Celebrating 27 Years of Excellence 

Innovation Baptist Church was formally organized on June 21, 1993. After resigning from a local church on June 15, 1993, Rev. Dr. J. Willard Toliver was approached by approximately 52 members of this church to start a new church. Rev. Toliver said he had no idea where they could meet, or if it was in God's will to organize a new church. But on Friday, June 19, 1993, God led the group to purchase some property that included five lots and a small white house at 1901 Hillsborough Street. Word went out late that night to come the next day to clean up the small house and the surrounding property. 

New members joined in worship in a new church home on Sunday, June 20, 1993. Every attendee seemed to be filled with excitement and a rejoicing spirit. The invitation period yielded 70 people to join the new church through Christian experience. This was the beginning of Innovation Baptist Church. 

Newly-elected officers and members asked Pastor Toliver to serve as their undershepherd; he accepted on Monday evening, June 21, 1993. The membership wanted their church name to be non-traditional and they wanted to bring something new, celebrative and refreshing to the Baptist way of worshipping God; thus, the name Innovation. 

October 2, 1994 brought about a great blessing for the congregation--a new sanctuary located at 333 Ausley Road. The spacious edifice included a 600-seat Sanctuary with provisions for a 250-seat balcony. Also, there was a Fellowship Hall, a child care center, several rooms on the second floor, a commercial-sized and –equipped kitchen, a huge choir room, pastoral suite, and enough parking spaces to accommodate 115 cars. On the property there was also a four-bedroom parsonage. 

Very shortly thereafter, on June 3, 1996, God chose to call home our beloved Pastor Toliver. God in his wise providence supplied us with an interim pastor, Rev. James Blount, while we searched for a full-time pastor. 

A new leadership era began when Elder Jack P. Leland, Sr. accepted God's calling to lead our church. Since January 1, 1997, Pastor Leland has initiated a new chapter in the life of Innovation. We are deeply grateful to God for sending him and his family. 

Together in the Spirit of God, we suffered through three losses: in September 2005, our 333 Ausley Road property was destroyed by a devastating fire; and in June 2006, our beautiful and endearing First Lady, Minister Janice D. Leland went home to be with the Lord. God blessed Innovation with a new First Lady, Donna Leland but also decided to bring her home in July 2020.   As we move forward 

Spirit of Excellence

In the knowledge of God’s promises, our congregation persevered and continued to praise God through these trying times. In 2006 we purchased a church with an annex located at 2150 Bellevue Way. 

Our Innovation School of Excellence in October 2006 moved into new modular facilities on a uniquely designed campus at the 333 Ausley Road property.  In 2012 the school was closed.

Now watch as Innovation continues to be a strong beacon of light in this community. It was founded by strong individuals who had a strong determination to please the Lord.  2020 has been a trying year for the whole world but, the joy of the Lord is still unspeakable, full of glory and continues to be our strength because we are… 

Making a Difference In Our Communities!