History of NNBC

New Name Baptist Church


New Name Baptist Church began by faith with twenty-two people on April 21, 1978.  The founder, Pastor Harvey L. Todd, believed and shared the idea that “…Faith is the substance of things having been hoped, the evidence of things not being seen.”  And the result of that belief was the birth of New Name Baptist Church.  The inaugural service was held at 109 Elm Street, Long Beach, CA.  Some of the charter members are:  Deacon Henry Murphy, Jr., Betty A. Todd, Viola Murphy, Minnie Carter, Gloria Archer, Marvin Todd, Lillie McGiffert-Gilmer and Deacon Joe Mcgiffert.  Soon after New Name was founded the church rented property in Long Beach.  In June of 1977, the congregation relocated to 5355 Long Beach, Blvd., Long Beach, CA.  At the Long Beach location, New Name received many blessings, and developed spiritually and financially.


In August of 1984, the congregation moved to 11 West Plymouth Street, Long Beach, CA.  Part of the growth of the church included a television ministry that lasted nine months.  The church was involved in pre-programming for a foundation for a Christian School and a Bible College.  Classes were offered in Career development, Basic Spanish, Rudimentary Greek, and also Christian Doctrine.  With these classes and programs the church experienced tremendous growth.  


Wednesday, June 25, 2003, after 25 years of service, Pastor Todd went home to be with the Lord.  He leaves a legacy of achievements, honors, and community service, namely: Faith District Association an Auxiliary of Western Baptist State Convention of California (Vice Moderator), Long Beach Minister’s (First Vice President), One Church One Child of Los Angeles Incorporated (Board Member), Long Beach Minister’s Alliance (First Vice President), Active member of the NAACP, and Long Beach Ecumenical Council and California Association of Student Tutoring (Board Member). Pastor Todd received his Bachelor of Theology Degree from Reed Christian College and Theological Seminary.  For many years he was a professor at Reed Christian College and Long Beach Bible Institute.

On July 6, 2003, New Name continued in ministry under the leadership of associate minister, Clarence Archer.  In September 2004 the church relocated to Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA.  In April 2005, the church moved to 10950 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA.


On March 26, 2006 Pastor George Thomas, Jr. was installed as the new pastor at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Compton, California.  The church grew under his leadership.


On Sunday, September 3, 2008 Pastor Jerry Gash became the new shepherd.  That day God added 6 new members to the congregation.  Pastor Gash was installed on Sunday, November 30, 2008.  Prior to accepting his call to the ministry, in 1977 Pastor Gash was appointed Laymen President of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Under his leadership Membership Engagement was implement within the Laymen Movement to increase registration and to attract members and keep them involved and informed.  He organized and executed two mission projects to Blantyre, Malawi and Johannesburg, South Africa, which includes:  (1) 25,000 pairs of shoes and 75,000 school supplies, and (2) 3000 pairs of shoes that were delivered to Barbados. The National Baptist Laymen Cookbook was compiled to fund these projects.  Pastor Gash started the National Southern Region Workshop in 1997.  He implemented an outreach ministry and the membership grew rapidly, and the church was blessed financially.  Pastor Gash also initiated a mortgage burning program.  On February 5, 2012 New Name moved to its present location.  Sunday, May 27, 2012, Pastor Gash preached his last sermon entitled “Having An Attitude of Gratitude”.  After three years and 10 months of pastoral service, he passed June 3, 2012. 


On Sunday, February 24, 2013, the New Name selected Harold Eugene Vann II as Senior Pastor.  Pastor came with integrity, a vision, structure, and a working knowledge of accountability.  Pastor Vann accepted his call to preach the gospel in 1992.  Pastor Vann was licensed to preach December 1993.  He was ordained January 5, 1997 by Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Senior Pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church, Inglewood, CA. On December 1, 1997 he was asked to serve as Pastor of Guildfield Missionary Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia. Pastor Vann served at Guilfield seven years. In June of 2005, he realized the mission and planted Refuge Christian Church, which he organized in Los Angeles, CA. The inaugural corporate worship service was Sunday, March 27, 2005.  Resurrection Day.  Refuge’s ministry stood bold and strong until August 2009.  In May 1989, Pastor took his Bachelor of Arts degree from California Baptist University, Riverside CA.  In May 1996 he took his Master of Divinity from The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, N.C.  And in May 2015 he took his Doctor of Ministry degree from Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA. 

Pastor Vann’s Confirmation Service took place on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at Faithful Central Bible Church, officiated by Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer.  Pastor Vann’s vision includes:  Helping to Deliver Disciples to Their Destiny.  He has created an environment that aims to transform and empower people, equipping them with the tools to live a victorious life.  Pastor Vann has embarked upon a great mission as a local Christian church assigned to evangelize and develop disciples.  He declares that this is a house of hope, healing, and help.  Under his leadership the church has grown financially and numerically.


New Name has a rich church history, and its existence continues to make history.  With much indebtedness and appreciation to the Almighty God for His provision, protection, and everlasting presence the New Name church will remain a beacon of light for the world to see Christ.   New Name Baptist Church is blessed with a legacy of leadership that set the church on a course for Getting Ready for Greater!