“Lighting the World Through the Light of the World”
Matthew 5:16; John 8:12


In 1922, the population in the community, known as Oakland subdivision in Waukegan, began to grow. Families began to populate the Westside of the city. Some of these family members, who moved to Waukegan from the South, were Christians who had love for and faith in God.
They organized the Church. At first they wanted to organize a Sunday School for the adults and children in the neighborhood but were informed by Rev. T. R. Ricks, the organizer of Shiloh Baptist Church, that there could be no Sunday School unless it was organized under the auspices of the Church or Mission.
The Mission was then organized on the first Sunday in July 1922 on the property of the Rev. & Mrs. L. F. Finley, at 1004 North Elmwood, which at this time was Illinois Street. Nine adult members and seven children were present and the Sunday School was organized the same day.
On the third Sunday in September 1922, these families held worship services in the home of Deacon Kelly, at 1021 Illinois Street, where they continued to learn about the goodness of the Lord. In August 1923, they moved into a small framed building at 1001 Indiana Avenue, owned by the North Shore Royal Circle. The Church was organized at this location with Charles Young presiding. The following persons were present: Rev. T. R. Ricks, Pastor; Mr. William M. Kelly, the first Deacon; and his wife Fannie Kelly; Mr. & Mrs. Donar Christian; and Rev. & Mrs. L. F. Finley.
Under the leadership of Rev. T. R. Ricks, the property was purchased and plans were made for building a Church. The old framed building was demolished. The basement of the new building was erected. The new sanctuary was added later. Some of the leaders during this time included: Rev. L. C. Lampkins, Rev. William Ivy Jenkins, Rev. Matthew Stevens and Rev. Oscar Mitchell.


On the fourth Sunday in December 1947, the Rev. Cleophus McKenzie was called as Pastor. The Church progressed spiritually, financially, and numerically under his leadership. Rev. McKenzie made a number of needed improvements to the Church building. The old front entrance was torn down and a new front entrance was erected. 1949 – OUR YEAR OF DEDICATION
On the first Sunday in February 1949, Rev. Cleophus McKenzie crowned five Deacons. It was the first service of this kind to be held at Gideon. Rev. Davis, Pastor of Shiloh, was the catechizer. Others taking part in the service were Rev. E. J. Coles, the Pastor of First Baptist Church of North Chicago and Deacons of the mentioned Churches. Under Rev. McKenzie’s leadership, the Chancel Choir and the Baptist Training Union (BTU) were organized. He served until late 1949.
After 1949, the Church had several ministers who served as Pastor at different times: Rev. Little, Rev. W. C. Trotter, Rev. L. M. Lyles, Rev. Wells, Rev. R. F. Williams and Rev. D. V. Green. Pastor Green served until 1959. The exact tenures of the mentioned pastors are not known.



On October 9, 1959, the Rev. H. J. Cook, I, was called as Pastor to the Gideon Missionary Baptist Church. Under his guidance and leadership, the membership continued to increase and many improvements were made to the church building.
January 1971, with courage and God’s power to advance, Rev. Cook led his congregation in a march from 1001 Indiana Avenue to 1000 Yeoman Street, the present location of Gideon Missionary Baptist Church.
1983, God placed on the mind and in the heart of our late Pastor, Rev. H. J. Cook that the Church needed to be expanded. The Church expansion, including an education facility, and needed improvements were dedicated in April 1988 as we celebrated the 66th Church Anniversary. The expansion included 22 classrooms /meeting rooms, a library, and a Pastor and secretary’s office.
February 1999, The Gideon Federal Credit Union celebrated its Grand Opening. In 2001 our Credit Union began to grow. We began offering secured and unsecured loans to members. In addition, the Credit Union still offers compatible interest rates and payroll Direct Deposit for savings account holders.


On May 8, 2002 the Gideon Church family lost their Shepherd who served for more than 42 years, Dr. H. Judea Cook, I. His Home-going celebration was held on May 15, 2002 at Gideon.
On June 3, 2003, with direction from God, the Gideon Family invited Rev. Wade A. Stevenson, Sr., Pastor of the Farristown Baptist Church of Berea, KY to become Pastor. On August 3, 2003, Rev. Stevenson accepted the call from Gideon and direction from God to become the Pastor of Gideon Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Stevenson preached his first official sermon as Pastor. In September 2003, the Church purchased new furnishings and remodeled the Pastor’s office. On October 19, 2003, Installation Service for Rev. Stevenson was held. We invited the Rev. Richard Gaines and the Consolidated Baptist Church of Lexington, KY to be our guests.


March 2004, the Church purchased property at 1002 Yeoman St. In October 2004, the church purchased property at 1014 Yeoman Street. Many new ministries have been added and the existing ministries were incorporated into the new ministry structure.


