Pastor James E. Simmons first conceived the idea of organizing this church in 1968. However, this church was organized and planted on November 16, 1997. The partnership of Pastor and People were reminiscent of Paul planting and Apollos watering while God caused the increase. Through his extraordinary vision he even selected a name for the church. The name Good Samaritan came to mind because of his love for mankind. Luke 10:33-35, which is scriptural for the name, tells us what the church should be about, “Picking Up, Cleaning Up, Carrying Up and Paying Up.”
Through God’s divine guidance of Senior Pastor, Dr. James E. Simmons was given the vision that a few of God’s peculiar people were in darkness searching for that marvelous light and on Sunday, November 16, 1997 they had to search no longer. At the residence of Sis. Claudia B. Washington, 6608 Seat Pleasant Drive, Seat Pleasant, Maryland, Pastor James E. Simmons along with ten members organized the Good Samaritan Baptist Church in the District of Columbia. These ten members were Sis. Pamela Barnes, Bro. Darrell Griffith, Sis. Sheila Hickman, Rev. James A. Simmons, Deacon James Smith, Sis. Janice Towler, Bro. John Towler, Sis. Keva Towler, Sis. Tynisha Washington and Sis. Claudia Washington.
Pastor Simmons Senior’ vision was relatively plain and that was to create one church to be housed in two locations: Minden, Louisiana and Washington, D.C. After voting to become a Baptist Church, these individuals were appointed to hold the following positions: Dr. James E. Simmons, Organizer & Senior Pastor, Rev. James A. Simmons, Pastor (part-time), Deacon James V. Smith, Chairman, Board of Deacons, Sis. Sheila V. Hickman, Church Clerk, Sis. Claudia B. Washington, Choir President and Bro. Darrell Griffith, Trustee in Training.
Seeking suitable facilities to house the church, Dr. Simmons spoke with the Rev. Isaac Alston, Pastor of the Brightlight Baptist Church who so graciously consented in allowing Good Samaritan to use one of his classrooms to hold it Wednesday night and Sunday morning worship services. They will be ever so grateful to him and his church for opening their doors and their hearts to the Good Samaritan Baptist Church.
On Sunday, December 7, 1997 at 10:30 AM the Good Samaritan Baptist Church held its first worship service. It was God’s peculiar people fellowshipping together in harmony. Pastor James A. Simmons proclaimed the gospel that morning on the “Power of Faith” John 4:46-53. After proclaiming the gospel that morning, three souls united with Good Samaritan, Bro. Dennis McBride, Sis. Gloria Dunbar and Sis. Rosa Wright, who was later appointed to these positions: Bro. Dennis McBride, Director, Board of Christian Education, Sis. Gloria J. Dunbar, Administrative Assistant to the Pastor, and Sis. Rosa Wright, Financial Secretary.
During the week of January 11, 1998, Pastor James E. Simmons was the guest evangelist for the Second New St. Paul Baptist Church located in Washington, D.C., and while Pastor and Sister Simmons were here for the week, First Good Samaritan also held the grand opening of the District of Columbia location on Sunday, January 11, 1998 at 7:00 PM at the Brightlight Baptist Church. Rev. Isaac Alston was the guest preacher on that evening and his message was titled, “God Wants to See Your Faith,” Luke 5:18-20.
The week of January 11, 1998, Rev. Edgar Williams, Pastor of the Second New St. Paul Baptist Church had made arrangements for our Senior Pastor and Former First Lady Simmons to stay at the Ramada Limited located at 1600 New York Avenue, N.E.
Washington, D.C. Miraculously, one morning Sis. Simmons was out and about in the hotel and she discovered one of the hotel’s meeting room and she thought this would be a good location for Good Samaritan. After sharing this information with Pastor Simmons, (he being the kind of Shepherd that is always looking to lead his flock to higher heights) inquired about the room and learned it had just become vacant that week and was available for new tenants. Accordingly, Pastor Simmons worked out all the contractual arrangements to make 1600 New York Avenue, N.E. the second home of the Good Samaritan Baptist Church, effective Sunday, January 18, 1998.
On March 1, 1998, via tele-conference, Rev. James A. Simmons was unanimously voted to become full-time Pastor of Good Samaritan Baptist Church. Working side by side with our Senior Pastor, Pastor James A. Simmons works diligently to put into practice all the ministries that have been established.
On Friday, April 10, 1998, the Washington membership traveled to Minden, Louisiana to help celebrate the 1st Anniversary of the Good Samaritan Ministries. The anniversary service held on Palm Sunday (April 12) was the first union of both groups worshipping as one body. The union was a soul stirring experience of what happens when God has joined a group of chose people together. The fellowship was a joyous demonstration of our love for God, our Pastors, and First Family.
Since the existence, there were 48 souls who united with the First Good Samaritan Baptist Church, 31 to unite under Christian Experience and 17 as Candidates for Baptism. On February 1, 1998, the first Holy Communion Service after the 10:00 AM Worship Service. On April 17, 1998 at the Jerusalem Baptist Church, the church held its first Baptism service. Those candidates for baptism were Sis. Tynisha Washington, Bro. Queron Seymore and Sis. Ardell Martin.
Since the churches history there have been several locations. We started in the basement of Bright Light Baptist church and moved to Ramada Inn. After the Ramada Inn in the District of Columbia, the church relocated to Concord Baptist church on Rhode Island Avenue, Washington, D.C. After leaving Concord the Church moved to Laurel Maryland at Queens Chapel AME. After leaving Queens Chapel, the church moved to Sheriff Road in Captiol Heights, Maryland. After that location, the church moved to Clinton, Maryland where the church was renting but had sole access to the location. The next move was purchasing the current building in the Landover/Hyattsville area on Hubbard Road.
Following the lengthy illness of Senior Pastor, Rev. James Anthony Simmons resigned his pastoral position in February 2008 in Virginia in order to work alongside his father. On Sunday, March 2, 2008, Pastor James Anthony Simmons was appointed Pastor of First Good Samaritan Church by the late Senior Pastor. On June 15, 2008, the Reverend Dr. James Edward Simmons, was called home to be with the Lord.
Under the leadership of Pastor James A. Simmons, the church has moved into a larger facility while maintaining the former property to become rental property for the church. Embracing the teachings of his father, Pastor James Anthony Simmons is continuing to follow in his father’s footsteps but as the writer says, “While following in his father’s footsteps, he continues to wear his own shoes.” Under his leadership, several new ministries have been added and the discipleship at First Good Samaritan continues to grow, not only in numbers, but also spiritually. They continue to be the church that lives up to their vision statement which is “The Caring Church, Preparing the World by Sharing the Word.”
As Pastor of First Good Samaritan, Pastor Simmons is committed to “Making Disciples” as Jesus Christ commissioned us to do. Pastor Simmons is determined to maintain the Great Commission of Jesus Christ instead of allowing the church to be detained because it has allowed the Great Commission to be the Great Omission. His teachings stress the strengthening of our relationship with Christ through discipleship which establishes the love we must have for one another. It states in the gospel of John 13:34, 35 that, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”