A Brief History of Munger Avenue Baptist Church
The year was 1894, just six year prior to the turn of the century. The site of its beginning – a small frame dwelling along railroad tracks on Central, south of Bryan Street in the city of Dallas. Across the tracks was the Ell B. Moore Theatre, a popular entertainment center fro the Negro citizenry of Dallas. A few feet away, two saloons and a restaurant accounted for a heavy flow of lively pedestrian traffic.
In the midst of this worldly situation, a few Christians led by Reverend A. H. Smith assembled and organized the Galilee Baptist Church.
Could this small group dare hope that the echoes of “Amazing Grace” could be heard above the din of unsaved revelers across the way? They could hope, for their hope was in Christ Jesus.
Thus, were we launched upon a crusade of Christian endeavor that has endured for one-hundred and Seventeen years.
The church in its infancy had many problems, the most pronounced of which were environmental. It was not a rare experience, according to the late Sister Maggie Arnold, for the worshippers to be forced to run for shelter as tin cans, beer mugs, bricks and sticks were hurled through the air. These were a result of the street brawls along the way. The nickname “Rag Doll Church” was given to the church by these same unsaved people.
In this early period, also, there were frequent changes in leadership, but these ardent Christians survived and pressed on.
Some of their significant accomplishments were as follows:
1911 – The church relocated from Central to the corner of Munger Avenue and English (later McCoy Street)
1912 – The name of the Church was changed from Galilee Baptist Church to Munger Avenue Baptist Church
1912 – The first church building was erected.
1917 – The first Choir and Deaconess Board were organized
1919 – The Missionary Society was organized
1932 – A new church building was erected at 3919 Munger Avenue and Lucille
1946 – A progressive Christian Education program was developed which included
- Daily Bible Study Program
- Sunday School Department
- Expansion of Baptist Training Union
- Smiling Committee organized to minister to members in need
- More than 13 men were called into the ministry
- Nursery School organized
- Kindergarten added to the Nursery School
1946 to 1967 – More than 2000 members were added to the membership
1946 to 1968 – The National Baptist Sunday School and BYPU Congress was hosted by Munger Avenue Baptist Church
- The Jackson Estate purchased
- The Church Parsonage – 2627 South Blvd.
- Air – conditioning system
- Construction of 16 room Education Bldg.
- Azalea Garden Club organized
1969 – 75th DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE CELEBRATION
1969 – The church front entrance changed from Munger Avenue to Lucille Street to
1987 – The Joshua Chapel was dedicated in Memory of Rev. Brooks Ellis Joshua the 15th Pastor of the Munger Avenue Baptist Church
1987 to 1994 – Commitment, Outreach, and Teaching were the emphasis for this eras march toward the 21st Century
- Renovation of Byrd Hall
- 100TH CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
- Historical Marker awarded to Munger by Texas Historical Society
- 1994 to the Present the Church and membership continued to walk with God and the dedicated leaders He gave us.
2002 – Munger Avenue Baptist Church received a $1,000.000.00 endowment/ donation for spiritual and physical development
- Beautification project for Education Building (Kitchen, Joshua Chapel, and inside Windows.
- Pulpit refurbished
2003 – Elevator Installation
- Four restrooms refurbished and remodeled
- Senior Day Activities Program organized
- Reorganization of Munger’s Education Scholarship
- Reorganization of the Food Bank Ministry
- Purchase of lot at 1918 Lucille
2005 – Purchase of 50 KJV Pew Bibles for Sanctuary
- Air – conditioning system in the Education Building upgraded
2007 – Sound system upgraded
2009 – New Church roof
2010 – Sanctuary windows restored
A Legacy of Leadership
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Rev. A. H. Smith
Rev. James P. Pruitt (Interim minister)
Rev. M. C. Clabum (Interim minister)
Rev. S. S. Stephens
Rev. William M. Jackson
Rev. A. H. Smith
Rev. C. W. Hampton
Rev. A. D. Hindon
Rev. Ira M. Hindon
Rev. Abraham L. King
Rev. L. H. Hopkins
Rev. William Lofton
Rev. Bernard O. Byrd
Rev. Brooks Ellis Joshua
Rev. Robert L. Rowe
Rev. John L. Wright
Rev. Barry Andrew Jackson
Rev. W. C. Davis