On June 30, 2005, the church purchased property at 1016 Yeoman Street. In October 2005, Properties at 1014 and 1016 Yeoman were renovated and completely furnished to prepare them for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Led by Sis. Gloria Stevenson and Sis. Katherine Rothwell-Francis, all of the furnishings, painting and repairs were donated by Gideon members and good friends. December 2005, the Women’s Ministry organized their first clothing giveaway.
The year of 2005, under the leadership of Pastor Wade A. Stevenson, has been the gathering of the harvest with 34 members by baptism, 41 members by Christian Experience, 2 members by Letter and 12 members by restoration. There was one baby dedication and four Home-going celebrations. Only God could bless us in such a miraculous way.


March 2006, the Youth celebrated Youth for Christ with a musical concert featuring recording artist Malcolm Williams. During that celebration, over 160 children and youth participated in the musical workshop and concert.
On November 4, 2006, the women’s ministry of Gideon sponsored their first women’s seminar entitled, “A Woman’s High Calling: Having a Praying Heart.” The guest speaker and singer was Deborah Biddle.
God blessed Gideon in 2006 with 21 members by baptism, 10 by Christian experience and 7 by restoration. There were 3 Home-going celebrations. God is continuing His blessings on Gideon in a Powerful way.


March 2007, the Youth Ministry held YFC2 and invited, for the second consecutive year, recording artist Malcolm Williams. We registered over 225 youth for this event, which was featured in the Waukegan News Sun Newspaper.
Members of the Church began clearing the houses at 1002, 1014 and 1016 of all donated furnishings and preparing the properties for demolition.
The Church hosted the annual Tri-City Revival for the North Shore Baptist Ministers’ Alliance. The guest revivalist was Dr. Stephen J. Thurston, President of the National Baptist Convention of America and Pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago, IL.
April 2007, the Church demolished properties at 1002, 1014, and 1016 Yeoman Street. The demolition contractor was McKnight Landscaping.
May 2007, the Family Ministry held its first annual Marriage Seminar at the Country Squire Banquet Hall. Gideon’s Men on the Move Men’s Ministry held its first annual Men’s Retreat at Lake Lawn Resort in Wisconsin on May 18-20, 2007.
October 2007, the Women of Gideon held their first retreat at Green Lake Conference Center, Green Lake, WI. The theme was: “Christian Women Harvesting the Fruit of the Spirit.” The speakers were our own Sis. Vera McFadden, our special guests Sis. Debbie Biddles of Wisconsin and Sis. Mary Barns of Chicago, IL.
November 2007, the Mission and Men’s Ministries sponsored their first Community Thanksgiving Dinner. They fed more than 200 individuals from the North Shore community.
Gideon was blessed by God in 2007 with 13 new members by Baptism, 8 by Christian Experience and 8 by Restoration. We also had two baby dedications and two Home-going Celebrations.



Pastor Stevenson graduated with his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Lexington Theological Seminary. As a result of his dissertation, he instituted a one-year class entitled, “Making Disciples.” Over fifty members enrolled in the class, and nearly thirty students satisfied the requirements for graduation. The purpose of this class was to equip members to do the work of the ministry, through mentoring members, modeling ministry and monitoring how current leaders multiplied the leadership and ministry groups.
God blessed Gideon in 2008 with 19 members by Baptism, 25 by Christian experience and 15 by restoration. There were 2 babies dedicated, and 3 Home-going celebrations. God is continuing His blessings on Gideon in a Powerful way.


Dr. Stevenson will teach another one-year class entitled, “Developing Leaders.” The nearly thirty students who graduated from the “Making Disciples” class will continue. The purpose of this class will be to transform the vision of sharing leadership into action by transforming how the church selects its leaders. The selected leaders will dedicate themselves for one year to seeing consistent growth in the number of leaders who will multiply ministries through education, ministry and outreach efforts.
God continues to smile on Gideon and we continue to follow God’s Word and the vision given to Dr. Stevenson as he shepherds this flock.


In March the Youth Ministry held Youth For Christ 5 (YFC5) at Gideon Missionary Baptist Church. Our guest conductor was Malcolm Williams of Chicago, IL. At this event more than 200 children and youth participated in the Music Workshop and Concert. In April, the Westside Community Center was established as a separate 501C3 to provide services to empower people in our community to build solid futures for themselves and their families. In May, Gideon held its second Pre-Mother’s Day Luncheon. In July, Gideon was blessed to purchase the property at 1416 Ridgeland Avenue. In September, the demolition of the houses at 1516 Ridgeland Avenue and 1017 Yeoman Street was completed. In October, the General Mission sponsored a drive to collect and distribute personal hygiene items to the Staben House (for women and children) and the Staben Center (for homeless men) which is located in Waukegan, IL. Also in October, Gideon invited our targeted neighborhood: from Jackson Street to New York and from Grand Avenue to Glen Flora Avenue to participate in Gideon’s third “Fall Fest”. During the fest, Gideon hosted a health fair and free health screenings along with HIV/AIDS screenings. Lunch was prepared and served by the Gideon Culinary Ministry. On November 20, 2010, Gideon held a special luncheon celebrating leadership appreciation. Lunch was served by Dr. Wade A. Stevenson and the associate pastors. More than 100 leaders were honored. God blessed Gideon with 11 members by baptism, 24 by Christian experience and 4 by restoration. There was one baby dedication and 6 home-going celebrations.


