Out of humble beginnings and great controversy, giants are made.
George Beauchamp Vick was content with being the music director of church that was pastored by J. Frank Norris, who also pastored a church in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the 1930s and the attendance of the Detroit congregation where Vick led the music had dwindled to 250 in attendance. Norris asked the young man to join the staff and, in 1936, gave him free reign to lead the church in his absence.
Vick agreed. In less than a year, the attendance of the church zoomed to over 1,600. At the conclusion of the first year of his leadership, it reached 2,000.
Vick was born 1901 as the son of a pastor in Russellville, Kentucky. The family moved to Louisville when he was but nine years of age. There, he obtained a job with the railroad company following his graduation from high school. Had it not been for Norris’s observation that his young music director had some leadership capabilities; the influence of fundamental Baptists in the twentieth century would not have been so effective. During the 1930s, most fundamentalist churches were nothing more than rented storefronts on older city streets or rural churches with small congregations.
In 1947, Vick became the pastor of the church. He remained the pastor of Detroit’s Temple Baptist Church for thirty-five years. In its peak years, the Sunday school attendance reached 5,000 and the membership increased to over 15,000.
Not a bad legacy for a Kentucky railroad worker.
G.B. Vick was a man of God who was willing to live according to his favorite Bible verse, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” ~ Acts 5:42