Bullock Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was officially recognized during the Annual Conference, held in Prescott, Arkansas on November 20, 1901. Rev. O.L. Mitchell was assigned as the first pastor. Rev. Mitchell served six months and was succeeded by Rev. J.M. Reed. Several outstanding ministers succeeded Rev. Reed, each continuing the progressive movement of the church.
The church was destroyed by fire in 1915 and J.A. Booker, president of Baptist College, allowed the members to worship at the college. In 1962, Rev. Nehemiah Mitchum became pastor at Bullock Temple. He remained for twelve years. In 1971, the Bullock family moved from its 17th and Cross location to 1513 South Park Street. Rev. Mitchum was the first African American elected president of the Greater Little Rock Ministerial Alliance. He was the recipient of many other community awards and citations.
In 1982, Bullock welcomed Rev. Albert Davidson, a native son, as its new minister. Under Rev. Davidson’s leadership, an annex was added to the church. A library, dedicated in honor of Mrs. E.B. Tollette, was established. Rev. Davidson was the longest serving pastor in Bullock’s history.
In 2003, Bullock Temple welcomed Rev. Logan Hampton, Jr. Under his leadership, the church developed its vision: We are a Christian Family committed to Worshipping God, Studying the work of God, Working for God, and Witnessing for God. Out of this ministry grew many lay ministries to grow the church. As the church grew in membership, several new ministers were added to the church. In July 2013, Rev. Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver was appointed as Associate Pastor and became an ordained Elder of the CME Church.
In July 2014, Rev. Dr. Thurston Callier III was appointed Senior Pastor and Rev. Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver was reappointed Associate Pastor. In 2016, Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver was assigned to Bullock Temple CME Church as the Senior Pastor. Rev. Ryan Davis was assigned as Associate Minister. In 2018, Bullock Temple welcomed Rev. Dion Broughton as it's new Pastor. Because of Rev. Broughton's dynamic leadership, the church continues to be a place of worship and growth.
From 1901 to now, the Bullock Temple family continues to do the work for which it was called. As we stand on the shoulders of our founders and past members, we strive to keep the great commission. We seek to build God’s kingdom through the making of disciples of all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20).
Reverend Odessa Darrough
Pastor of Bullock Temple CME Church
Rev. Dr. Odessa G. Darrough serves as Pastor of Bullock Temple CME Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Darrough previously served as pastor in the following Arkansas Region CME churches: New Light CME Church in Nashville, Trinity CME Church in Magnolia, Allen Temple CME Church in Crossett and Penny Chapel CME Church in Parkdale. Dr. Darrough’s career with AT&T represents 33 years of caring and sharing through her managerial and human resources skills. After retiring in 2003, she continues her love for people by passionately volunteering her time and talents.
Dr. Darrough is an advocate for healthier lifestyles and promoting civil and human rights. She currently serves in the following positions: Vice-Chair Age-Friendly Little Rock Commission; member, Board of Directors and Chairperson, Supervisory Committee for Telcoe Federal Credit Union, and National Ambassador for AARP Create The Good Program. Other positions include former Chair of the Board of Directors of Arkansas Hospice and current member of the Society of Human Resource Management, P.E.O. International and Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society. She is founder of the Annual Minority Health Fair held in Crossett, Little Rock and Nashville; and the Annual Little Rock Community Connection Civil Rights Summit and Community Festival. Dr. Darrough serves as President and CEO of Innovative Lifestyles for Senior Living, Inc.
Dr. Darrough holds a BA in Organizational Management from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, MA in Business and Human Resources Development from Webster University in Little Rock, Arkansas and a Doctorate in Business Administration with emphasis in Human Resources Management from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Dr. Darrough is a native of Arkansas and has two grown sons and five grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and gardening.