In March the Youth Ministry held Youth for Christ 6 (YFC 6) at Gideon Missionary Baptist Church. Our guest Conductor was Malcolm Williams of Chicago, Illinois. At this event more than 150 children and youth participated in the Music Workshop and Concert. In May, Gideon held its third pre-Mother’s Day Luncheon. In June, Gideon hosted a luncheon in honor of our pastor’s 8th anniversary. In September Gideon held its second Women’s Conference. The theme was “Christian Women Celebrating Our Faith in God”; Hebrews 11:6. The keynote speakers were Sis. Mary Barnes of Chicago, Illinois of Antioch Baptist Church and Dr. Carolyn C. Walker of Chicago, IL (State Director of Christian Education for the Baptist General State Convention of Illinois). In October Gideon held its fourth annual “Fall Fest”. An invitation was extended to our targeted neighborhood: from Jackson Street to New York Street and from Grand Avenue to Glen Flora Avenue. During the “Fest” Gideon hosted a health fair and free health screenings along with HIV/AIDS screenings. Lunch was prepared and served by the Gideon Culinary Ministry. On October 27, 2011, Gideon purchased the property at 1401 Ridgeland Avenue. God blessed Gideon with the addition of 9 members by baptism, 27 by Christian experience and 8 by restoration. We had 2 baby dedications and 4 home going celebrations.


On February 22, we held our 30th Annual Prayer Breakfast. March 9 – March 11 we hosted the 7th Youth for Christ (YFC) Workshop and Musical. More than 100 youth participated in the workshop which was directed by Sister Lucille Harper. April 15 and April 22 were the dates of our 90th Church Anniversary. The guest speaker was Dr. George W. Waddles, Sr., President of the National Baptist Congress and Pastor of the Zion Hill Baptist Church of Chicago, IL. The theme was, “Rooted and Built on the Solid Rock: Celebrating 90 Years of Standing on the Word of God” Colossians 2: 6-7. May 12th the Pre-Mother’s Day Luncheon was held in the Fellowship Hall. June 2, Pre- Pastor’s Anniversary Musical was held June 3 and June 10, Celebration of Pastor Wade A. Stevenson’s 9th Anniversary June 16, the Father’s Day Celebration was hosted by the Men’s Ministry September, demolition of 1402, 1416 and 1420 Ridgeland was done to prepare for extended parking On November 11, we held the Veterans’ Recognition Program. Also in November, the lots at 1402, 1416, 1420 Ridgeland and 1017 Yeoman were fenced-in, paved and striped. Gideon was blessed with 11 members by baptism, 17 by Christian experience and 3 restorations. There were 3 home-going services. As God continues to bless us in a powerful way, we will continue to follow God’s Word and God’s vision given to Dr. Stevenson, the shepherd of this flock.


March 8th – 10th The 8th Youth Conference (Youth For Christ Celebration Workshop and Musical). Directed by musicians and directors of Gideon M. B. Church. The theme: “Imitators, Not Haters: Loving Like Christ”. Scripture: John 13:34. Special guest Minister Joshua Webster of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, Madison, Illinois and Gospel recording artist Malcolm Williams of Chicago, Illinois
March 17th – 22nd Hosted the North Shore Baptist Ministers Alliance (NSBMA)Tri-City Revival; guest Evangelist, C. Ramont Morris of Kankakee, Illinois.
April 21st, 25th and 28th 91st Church Anniversary
May 4th Dr. Wade A. Stevenson’s 10th Pastoral Anniversary Banquet held at the Ramada Inn, Waukegan, Illinois.
May 11th Pre-Mother’s Day Celebration
June 2nd and 9th Dr. Wade A. Stevenson’s 10th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration
October 7th – 9th Discipleship and Evangelism Conference. Special guest Dr. Sidney Jones, pastor of the New Galilee Baptist Church of Magee, Mississippi.
November 10th Veterans Recognition Program
Gideon was blessed with 4 members by baptism, 10 by Christian experience, 1 under watch care, 4 restorations, 3 baby dedications. There were two home-going services.



February – First Annual Marriage Seminar First Annual Pancakes with Pastor Dr. Wade A. Stevenson’s Inauguration as President of the North Shore Baptist Ministers’ Alliance
March – Youth Conference, “Imitators, not Haters: Loving Like Christ” The Initial Sermon of Bro. Malcolm Buries
April – Easter Play, “That’s Love”
May – The Eleventh Pastoral Anniversary Banquet
June – Prayer in the Sanctuary The Eleventh Pastoral Anniversary Celebration
July – Children’s Church Gideon Prayer Line
August – Men’s Conference at Lake Lawn, WI
September – Women’s Conference at Green Lakes, WI
November – Veteran’s Recognition Program
December – Christmas Play, “His Name Shall Be Great”
God continues to bless Gideon under the faithful and dedicated leadership of Dr. Wade A. Stevenson.
“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”(1 Corinthians 3:7)