THE EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH
Celebrated 145 Years in 2018: "A Great Journey of Faith"
Over one hundred and forty-five years ago, Ebenezer Baptist Church was founded by a small group of Christians who migrated from Virginia and two natives of New Brunswick, Hannibal Brown and his mother, Mrs. Betsy Ann Brown. The first services were held in a private home at 188 Handy Street, the Moody family residence.
Ebenezer is the daughter of the First Baptist Church of New Brunswick who poured out spiritual and financial support for many years. It is the third oldest Baptist church established by blacks in New Jersey. The first church, whose edifice faced Comstock Street, was built in April 1875 on the land that was bequeathed to us by Samuel Ballard, a resident and trustee of the First Baptist Church. Among the first members were Edward Jeffries, Ebenezer Midgitt, Whitfield Love, Giles Jeffries, Elijah, Jennie Mosely, Alexander Obie, Armstead Elam, Sally Moore, and Archie Hardy. Reverend William Wallace was the first pastor.
The Church was incorporated July 14, 1913, after a notice was posted ten days prior at a place where members assembled for public worship at the church building corner of Lee Avenue and Comstock Street. Fifty members were present, and the church was named Ebenezer Baptist Church out of respect for the devout founder Mr. Ebenezer Midgett.
In May 1922, First Baptist Church, under the pastorate of Rev. J. Bruce Gilman, turned over the property to Ebenezer free and clear. Under the leadership of Reverend Charles C. Weathers, the ground was broken for the present building on Sunday, August 12, 1923. The church was completed in 1926 at a cost of $40,000.
Sunday, February 24, 2008, the block of the street on which Ebenezer stands was re-named “Rev. Dr. Lonnie Ford Place” in honor and memory of Dr. Ford who was Ebenezer’s pastor for nearly 32 years, the longest period of leadership for any other pastor in Ebenezer’s history.
The Reverend Dr. Gregory L. Wallace is currently serving as pastor at the historic Ebenezer. Since his unanimous confirmation [1.18.2009], Reverend Dr. Gregory L. Wallace, D.D.E., Ph.D., is witnessing a continued enthusiasm in the life of Ebenezer Baptist Church. His dynamic pastoral style and devoted compassion for Ebenezer and its community inspired energy and growth. In 2012, Children’s Church was established and is held at the Church Center for youth ages 5 to 17. Auxiliaries and clubs approach their missions with enlivened passion as Rev. Wallace serves in concert with the Ebenezer congregation to continue the work for the kingdom.
Through Pastor Wallace’s inspiration, Ebenezer has also emerged into the 21st century with its social media presence. Within the last 5 years, not only can we be seen at our website and Facebook, but also on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube [#ebcspirit].
From 2015 to present, Rev. Wallace further inspired “Each One Reach One for Christ, an evangelical campaign wherein he and a team of Ebenezer members visited/visits throughout the neighborhood teaching and spreading the WORD to bring souls to Christ.