Church History

                  THEN - 1881                    NOW -  2013

 


First church building
"The Little Red Church"  


Rev. Fields Cooke
First Pastor   

 


Ebenezer Baptist Church  


Rev. Albert P. Jackson, M. Div
Pastor
 

Our beginning...
In 1881, a group of members of The Third Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia separated themselves from the church and began meeting in the Odd Fellows Hall of Alexndria, as a Sunday School.

Moving toward their vision  projects were begun to raise financial resources for a building and for the purchase of land. In 1882, with a sum of $150, members purchased the land on which the present church stands. At this time, Rev. Fields Cooke was called to serve as Pastor.
 

The first church building, affectionately referred to as
"The Little Red Church" was
built in 1883. Records of the Circuit Court of the City of Alexandria show that on April 24, 1884, a deed for land and a building was entered. The record further shows Rev. Cooke as the Pastor and the following individuals as Trustees: John Coles, Charles Morgan, David Jones, Edward Noble and Edward Banks.

Rev.  Cooke was a strong Gospel preacher with a noble character, honored and loved by all who came in contact with him, and served the church faithfully until physical disabilities prohibited him from rendering active service.  In 1898 he died a faithful leader of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

After the death of Rev. Cooke, Rev. Lewis Henry Bailey (a member of the church) served as supply pastor until the calling of Rev. W. D. Lovens.

Rev. W.  D.  Lovens was a man of strong Christian character and an excellent gospel preacher under whose leadership the church progressed both spiritually and numerically. He served faithfully until he was stricken with paralysis and died several years later.
 


During the illness of Rev. W. D. Lovens,  Rev. Brooks served as supply pastor until the calling of Rev. O. H. Woods as pastor in September 1912. Rev. Woods was an able gospel preacher. Under his leadership, many members were added and others returned.  The church grew to the exent that in the Spring of 1921, it was agreed by the membership to enlarge the church.

A building committee was appointed consisting of Robert H. Butler - Secretary, Ezreal Lyons - Treasurer, Bertie Jackson, Ruth Robinson and Magnolia Johnson.  $800 was raised and spent to repair the lecture hall.  The adminisration of Rev. Woods ended on June 23, 1924.

In January 1925, Rev. H. H. Thompson was elected. He was not only endowed with the power to preach; but a builder, as well.  It was under his leadership that the idea of building a new church was revived. The building was partially completed during his term.

On August 8, 1928, Rev. N. Howard Stanton was elected interim pastor.  On March 24, 1930, Rev. Stanton was elected pastor. Ebenezer's first Boy Scout Troop was organized during his administration.  Rev. Stanton resigned the Pastorate on September 9, 1937.

During the absence of a pastor,  Rev. W. T. Henry served until the calling of Rev. Joseph B. Reid of Augusta, Georgia on March 1, 1939. Under the leadership of Rev. Reid the mortgage of the Church was burned on July 22, 1942, ending 17 years of financial struggles.

On November 3, 1943, Rev. Reid tendered his resignation to accept a call to Zion Baptist Chuch, Newport News, Virginia.  Rev. Kelly Miller Smith served as acting pastor.

The first Sunday in October 1944 Rev. Nathaniel S. Hargrave became the pastor. Under the leadership of Rev. Hargrave, the church increased greatly in strength both numerically and spiritually. During his tenure, a Youth Choir, Male Chorus and an Education Committee were formed. One of the greatest financial achievements under Rev. Hargrave's leadership was the construction of a two-story building known as the Cook-Lovens Annex. Rev. Hargrave's health began to fail. He passed on December 6, 1959 after 15 years of successful service to Ebenezer. Rev. A. H. Collins, Assistant to Rev. Hargrave, was elected as interim pastor.

In July 1962 a special meeting was held to elect a pastor. Rev. Austin A. Booker was elected as the eighth pastor. Rev. Booker began his duties as the Pastor in December of 1962. Under Rev. Booker's dynamic leadership an estimated 1,500 persons joined Ebenezer.  The following Board and organization were formed: Board of Christian Education, Gospeliers, Gospel Specials, Youth Department, Male Chorus (re-organization), Busy Bees, Sunshine Band, A. A. Booker Dramatics Club, New Members' Club (re-organization), an Ebenezer Newsletter, basketball and bowling teams, an Annual Scholarship  Banquet for high school graduates, Junior Deacons, Junior Deaconess and a Sewing Circle.

In 1966, the church purchased and remodeled what is now the Hargrave-Collins Education Building. This building was dedicated in 1970.

Four sons of the church were called to the pastorate of other flocks during Rev. Booker's tenure: Rev. John W. Johnson (St. John Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA); Rev. James A. Price (Macedonia Baptist Church, Flint Hill, VA); Rev. Frederick S. Jones (Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Triangle, VA); and Rev. Warren Hudson (Mississippi). Thirteen sons were called to the preaching ministry under Rev. Booker.   
 
Rev. Booker envisioned a total renovation of the church.  The church approved the process in three phases to include a combined choir loft with a seating capacity of 105; extension of the balcony, additional bathrooms, office space for the Pastor, Clerk and Finance Committee, health room and separate choir rooms for male and female members.

Rev. A. A. Booker served this Branch of Zion twenty-two and a half years and was called home from labor to reward on April 15, 1985. Much was accomplished during his tenure, for he was a humble builder. Although he did not live to see the completion of the third phase of the renovation project, his spirit was with the members as they marched into the renovated sanctuary on May 19, 1985.  Sis. Phenoris Copes chaired the Committee for re-entry into the church.

 

 

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