It was on May 31, 1953, a body of believers claimed Christ Jesus as the head of the church in the Dalton Manor Community building in the city of Benicia. That same body agreed unanimously to be named “King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church”. Reverend Willie Floyd was called to the pastorate and became the organizing Pastor with his wife, Sis. Essie Floyd. The following people were the original organizers: Deacon Aaron Berhel, Sis. Jessie Berhel, Sis. Murdis Williams, Sis. Gaynelle Taylor, Deacon Green Lewis, and Sis. Adlean Lewis.
Thus, the King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church was organized and incorporated under the laws of the State of California on August 10, 1959.
After being in Dalton Manor for a length of time, the church moved from the U.P.E.C. Hall, to the Machinist Hall, to our present location. Since being here, truly the Lord has tremendously blessed us in many ways. On June 9, 1972, the Spirit of the Lord moved through the donation to the church, by way of Deacon John Collins and one of their trustworthy employers, namely Bro. Sylvester Austin, Sr., who has since parted this life. One of the buildings had to be removed or dismantled. The church accepted this gift with deep gratitude. With the full support of the city officials and departmental workers, we succeeded in moving this building that we are now worshipping in from the other side of the city to this side, after having dismantled the building that we were worshipping in. But memories linger on, for we have had many blessed experiences in the “Little Church on the Hill”. When this building was ready for occupancy, three services were held in behalf of dedicating it to our Lord. The first being held on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1974, the second, on April 21st, and the third on April 28, 1974. Before this service, the Lord saw fit to call one of our Minister’s home, in the person of Rev. James Murphy, who labored so faithfully in preparing the building. Soon after, the church was blessed to add. The addition has provided extra space for various needs, especially dining needs.
The first Deacons of King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church were: Aaron Berhel Sr., Green Lewis, Hervis Hatch Sr., and Chester Davidson.
The First Woman ordained at King Solomon was Evangelist Bailey.
The church was under the leadership of the late Reverend Willie Floyd for 57 years until his passing on October 2, 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Sister Essie Floyd. King Solomon became the first African American church in the City of Benicia in 1953. Reverend Floyd was honored by the city in recognition of his hard work and dedication. He was also recognized by Governor Gray Davis. On November 7, 2004, Reverend Floyd received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from the Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, California.
In November 2006, Rev. James Wilborn was voted as King Solomon’s first Assistant Pastor.
During his pastorate, Reverend Floyd ordained 9 ministers, set aside 12 Deacons, 8 Deaconess, 1 Missionary, 2 Evangelists, and 12 Mothers.
On April 19, 1999, the church purchased the land adjacent to the church. On April 20, 2009, the land was paid off, and now belongs to King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church.
The church has been blessed in its accomplishments. The Inspirational Choir was blessed to record and release a dynamic and spirit- filled album entitled “I’ve Been Changed”, under the direction of Bro. Bennie Henderson. The choir has sung at the Solano County Fair and other citywide and county venues. The Voices of Joy won first place in the Quaker Oats Youth Gospel Choir competition in 1996, under the leadership of Sis. Debra Henderson. The Male Chorus was established and debuted in 1999, the Brotherhood was formed in 2000 and Girl Pride, a ministry for our young ladies, held its first meeting in 2007 in the home of Sis. Lynne Scott. Since its formation, Girl Pride has sponsored a Big Hat Tea event and held a “Complete Woman Seminar”.
With accomplishments also comes loss. On October 14, 2007, the City of Benicia, by way of its Public Works Dept., caused a backflow of raw sewage into the church, while working on sewer pipes just north of the church, which rendered the church building uninhabitable. We were able to conduct Sunday services at Benicia High School, and through their kindness, weekly services were held at Grace Baptist Church in Vallejo, pastored by Rev. Kevin Armstrong. Three years later, we were blessed to “go home”. On Sunday, September 10, 2010, a home coming was celebrated. The congregation marched from the high school back to the “Little Church on the Hill’. Soon after moving back, King Solomon lost its one and only pastor on October 2, 2010.
For the next 2 years, King Solomon was without a pastor. During that time, the church continued on through God’s guidance. The Deacons played a vital role in keeping the church going forth. Deacon Charles Scott, chairman of the Deacon Board, prayerfully received guidance from respected Pastors of Vallejo, California. A Pastor Search Committee was selected and put to work. The committee worked diligently in the search for a pastor.
After searching for 2 years, the Pastor Search Committee and the congregation narrowed the search to two candidates. On Wednesday, May 30, 2012, the congregation voted and Rev. Kevin Armstrong was selected to become the Pastor of the King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Armstrong readily accepted. He was installed on October 21, 2012 by Rev. Henry Perkins of the First Baptist Church of Pittsburg, California, who gave the charge to the Pastor and the congregation.
God has truly blessed the King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church family and we continue to be dedicated to the work and service of the Lord. The church has experienced change and spiritual growth with Rev. Armstrong as Pastor. Under his leadership, some former members have reinstated and several new members have been added to the church.
Ministries-old & new have been put in place, such as the Women of Excellence (Women’s Ministry). New Membership Training and the Brotherhood are meeting again. Wednesday Night Bible Study has grown in attendance, and Sunday Morning Worship is growing at the seams. We now have to seat people in the vestibule. On August 19, 2012, a special ceremony was held to dedicate our fellowship hall in memory of Rev. Floyd, being named the Rev. Dr. Willie Floyd Fellowship Hall. The church is presently working on a website, which will be up and running soon.
On March 17, 2013, Bishop Nutt and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were invited to King Solomon for a Musical, sponsored by the Inspirational Choir. This was a first for the King Solomon Church Family.
King Solomon looks to the future with great expectation of what God has in store for us.