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Canaan History

An Historical Overview

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Canaan Baptist Church, established in April 1908, began as a Mission as a result of the vision given to Reverend Benjamin J. Holcomb, his brothers, Prophet M. Holcomb and Charles H. Holcomb, as well as a few other committed Christians. The church began at a property at Belfield Avenue and Haines Street which the members bought for their place of worship. For 64 years the congregation continued to worship at that location, increasing in numbers and in dedicated service. During the 16 years that Reverend Holcomb was pastor, the church was blessed by spiritual and financial growth.

There were several notable Pastors that followed as leaders of the congregation, among them were Reverend B.H. Moore in 1925, Reverend Gus Roman was called to Canaan in 1967 and again in 1992. The vast growth of the church led to its present grand place of worship in Germantown. Reverend Roman’s pastorate was distinguished by unprecedented development in membership growth, outreach programs, and spiritual, physical and economic expansion. In 1980, Reverend Roman answered the call to server as the Pastor of Brennan Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.

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From August 1982 to January 1993, the Reverend Manuel L. Dillingham served as the Pastor of Canaan. The church continued to be productive in mission, evangelism and stewardship. Outreach programs were expanded and the children’s church was developed. During his tenure the building at 302 School House Lane was purchased as a center for community services. In February 1993, Reverend Dillingham became pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.


In September 1993, The Reverend Dr. Gus Roman returned to Canaan to serve as Pastor. Reverend Roman added new services and expanded existing programs in the areas of Christian and lay education, missions, counseling, personal growth, health care and civic responsibilities. Reverend Roman retired as pastor in April 2006 and now serves Canaan as Pastor- Emeritus.


In August 2006, Reverend Derick Brennan was called to serve as the Pastor of Canaan. He is committed to a holistic ministry and concentrates on the Spiritual growth of each member. We prayerfully acknowledge and accept the opportunity to continually proclaim the love of Jesus and the Good News of the risen Christ under the inspired leadership of Pastor Brennan. Through God’s blessings and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we continue to maintain the commitment of the Little Mission established in 1908.

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