The New Macedonia Baptist Church was organized on Wednesday, January 1, 1958 by founders, Reverend H. C. Mack, Reverend Lorenzo Young, and a few members from New Southern Rock Baptist Church. Reverend Lorenzo Young was appointed as the Pastor with church services being held at 5th and P Streets in the northwest corridor of Washington, DC. The church was incorporated on March 25, 1958 by the Government of the District of Columbia. The first officers of the church included, Deacon William Duncan and Deacon Melvin Alexander, Trustee W.B. Munford and Trustee Edward Jones. The Faithful Gospel Chorus – the church’s first choir - was soon organized and consisted of one faithful member, the late Sister Minnie Walker. Later, Reverend Moore was appointed as Assistant Pastor of the church.
On Sunday, April 13, 1958, the Pastor and congregation, accompanied by a few friends, marched from the U.S. Capitol to a new location, at 1000 East Capitol Street, NE, where a church dedicatory service was held. In 1960, God saw fit to call our first Pastor, Reverend Lorenzo Young, from labor to reward. The Assistant Pastor, Reverend Moore was elected to serve as Acting Pastor, but he later resigned.
New Macedonia was temporarily without a Pastor, but God continued to be the head of the church. A meeting was held with Reverend Robert Harrison officiating, and it was at this meeting, in May of 1960, that Reverend Robert L. Walls, Sr., was elected to be the new Pastor. Pastor Robert Walls, Sr, who formerly served as Pastor of Christ Memorial Baptist Church, came into New Macedonia with his fiery brand of dynamic preaching and anointed leadership – causing the church to grow and flourish. It was under his leadership that on February 1, 1970, the church was able to assume the mortgage for the property located at 1000 East Capitol Street, NE.
Some of the early church members were Deacon Melvin Alexander, Sister Mary Alston, Sister Grace Webster, Deacon Ozias Richardson, Sister Mattie Copeland, Sister Ollie Canard and Sister Mary Barno. In later years, Sister Mary Westry, Deacon Jefferson Best, Deacon Charlie Hardin, Sister Helen Walls, Deacon William Frank Morton, Deacon William Latimer and Deaconess Alice Latimer joined and were faithful followers. A Prayer Band was established by Deacon Leslie Bailey and Sister Alice McIntosh.
In 1972, we purchased a tract of land located at 4200 Massachusetts Avenue, SE, for the purpose of building a new church (The address later changed to 4115 Alabama Avenue due to changes in District zoning). This purchase was made possible through the financial assistance of Mr. John Lyon, then the General Manager and Vice President of Parking Management Incorporated (PMI). On May 12, 1973, the church celebrated its groundbreaking ceremony. Construction began shortly thereafter. During this time, Pastor Walls was injured in an automobile accident; however he continued to move forward with the building project and other church business by conducting beside meetings with his Deacons and Trustees. On Sunday, March 16, 1974, Pastor Walls, officers, congregation, friends and visitors entered into the new edifice, built to accommodate 400 in seating capacity. An exciting weeklong dedicatory service was held.
In 1974, Pastor Walls was inspired to establish a child development center that would serve the church and community. The New Macedonia Early Learning Center was designed to provide a nurturing environment for preschool, kindergarten and first grade children and their families. The children are taught to develop spiritually, academically and socially, while developing their God given talents and abilities.
By 1979, the church membership had outgrown the church’s seating capacity. The main sanctuary was expanded to a seating capacity of 550. In 1981, we were once again faced with overcrowding in the sanctuary each Sunday. Through loans and donations from the members and friends of The New Macedonia Baptist Church, we financed another expansion. This expansion brought the seating capacity to 800, and in 1984, God blessed us to retire the mortgage on our church.
In 1985, a parsonage was purchased and Pastor Walls and Sister Helen Walls were able to occupy the house. In 1986, we purchased the ‘Merrimac School’ (located at 4339 Bowen Road, SE,) and later bought additional land in the same area. It was during this time that Pastor Walls received a vision from God to build a Senior Citizens Center. An architectural engineer was hired to design the center based on the vision God had shown Pastor Walls. In 1989, the land was cleared in preparation for construction.
In September 1991, the Robert L. Walls’ Senior Citizens Center was completed. The Center is a three-level structure with a basement. With 48 units available for housing, a few of our church members and others have been blessed to call the Center “home.” For many years, The Robert L. Walls Senior Citizen Center leased space to a hair salon and continues its partnership with Randall-Hyland Private School which leases the basement level of the building for its classroom and playground areas. The Center also has a large activities room, office spaces for the Center Manager and Security Team, as well as, laundry facilities for use by our tenants.
In 1993, another renovation was needed requiring that the church discontinue services in our sanctuary to allow the redesigning of the building structure. Through prayer, the kindness of our fellow Christians, and the favor of God, we were able to occupy Dupont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church each Sunday, located in the same community, only one block away!
In 1995, we purchased two adjacent properties allowing us to extend our rear parking lot. In 1999, our Trustee Room was expanded and a fire sprinkler system was installed throughout the basement level. Other accomplishments during this period included installation of new computer systems to maintain membership and church records. We own a minivan equipped to transport the handicapped, a 25-passenger bus and one 29-passenger bus. We provide transportation service to and from worship services for seniors in the community.
