History of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church
From a humble planting of three little acorns under a rubber tree in 1909, a great sprawling oak has grown and stands today as a beacon of hope for the lost, a place of refuge for the needy through caring, sharing and giving. Most of all, the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (EMBC) is a place where family comes home, and God is glorified.
In 1909, with a Sunday School class of three students, the church was founded. Sister Lougenia Johnson was the Sunday School Teacher. The first pastor, Rev. A.T. Taylor was called in 1910.
In 1911, the church took a leap of faith and purchased land at NW 9th street and 1st avenue in Hallandale, Florida. The first building for church services was constructed in 1912. The church was named the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church and the first Missionary Society was organized by Sister A. T. Taylor.
In 1955, under the leadership of Rev. O. W. Foster, the wooden structure was replaced with a concrete building on NW 9th street that included a balcony, a choir stand, a choir room, a Pastor’s study, restrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and the altar was changed to a pulpit.
In 1964, the third structure was built on NW 1st avenue and the dedication service was held on May 31, 1964.
In 1972, the mortgage on that structure was paid off.
On January 28, 1977, the church was saddened by the passing of Rev. O. W. Foster, who served as Pastor of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church for thirty-three (33) years.
On March 31, 1977, the 14th Pastor was called. Rev. Joe C. Johnson was installed in May, 1977.
In 1978, additional land was purchased; two young ministers were licensed, Minister Victor T. Curry and Minister Johnny Bell; the Young Adult Choir was organized; a new Deacon was ordained, making a total of (13) Deacons at that time.
In 1985, the Educational Facilities were dedicated; the first church directory was printed; and the first church picnic was held at Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach, Florida.
On February 9, 2010, the City of Hallandale Beach established the site of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church as a historical site, and the Church, one of the oldest churches in the Palms of Hallandale area.
On May 25, 2018, Rev. Joe C. Johnson who served as Senior Pastor/Teacher of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church for forty-one (41) years passed away.
On October 27, 2019, Rev. Wayne Allen, Sr., the 15th Pastor of the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was installed and is currently serving.
New birth, growing pains, gain, loss, mountain highs and valley lows have all taken place in the years subsequent to the mid and late 1990’s, too many to capture in a couple of pages. Yet through it all, the church has evolved into a center of service. The Lord is still doing great things in and through the church in this community, under the leadership of Pastor Allen. He is a firm believer in allowing the power of God to finish the work in each one’s life.
From 1977 to the present, twenty-two men were called and licensed or licensed and ordained.
From the early 2000’s to the present, seven women were called, licensed and ordained to serve in the ministry.
Many Deacons have been ordained, currently there are twenty-five serving.
Fifteen Pastors have served at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church from 1909 to the present.
The challenge for the church on a daily basis is to touch the lives of those who are in need. Those needs are mostly spiritual. The church is continually developing strong family oriented ministries, realizing that the church can only be as strong and viable with strong and viable families. As we meet the challenges of the day we must “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name, and make known His deeds among the people,” 1 Chronicles 16:8.
Just as a gram of mustard seed develops from the last of all seeds to transform so that it is the greatest among herbs and becomes a tree, so too has the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church of Hallandale Beach, Florida evolved. The sprouting from three faithful members congregating under a rubber tree in South Broward resulted in this historic haven, a strong tower standing one hundred and eleven years later as a sure beacon of hope and bastion and ministration.
Our Mission Statement:
To serve as a beacon to the unsaved while providing worship and service in a spiritual environment through it’s ministries, encouraging believers to carry out our Savior’s Great Commission,” Matthew 28:19.