Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Mount Nebo Baptist Church

Marker ID: THC 4E 156
Location: intersection of Vance Ave. and Lauderdale St, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.072    W 090° 2.603
  35.13453333    -90.04338333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Mount Nebo Baptist Church

Completed in 1896, this Gothic church edifice was erected by the Grace Episcopal Church. Because the Memphis Housing Authority selected a site for public housing in proximity to Grace Episcopal Church, in November 1938, Grace Episcopal congregants unanimously voted to sell its building and adjoining property to the Mount Nebo (Negro) Baptist Church, also known as "Sack Chapel." Dating back to 1907, the congregation chose the Rev. Isaac Cotton as their first pastor. Located at several previous locations, Mount Nebo located on South Somerville,

For a short time the members met in an improvised building using old sacks for the enclosure, thus the sobriquet "Sacks Chapel." The Reverends Abraham Henderson, J.W. Shaw, Roy Love, and James H. Joyner, Jr., followed Cotton, who named the church. Members of the Mount Nebo Baptist Church took possession of the Gothic structure in 1939. Under the pastorate of the Reverend Roy Love, the congregation's membership increased from 280 to more than 1,500 members.

Tennessee Historical Commission.