Strategic Vision



Take the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ to all nations; compel individuals to receive the gift of eternal life offered through Jesus Christ.  Teach and train disciples to become ambassadors of Christ demonstrating the power of the Holy Scriptures.   



Focused on advancing the kingdom of God as a living reality.  We are agents of change possessing a mandate to impact and empower those within our assigned area(s) of influence. Exemplify Jesus Christ and His teachings.  To facilitate change through the evidence of signs, wonders and miracles being manifested in the lives of individuals.

Our History

The Pilgrim Baptist Church was organized as Rockford’s second church for Negroes on Monday, August 6, 1917 under the name of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. The first ordained pastor of Pilgrim Rest was Reverend T. P. McGee, who served for seven months and twenty-seven days beginning on October 1917. Under his leadership, property was purchased at 846 Montague Street, Rockford, Illinois.


The second pastor of Pilgrim Rest was Reverend Jesse Walden, who was chosen in 1918. He was a chaplain at nearby Fort Grant, in Rockford Illinois. The third pastor was Reverend G. W. Dudley, followed by J. W. Fitts who served for two years, followed by W. R. Jackson, who was the first pastor to serve more than 10 years. Pastor Jackson served for eleven years, and was succeeded by Reverend E. H. Woods, who served as pastor for ten years.


The first two pastors went on to organize two well-known local churches after their short tenure with Pilgrim Rest. Reverend Jesse Walden, organized Bethel Baptist Church in 1918, and Reverend T. P. McGee, organized New Zion Baptist Church in 1924.


We Believe…

…that only the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, and therefore inerrant, Word of God.
…that the one true God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory.
…that Satan, originally a great and good angel, rebelled against God, taking a multitude of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.


…that Adam was originally created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. In consequence of his disobedience, Adam’s posterity are born subject to both imputed and inherent sin, and are therefore by nature and choice the children of wrath, justly condemned in the sight of God, wholly unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God.
…that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, that He was conceived and born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and offered himself as a penal, substitution sacrifice for sinners. By the blood of His cross, He obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. He was raised bodily on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to make intercession for the saints.

…that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
…that the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit, in whom also we are sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit regenerates, forever indwells, and graciously equips the Christian for godly living and service. Subsequent to conversion the Spirit desires to fill, empower, and anoint believers for ministry and witness.
…that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the church to be observed until the time of Christ’s return.
…that the church is God’s primary instrument through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
…that God has called the church to preach the gospel to all nations, and especially to remember the poor and to minister to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service.
…in the literal second coming of Christ at the end of the age when He will return to the earth personally and visibly to consummate His kingdom.