Church HistoryMacedonia Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Anacostia, as well as the oldest church in the community. Reverend James William Howard has been credited as the founder of Macedonia Baptist Church in 1866. The first ordained Pastor of Macedonia was Reverend Edgar Banks. Other Pastors were Reverend Chattel, Reverend Brooks, Reverend C.B. Jones, Reverend George Lucas, Reverend Walter Porter, Reverend C. C. Mason, Reverend William Williams, Reverend Henry Coleman, Reverend Philip Elmore, Reverend Benjamin Thornton (1945-84), Reverend Eldridge Spearman (1985-94), and Reverend James E. Hall (1996-2001).
Some of our past Associate Ministers were Reverend James Butts, Reverend Lucius Gallion, Reverend Marvin Rodgers, Jr., Reverend Robert Jones, Minister Guy Sellman, and Minister Ellen Williams. Our current Associate Minister is Reverend Elizabeth K. Johnson, the first and only ordained female minister at Macedonia.
Reverend Benjamin Thornton began his pastorate at Macedonia in 1945, during a time when the congregation was small and worship services were being held in the lower auditorium. In April 1962, Macedonia held commemorative services to begin the completion of the church. Later that same year, Macedonia had to vacate the church building because of reconstruction and held worship services in the Sewing Circle Building on Pomeroy Road. By September 1962, services were moved to the completed edifice and the mortgage was paid in full in 1976. In May 1983, Macedonia purchased two houses, 2615 and 2617 Stanton Road, Southeast. Eventually, Reverend Thornton’s health began to fail and he was unable to continue a full-time ministry. In February of 1986, he became Pastor Emeritus and the church honored him by awarding an educational scholarship in his name to the youth who were attending college (the B.F. Thornton Scholarship). Currently, the B.F. Thornton/Carolyn Jones Scholarship blesses college students with $500.00 per semester. Reverend Thornton went home to be with the Lord on July 21, 2004, but his tremendous legacy lives on.
In 1986, Pastor Eldridge Spearman was installed as Pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church. His focus centered on ministering to the needs of the members, educating them in the Word of God,and empowering the community. He began programs to minister to the incarcerated, feed the less fortunate, provide employment, and educate the community in the Word of God as it relates to praying, fasting, and tithing. Some of the highlights of his leadership include the following:
- Established the church Constitution and By-laws
- Restored the church property at 2615 and 2617 Stanton Road for classroom space and conferences
- Mortgages were paid in full on 2615 and 2617 Stanton Road
- Started Narcotics Anonymous meetings at Macedonia every Sunday evening
- Began Extended Sunday School for the youth during morning worship
- Joined The Progressive Baptist Convention, the D.C. Baptist Convention (DCBC), and the American Baptist Churches of the South (ABCOTS)
- Started Disciple Development Classes and a summer camp for neighborhood youth
- Joined the Capital Area Community Food Bank, the SHARE food program, and had meals delivered to AIDS patients through FOOD and FRIENDS
- Established the Missions Ministry, Evangelism Ministry, and the Board of Christian Education
- Ordained four Deacons
- The Issa Ayinde Drama Club, the Disciples of Praise Male Chorus, and the Ladies Chorale were formed
- On May 31, 1994, Pastor Spearman was called to lead another flock at First Baptist Church, located on Minnesota Avenue, Southeast.
On May 31, 1994, Pastor Spearman was called to lead another flock at First Baptist Church, located on Minnesota Avenue, Southeast.
In March 1996, Reverend James Edward Hall became Pastor of Macedonia. The church continued to be fruitful and blessed and we continued to move forward under his leadership. Pastor Hall’s vision was to exalt the Lord, evangelize the lost, and equip the Saints through discipleship. Some of the highlights under his leadership include the following:
- Revitalized the Men’s Fellowship
- Started a Women’s Ministry, under the leadership of First Lady Cassandra Hall
- Started a Singles Ministry
- Children’s Sunday Ministry was formed, under the leadership of Reverend Elizabeth K.Johnson
- Youth Ministry was formed, under the leadership of Minister Guy Sellman
- Family Ministry was formed under the leadership of Minister Marvin Rodgers
- A Tape Ministry was formed to allow the Sunday morning message to grow
- A Community Outreach Ministry was formed, under the leadership of Sister Lois E. Tibbs, and a Food Pantry was set up for the needy families in the community
- Macedonia became a satellite location and held college courses through Washington Bible College
- Minister Guy Sellman and Minister Ellen Williams were licensed to preach the Gospel
- Obtained the deed to the property at 2604 Stanton Road
- The Building Fund Committee completed a rendering for the proposed building of a new sanctuary
January 4, 2003 marked the beginning of a new era in the Macedonia Baptist Church. It was on that day that Reverend Garfield Burton became the Pastor-elect of Macedonia. He officially began his tenure on February 2, 2003, preaching his initial sermon entitled “We Need Each Other to Survive,” based on Romans 12:1-5. His vision for Macedonia is based on Psalm 127:1a, which says “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (NKJV).
Pastor Burton believes in getting things done. In less than three years since he has been here, Macedonia has accomplished the following:
- Commenced Men in Prayer every Saturday morning, and Men & Women in Prayer every first and fourth Saturdays of the month
- Established the M-1 offering
- Instituted leadership training and membership convocations
- Renovated the houses at 2615 and 2617 Stanton Road
- Completed the purchase of the houses at 2609 and 2611 Stanton Road and leveled them to make room for a much needed parking lot
- Upgraded the sound system and audio-visual equipment
- More than doubled their financial giving
- Combined all singing aggregations to form the Anointed Voices of Macedonia
- Expanded and redecorated Ladies Restroom
- Converted the coat room in the vestibule to a Handicap Restroom
- Recovered pew cushions on old pews
- Landscaped church grounds
- Overhauled the electrical system in the church
- Constructed a wheelchair ramp on the side of the church
- Started the Couples Ministry
- Completed the overflow room
- As of May 9, 2004, started having two morning worship services at 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- Installed ceramic floor tile and upgraded lighting fixtures in the vestibule and the hallway outside of the fellowship hall
- Mounted new curtains in the Sanctuary
- Built storage closets in the Freeman Fellowship Hall and the utility room
- Beautified the Freeman Fellowship Hall
- Refurbished the Men’s Restroom
- Installed new windows in the Sanctuary
- Replaced the gutters on the church and the houses
- Laid new carpeting in the Sanctuary
- Repainted the Sanctuary
- Installed new pews (and blessed another church with the old ones)
- Hung beautiful new ceiling lights in the Sanctuary
- Replaced and upgraded the air conditioning system in the church
Additionally, Macedonia continues the process of beautifying the church and grounds.
Pastor Burton is a greatly anointed and highly motivated man of God. Under his leadership, Macedonia has grown in numbers, in finances, and in spirit. We look forward to doing even greater works for God as Pastor Burton continues to lead us in the way of the Lord.
Macedonia’s history goes back 140 years. One of our recently deceased members, Sister Marguerite Duckett, was the last survivor of the founding “first families” at our church.
Since the time that Macedonia was organized, it has seen a number of highs and lows, but through it all God has seen us through. We have stood firm upon the Solid Rock, which is Christ Jesus, and we will continue to do so because we are “A Church With A Living Hope In The Midst Of A Dying World.”