Dr. Michael E. Rutledge, D. Min., founded Mount Carmel Community Baptist Church in Steubenville, Ohio. Dr. Rutledge received the Doctor of Ministry Degree from North Carolina College of Theology, Raleigh, North Carolina in May 2003. He received his Master of Arts Degree in Theology and Ethics from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio in May 1993 and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Political Science with a minor in Mathematics and Chemistry from Tougaloo College, Jackson, Mississippi in May 1979. He has done additional postgraduate studies at Houston Graduate School of Theology, Houston, Texas and at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
On March 26, 2006, Dr. Michael E. Rutledge was installed as Mt. Ararat Baptist Church's their third pastor. Dr. Rutledge's vision is for an aggressive expansion of both campus and ministries to meet the needs of the surrounding community as well as the Greater Houston area.
Dr. Rutledge is married to Alicia Rutledge and has twin daughters, Michaela and Ayanna and son, Michael Rutledge, II.
On May 4, 1972, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church was organized in the garage of Sis. Toma Sita Lewis. A few humble and concerned Christians called upon God for guidance and deliverance. Founding members were: Rev. Melbert A. Lewis, Pastor; Deacon Richmond Thompson, Sis. Esther Thompson, Sis. Mary Ransom, Sis. Jennie V. Pierce, Sis. Lottie Williams, Sis. Jerlean King, Sis. Mary Glenn, Bro. Remon Glenn, and Rev. & Sis. Eugene Robinson. Less than two weeks later, on May 16, the first officers were elected at the home of Sis. Lottie Williams with seventeen members present. They were Deacon Richmond Thompson, Moderator; Sis. Jennie V. Pierce, Treasurer; Sis. Frances Peters, Secretary; and Rev. Melbert Lewis, Pastor. On May 23, 1972, the members unanimously agreed that the New Body of Christ would be called, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.
As the church grew, other buildings served as the sanctuary. These buildings included A.B. Anderson Elementary, Sheffield Funeral Home and the storefront located at 6035 W. Montgomery Road. Approximately 3 years later, new land was purchased where we now have this beautiful edifice which was dedicated to God on November 2, 1975 with the late Rev. F.L. Dickey presiding. The membership at that time had grown to approximately 800.
Mt. Ararat’s first pastor, Rev. Melbert Lewis, established many visions for this church, such as our First Childcare Center, Bus Ministry, Acteens, Royal Ambassadors, Baptist Training Union, Wednesday noon prayer meetings, Cherub and Cherubim Choirs, Ladies Chorus, Male Chorus, Seraphim Choir and Prayer and Bible Study. He also encouraged our youth to participate in conventions and to fellowship with many other churches and religious organizations where we are known throughout these United States. Our first trip to Trinity Pines was under his leadership. There was also an 11:00 am broadcast on Sunday mornings. The motto under Rev. Lewis’ leadership was “A praying church of concerned Christians and a humble Pastor.”
Mt. Ararat’s second Pastor, Rev. Ameal Jones, Sr. came to us in 1983 with a God-inspired vision and zeal to see the church continue to grow. Under his leadership, we burned the church mortgage and the vision of our New Family Life Center was erected. New Ministries were also established such as Apartment Ministry, Vacation Bible School, The Marching Ambassadors for Christ and Marching Angels Drill Teams, Singles Ministry, One Heritage Society, New Members Ministry and W.I.N.G.S. (our drama and praise dance ministries). Under his tenure, we also established Children’s Church, Youth Church, Wednesday and Sunday Nursery Ministry, The Manna Program for our Senior Members, an annual scholarship program for our graduating High School Seniors, and a continued commitment to both home and foreign missions. The Drill Teams had traveling experience immeasurable and received National Honors for their performances dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ.
On March 26, 2006, Mt. Ararat installed our third Pastor, Rev. Dr. Michael E. Rutledge, founder of Mount Carmel Community Baptist Church, Steubenville, Ohio. The Theme of the investiture service was “God Calls, Anoints, and Appoints the Shepherd over His Flock,” (Ezekiel 34:23-24). Pastor Rutledge’s vision for us is an aggressive expansion of both campuses and ministries to meet the needs of the surrounding community as well as the Greater Houston area. There has been a defined increase in congregants and visitors attending Sunday worship services and Wednesday night Bible study. Cornerstone installed, mortgage on additional land note burned. His leadership has been characterized by faithfulness, integrity, consistency, commitment and sacrifice. By regeneration and sanctification, by faith and prayer, by suffering and discipline, by the Word and the Spirit, the work goes on until the vision of God has been realized in the Christian heart. Mt. Ararat Baptist Church will continue to minister compassionately to the needs of the total person. It is only through God’s goodness that we can do this. Call it grace or mercy or love, it is an unspeakable wonder.