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The History of Abyssinian Baptist Church


The history of Abyssinian Baptist Church had its beginnings from a Mission Prayer Meeting held at the home of Luther Witts located at 1600 Park Avenue and the home of Reverend I.R. Farley over 70 years ago, during the time of The Great Depression. 
The number of people in attendance for the prayer meeting grew in such a way; they decided to obtain space at the Old Fellowship Hall at 20th and Oxford streets. There the foundation for the Church was laid. Later that year, a structure was purchased at 12th and Thompson streets and the Church was officially recognized. 

Abyssinian Baptist Church was temporarily organized on February 28, 1930 at 4900 Aspen Street; Reverend L.L. Taylor was the Pastor and gave its present name.

In 1933, the church moved to Mervine and Berks streets in North Philadelphia, where Reverend L.L. Taylor was the undershepard until he was called to rest in February 26, 1948. 

Reverend Austin Jefferson Jr. was elected interim pastor. After he served as the interim Pastor for over a year, the church decided to elect him their official Pastor. On October 9, 1949, he was installed and charged as Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. 

On Sunday, June 9, 1968, the parishioners of the Abyssinian Baptist Church held a service of departure outside of the Church at Mervine and Berks Streets. After service, Reverend Jefferson led them to their new Church located at Germantown and Brunner Streets in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, our present location.  Dr. Austin Jefferson Jr. Pastor emeritus, officially retired on September 4, 1988. Reverend Kenneth A. Allen was installed as Pastor on November 11, 1989. He served until 1994.

In September 1996, Reverend Doctor George R. Pointer was called and continues to serve as the Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church with a vision for ministry for the 21st century. The gospel message remains the same but the methodology to communicate the message must be relevant to todays society.

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