Macedonia Baptist Church of East St. Louis, Illinois, Inc. was organized in 1863 and was incorporated the same year under the laws of the State of Illinois. A small group of Christian women first organized the Church in Venice Island, IL. The Pastor of this newly organized Church was Rev. J. Martin. The original name given to the Church was, “The First Colored Baptist Church.” Later the name was changed to “Macedonia Colored Baptist Church” and eventually the present name “Macedonia Baptist Church” became the permanent name. In 1892, the congregation moved to 506 Brady in East St. Louis, IL. This property was given to them by Mrs. Sarah Pittman.
•In 1915, Rev. B.M. Hurd was called as Pastor. Under his leadership, the frame building was demolished, and a brick basement was erected.
•In 1920, Rev. J.F. Bowers served as Pastor. In 1927, he purchased the land located at 1331 East Broadway. In 1929, Rev. Walton was called as Pastor, and he served until November 1930. In December 1930, Rev. C. M. Miller became Pastor. Under his leadership, in 1933, the congregation moved to the location on Broadway. The building at 1331 E. Broadway was remodeled from a two story framed house to a Church building. October 1933, the members moved from 506 Brady to 1331 E. Broadway.
•In 1934, Rev. R.L. White was called as Pastor, under his leadership many changes and progress was made. There was much discrimination against people of color, during the earlier part of establishing a Church for blacks.
•In 1940, Rev. T.L. Watson served as Pastor. It was under his dynamic and progressive leadership that the mortgage on the church building was paid and mortgage burning ceremonies were held in June of 1942.
Rev. H.J. Begley served as Pastor from July 1943 until his resignation in August 1961. During his tenure as Pastor, the Church continued to grow in many ways. His main contributions being the construction of a new Church building. On April 1948, the groundbreaking ceremonies were held for the new Macedonia Baptist Church. In February 1953, Rev. Begley led his congregation into the new edifice, at 1335 E. Broadway.
Rev. David V. Robinson was called as Pastor in September 1961. Under his leadership the basement of the church was remodeled and folding partitions were installed to provide separate classrooms for the Sunday School. The kitchen was equipped, the church office, pastor’s study and women’s lounge were completed, and new pews were installed. Rev. Robinson who had been nationally known as “Little David” or “The Boy Preacher” served the congregation well until resigning in December 1966 to pursue higher academic endeavor.
Much prayer was offered for the Lord to send the Macedonia congregation a Pastor after His own heart. In January 1967, the Rev. Dr. Norman E. Owens was installed as Pastor. Under his leadership, the numerical and spiritual strength of the church was increased tremendously. Improvements to the facility included installation of a chair lift, air conditioning and establishing and equipping the church office. Pastor Owens led the church in retiring the mortgage at 1335 E. Broadway. In February 2004, Pastor Owens led the congregation to the present location, #10 South N.E. Owens Place. More than 100 ministers have been licensed to preach under the leadership of Pastor Owens. Many of them serve as pastors in various churches across the country.
Macedonia stands as a beacon of light in this Kingdom work. Through the years, the church as not only weathered many storms, but also has been the major source of strength and encouragement in helping many others stand the storms of life. Today MACEDONIA BAPTIST CHURCH stands proudly as the OLDEST BLACK CHURCH in this city and has left and is still leaving the imprint of His presence on the life of this city.
2016-2018 Macedonia Baptist Church. All Rights Reserved.