TOHCBC Church History


Description: Description: T. O'NeaI Crivens, Sr. was divinely led to organize Testament of Hope Community Baptist Church in the winter of 1991. After much prayer and planning, the first worship service was held May 3rd 1992 at Hojo Inn on Elvis Presley Blvd.

In August of 1992 the church relocated to Sanders Facility at 2600 Elvis Presley Blvd. While at Sanders Facility two deacons were ordained, a rites of passage program was initiated, a community health forum was held, and an all church retreat was held at Victory Valley Retreat Center to do strategic planning for the future of Testament of Hope. A Teaching Elder was commissioned by the church.


In January of 1994 Testament of Hope relocated again to the "Mansion" at 1440 Central Avenue. During our tenure on Central, two very successful summer camps were held for the young people at Lamar Terrace Housing Project and the youth of our church (1995 - 1996). Computers were provided by various businesses and organizations for the 1996 camp which opened the door for complete training for our campers. A church and community newspaper was one of the byproducts of the camp.

With a membership of 50, the church has been involved extensively in the Memphis religious and civic community. The church's missions and evangelism work with the city's low income residents is extensive. Testament of Hope has sponsored a food pantry and clothing bank for residents of the Clementine Housing Project and has distributed Thanksgiving baskets to residents of the Lamar Terrace Housing Project.

During the fall of 1997 the church relocated to the family center of the Oak Grove Baptist Church on Joubert Avenue. After a little more than a year the church moved to the Airport Inn on Brooks Road. In the fall 2000 the church relocated to 674 Marshall Avenue (TPI Plaza). This building allowed, through its availability and space for the church to conduct several "Life Development Seminars and Workshops. The seminars and workshops were attended by people from various community and religious backgrounds. The courses that were offered are: Discovering God's Purpose for Your Life, How God Builds Your Faith, Stress Busters, The Black Male and Female in the Development of the Family, History of the Black Church in the African American Experience, and How to Read and Study the Bible. The seminars and workshops were taught by the pastoral ministry team and the education ministry team.

The Lord blessed Testament of Hope with a permanent home in July, 2002 at 466 West Shelby Drive. The church's first worship service there was the 3rd Sunday in July. The official grand opening worship celebration was Sunday, August 4, 2002.

Pastor Crivens retired October, 2011 and the journey continued.  The Testament of Hope “Community” Baptist Church family elected Reverend Lemuel Russell who was Assistant Pastor to the position of pastor.  Reverend Russell was mentored by Pastor Crivens for more than eighteen years.  Reverend Russell preached his first sermon as pastor, Sunday, November 6, 2011.

Under Pastor Russell's leadership, Testament of Hope "Community" Baptist Church (TOHCBC) continues to do ministry that meets the needs of the Greater Memphis community.In 2012, TOHCBC adopted Geeter Middle School and held a church leadership retreat on Breath of Life Christian Center's Hawkins Mill campus. In the fall of 2013 TOHCBC began hosting ER Ministries, a youth empowerment Bible study that is offered to all youth in the community. In the summer of 2014, the church hosted it's first "community" picnic in partnership with community organizations and groups. Early in 2015, TOHCBC implemented a Discipleship Campaign which resulted in the development of a discipleship training curriculum to reach the lost for Christ.


Testament of Hope is focused on building community and has reaffrimed its commitment to the charge of the Holy Spirit, to live out the Great Commission.