Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church began with a group of religious people on Walnut Street opposite the freight house. Growth in the number attending and weather factors made it necessary to seek a larger indoor facility. So, in October of 1892, this group moved to Kibbrels Hall on 8th Avenue North which was formerly called Spruce Street. At the suggestion of Brother Charles Bailey, the church was formerly organized on February 10, 1893, with the late Rev. John Davidson presiding. The church was given the name Tabernacle meaning a religious tent. The Rev. J. E. Purdy was the pastor, and he was succeeded by seven ministers.
The first church clerk was Brother Lucious Work. He held this position from 1893 to 1896. The first church treasurer was Brother John Kibbrel and Brother Joe McCairn was the first chairman of the Deacon Board. This Church moved on steadily for some time until the pastor decided to move to the North. After the pastor left, the members began to scatter. Rev. H.M. Burns was able to get eighteen members together and marched from the North side to our former location 1027 South Street. This group of worshipers marched onto South Street singing a great hymn “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand.”The late Rev. Roosevelt L. Evans came to Tabernacle Baptist Church as it’s 8th pastor in 1942.
It became necessary in the fall of 1966 for our church to seek a new location. A committee was selected and several lots were looked into. The membership selected our present location. The main auditorium was remodeled by the architectural plans drawn by Brother Albert Anthony, who had been a faithful trustee and treasurer for many years. Some may recall that the two (2) lamps on the pulpit and the two (2) gates to the choir stand were built by Bro. Anthony at the South Street site and are now placed at our present site. We marched into our church at 2214 12th Avenue South , in May 1967. On October 27, 1968, the laying of the Corner-Stone was observed.
In June of 1981, groundbreaking service was held on the lawn for our new fellowship hall. In July, Freeman & Smith Contractors began to work. Shortly after the first of the year, our dreams became a reality. On Sunday, March 7, 1982, the late Rev. Richard D. Hunt was installed as our 9th pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church. We can still hear his beautiful voice singing “My Souls Been Anchored”. Many ministries were birthed under his leadership…one being named in his honor…”The Rev. Richard D. Hunt and Elizabeth Evans Scholarship Fund”.
In November of 1989, we burned the church mortgage. In 2005 the church purchased property 2212 12th Ave. South. In July of 2007 we paid off the mortgage for apartments.
On December 16, 2012 the church elected Rev. Darin G. Freeman as the 10th Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church. We had a high time in the name of the Lord during his installation on January 27, 2013. Rev. Freeman is an humble man with a sweet spirit. We have been blessed with a great man of God. As he follows Jesus Christ, so shall we follow him.
Project Progress & Features
We believe baptism is an ocular demonstration of God’s inward renewal in the life of the believer; in baptism our names are changed. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we are placed under the authority of God’s power and protection. It is the symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to a new life. It is a prerequisite to the privileges of the church in relation to the Lord’s Supper. Jesus Christ took bread and wine established them as the imperishable symbols of the church. The Lord’s Table is open to all people in the faith who desire to fellowship with Him.