The sixth and most recent period in our Church's history began in March of 1992, when the Church called the Reverend Fred Jeff Smith to succeed Dr. K. Edward Popleon as its fifth Pastor. Equipped with seminary training, as well as a deep and abiding faith in the Lord, Reverend Smith possesses potential for a successful and enduring relationship with the Church.
New members have been added to the Church; the order of worship has been modified; new Bible studies have been established; the Youth Ministry has been restructured; and the Church has reacquainted itself with the work of the Louisiana State Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., as well as intensified its relationship with the Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association. An independent non-profit corporation, the K. Edward Popleon Foundation, has been established for the purpose of providing meaningful practical ministry to the North Baton Rouge community. The Church operates a weekday Tutorial Program that is completely underwritten and supported by the membership. A Radio Ministry has been established, and the Sunday Worship can be heard on WXOK (1460 AM). An Evangelism Committee has been formed to make the spreading of the Gospel beyond the walls the Church house a priority of this fellowship. A Brotherhood Ministry has been organized, with its first priority being the establishment of a Mentoring Program to address the needs of young black males. The Lewis L. White Memorial Scholarship program has been greatly expanded. The program has grown from awarding one scholarship for $1,000 to awarding four scholarships totaling $10,000. A van has been purchased for the enhancement of our Campus Ministry, as well as other programs of the Church. Prison Ministries to both the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and the Jetson Correctional Center for Youth have been established. Christian Education programs have been added, most notably a Discipleship Training Class which has been well received and has served to enhance our membership. The Church has formed a cooperative partnership with the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council and the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network in an effort to provide practical ministry in areas of acute physical and social need. The Church has purchased a 16,800 square foot facility, the former Crestview Funeral Home, with great potential for social ministry. Additional property has been purchased along Swan and Sora Streets for future ministries and to posture the Church for physical expansion. The Church's membership exceeds 730, and the annual budget has expanded to more than $335,000.
Truly, God has blessed this congregation, and we are most gratified by His providence. But we also recognize that, "To whom much is given, much is required." Greater Mount Carmel recognizes that we are required to live up to the charge that Christ gave all of His followers: "Go and make disciples." As we move forward, following the path He has blazed for us, we resolve to do just that, to the glory of God and the benefit of man.