Historic Markers Across Tennessee

First Baptist Church / Mt. Olive CME Church

Marker ID: THC 4E 130
Location: 538 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Avenue, Memphis, TN 
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 08.201    W 090° 02.613
  35.13668333    -90.04355
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMEEW3


First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church was designed by architect R. H. Hunt and built in 1906. It is constructed of yellow bricks along a Georgian-architectural style. It housed a congregation of 2,200 members which organized the first Sunday School in the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1907, when this building was dedicated, it was considered one of the finest Baptist church structures in the South.

Mt. Olive CME Church

Founded in 1848, Mt. Olive Cathedral Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, an African-American congregation under the leadership of the Rev. W. A. Johnson, purchased this building from First Baptist Church in 1947. In 1950, two years before the congregation moved into its new building, the Rev. Johnson died and his funeral was held at the First Baptist Church. Under the guidance of the Rev. Phillip E. Brooks, Sr., in 1952, the congregation moved to this location.

Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission.