"For Thou art great,
and doest wondrous things:
Thou art God alone."
Significant things often have small beginnings, while those who initiate them have no notion of the outcome. So it was with Memorial Baptist Church. In 1872, Miss Morey and Miss Blavelt, burdened for the spiritual welfare of the children in the area (what is now Park Slope), began a Sunday school. The earliest records show an attendance of only two people for the first two Sundays recorded and three for the third. However, within three months, attendance had climbed to over thirty. A small store on 7th Avenue was secured for meetings, proving to be adequate space for a time. As the boys and girls responded to the invitations of the teachers, the fledgling Sunday school grew. In response to a demand for higher rent, the school was moved to a store on 18th Street.
Five years later, Deacon Alonzo Cole and a group from Greenwood Baptist Church became interested in the work. It became a Sunday school branch of that church, which had been established in a similar manner by individuals from Strong Place Baptist Church.
As the attendance at the Sunday school in Park Slope began to increase, it soon became necessary to move again. The new site was a vacant paint shop on 19th Street, near 8th Avenue. It was in this location that the first regular church services where held - evening services designed to benefit the adults who began to attend the Sunday school with their children.
It soon became evident that yet larger quarters were needed, so the top floors of two adjoining houses were rented on 8th Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets. In order to create enough space, the two rooms were joined into one. When the renovations were complete and possessions moved, there was much rejoicing at the provision of God. On December 30, 1890, a meeting was called for the purpose of establishing a new church!
On October 16 of the following year, Memorial Baptist Church was officially incorporated. Soon after that, the building in which the church now worships was erected. This building has undergone many changes over the years, but is still a testimony to God's faithfulness. At one point, church members, using primarily picks and shovels, enlarged the basement to its present area. Over the years, believers from other ministries have blessed us by sharing with Memorial their talents in construction tasks such as roofing, flooring, painting, and landscaping.
For over 125 years, Memorial Baptist Church has stood firm in Jesus Christ as its chief cornerstone, and until He returns, it will continue to do so by His grace. It is committed to stand on and preach the truth of the Bible, God's eternal Word, while being a loving congregation to the people of Park Slope and beyond.