entered Suffolk University Law School and graduated in 1982 with a jurist doctorate degree.  He was called into the ministry in 1986 and entered Howard University School of Divinity where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree.

He served as Associate Minister at the historic Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., for seven years under the tutelage and leadership of Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks. Rev. Culpepper was installed on June 8, 1997.  He continues the legacy that his grandfather Rev. Bullock, Sr. and his grandmother, Mother Lucille Bullock started in 1939.  Rev. Culpepper preaches and teaches the full Gospel, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  His installation was celebrated with an unprecedented weeklong celebration of preaching, praying and singing, ending with a black tie banquet.  Wonderful events have taken place with each successive year.  With Christ at the head, Pastor Culpepper continues to lead Pleasant Hill with the help of the ministerial staff, deacons, deaconesses, trustees, missionaries, officers and members.  We praise God for the following good report by the empowering of His Precious Holy Spirit.  In the past 21 years many inspiring accomplishments have taken place under the leadership of Pastor Culpepper:

    •    Tax Status 503C obtained
    •    Senior Lift Installed
    •    Building Program for the Pleasant Hill Family Life Center
    •    First Annual Church Retreat
    •    Paid off the Church Van
    •    Honored Community Leaders for the Black History Celebration
    •    Annual Minnie Lewis Thanksgiving Turkey Give-a-way
    •    Monthly Seminars: Study to show yourself approved
    •    Tape Ministry
    •    Tithing Ministry
    •    New Members Ministry
    •    Newness Ministry
    •    Prayer Partner Ministry-assigned a prayer partner to each new member
    •    Fellowship dinner after Communion Service every first Sunday
    •    Senior Sunday
    •    Gave vision to have all Auxiliaries partner and disciple a shelter or nursing home
    •    Adopted The White House Initiative on Children of Incarcerated Parents
    •    Theatre Arts Program
    •    Partnership with Boston Public Health Commission on anti-obesity Campaign
    •    Grant Ministry
    •    Church Beautification Project
    •    Sunday Services Broadcast
    •    Prayer Line
    •    Wellness Ministry
    •    Re-established the Mother of the Church Installation
    •    Youth Night
    •    First Annual Men’s Retreat
    •    Women’s Ministry Retreat, “Strength in Sisterhood”
    •    Jubilee Choir CD Release
    •    Annual Church Christmas Bazaar
    •    Summer Sunday prayer in Trotter Park
    •    Annual Father’s May Peace March
    •    Annual Father’s Day Barbeque
    •    Community Meeting with the Mayor
    •    Community Meeting with Police
    •    Purchased second church van
    •    Partial renovation of kitchen
    •    Trotter Park Summer Peace Program
    •    Teen Café Summer Program
    •    Publication which chronicled his awe- inspiring work with Boston area gang members
    •    Internship Program with Harvard University Extension School
    •    Angel Tree
    •    Commissioner and Command Staff
    •    Black Minister’s Prayer Service for Senator Elizabeth Warren
    •    Daisy Hawkins Annual Mother’s Day Brunch
    •    Annual Black History Celebration and Recognitions
    •    Annual Men’s Car Wash
    •    Men’s Fellowship Breakfast
    •    ManUp Neighborhood Walks

Malcolm X & Bullock

We remember those who labored in the vineyard and have gone home to be with the Lord, the founder and first pastor, Rev. Samuel H. Bullock Sr., his wife and mother of the church, Mother Lucille Bullock, Sis. Madeline Culpepper, Bro. Harold Hill, the first church clerk, and his wife, Sis. Carrie Mae Hill.  Over many years, many have served this church well and many have slept peacefully on high – Rev. Horace Tull, Rev. Mary Alleyene, Rev. Mozelle Lyons, Rev. Elizabeth Muse, Deacons Benjamin Green, Jeff C. Brown, Jerry Hall, George Baskin, Richard Lamb, Luis Birt, Moses Elliot, James Fitzpatrick, Abraham Snipes, William Thomas, Ezekiel Hall, Henry Mann, Frederick Adams, Sr., Arthur Scott, Willie Alston, Jr., and James Jackson.  Also, among those remembered are Deaconess Adele Brown, O.B. Lamb, Lizzie Craige, Edna Edwards, Mrs. Elliot, Callie Green, Julia Jackson, Ruth Mann, Jennie Simmons, Addie Thomas Gertrude Jackson, Mary Alston, Arrie Bugg, Ann Eubanks, Phyllis Lomax, Mozell Gray, Mildred Griffin, and Deaconess Jacqueline Scott.  We will always remember those who were the Mothers of the church during the early years, Deaconess Lena Connors, Susie Wilson, Annie White, Daisy Hawkins and Elizabeth Simmons.

Praise God for his unlimited grace and mercy.  We thank God for Rev. Culpepper and his faith in establishing our double theme, “Mustard Seed Faith” and “The Church on the Hill Where We Love to be Pleasant.”  We have stayed our course and have come through many years together thankful that we are victorious in Christ Jesus.