Several choirs and ministries were birthed under the tutelage of Pastor Walls’ tender care. These ministries include a weekly radio broadcast, a Bus and Travel service, the Overcomers Counseling Ministry, the Share Program, a Sports Ministry providing basketball and bowling activities. In addition, over 80 gospel preachers consider Pastor Walls as their “Father in the Gospel”.
In January 2001, Rev. Dr. Robert L. Walls, Sr. recommended Rev. Patrick J. Walker to the officers and members of The New Macedonia Baptist Church to become his Co-Pastor and successor in the biblical model of Moses and Joshua. As Reverend Walker served as Co-Pastor, the church was blessed tremendously. Training programs were revamped to better meet the educational needs and spiritual growth of the congregation. The congregation experienced a resurgence of growth.
As we continued to expand our territory in 2002, we purchased property located at 4210 Massachusetts Avenue, SE. This property was purchased as a part of the future planning of an educational building as envisioned by our late Pastor Walls as he looked ahead to enhance educational growth and development for our church.
The members of this church are most grateful to God for Reverend Dr. Robert Lee Walls, Sr., whom God placed here to lead and guide us for 43 years. Under his spiritual leadership, who was led by the Holy Spirit, The New Macedonia Baptist Church grew spiritually and numerically. We thank God for placing Pastor Walls here as our under-Shepherd.
On March 27, 2003, our beloved Pastor, Rev. Dr. Robert L. Walls, Sr., went home to be with the Lord. He was a man of great vision and wisdom, a dynamic and anointed preacher of the gospel, whose warm smile and gentle spirit won the hearts of all who came in contact with him. Reverend Walls, our Moses, loved us enough to ensure a seamless transition of pastoral leadership to our Joshua, Reverend Patrick J. Walker.
On June 13, 2003, Reverend Patrick J. Walker was overwhelmingly elected to be the third pastor of The New Macedonia Baptist Church. Since June 2003, the church has prospered immensely and membership has increased considerably. There has been an explosion of membership through the teaching and preaching of God’s Word, our Sunday School ministry has experienced record breaking attendance and our Missions Ministry has expanded their service to include foreign mission to Jamaica, West Indies, Uganda, Africa and Haiti.
The TNMBC Constitution and By-laws were revised and ratified in 2004, the audio system and administrative procedures were updated and the office suites were renovated. Several staff members and ministerial leaders have been added to help ensure that our ministry remains effective as we continue to grow. Some of the ministries birthed under Pastor Walker’s leadership include the Consolation Choir, The New Macedonia Baptist Church Family Bookstore, the ACT5! Drama Ministry, Seniors Ministry, Men in Action, Singles Ministry, Marriage Ministry, AWANA, Small Groups Ministry, and an annual Family Conference which focuses each year on one of our five ministry areas – Worship, Discipleship, Evangelism, Fellowship and Service.
Under the energetic and wise leadership of our Senior Pastor, The New Macedonia Baptist Church remains committed to enhancing her educational capabilities by expanding the present facilities to include modular classrooms that will provide much needed space for Sunday School, Bible Study, Vacation Bible School and meetings. In August 2006, The Early Learning Center was renamed The New Macedonia Christian Academy to reflect the growing educational needs of those we serve. Our additional classrooms, along with added parking, resulting from the cash purchase of a former gas station located directly across from the church in 2004, demonstrate our commitment to continuing our 30+ year presence in the southeast community of the District of Columbia. In preparation of our 50th anniversary celebration, in late 2007, Pastor Walker led the church in a sanctuary renovation effort. Our pulpit and chancel area were expanded, new pews were purchased and new carpeting was installed to enhance the beauty, comfort and safety of our members and visitors.
Due to the overwhelming growth of the church, a third Sunday morning worship service was added in April 2008 to accommodate the great number of people being added to the greetings to our visitors and new members by our Pastor and First Lady.
In May 2008, the Lord blessed the church to purchase a vacant 9-unit apartment building within two blocks of the church, located at 4135 Alabama Avenue in Southeast Washington. This facility will be renovated to house administrative offices. Additionally, space will be available for an outreach center for community service supported by our Missionaries, a clearinghouse for social service/S.H.A.R.E. Distribution, ministry meetings, classrooms and the like. The building will be named the Reverend Lorenzo Young Ministry Center in memory of our founding pastor.
In June 2010, The New Macedonia Baptist Church leadership made the difficult decision to close The New Macedonia Christian Academy due to low enrollment during a troubled economy. We trust God that one day our school will reopen and flourish in a tremendous way.
In January 2011, The New Macedonia Baptist Church purchased nearly one acre of land, located at 4254 Massachusetts Avenue, Southeast, adjacent to the Lorenzo Young Ministry Center property. This land was purchased with future expansion in mind. Initially, it will be used for additional parking; however, the long term goal is to develop this property in such a way that it will benefit our church family and community at large.
Additionally, the church purchased two new fourteen passenger buses as well as birthed several new ministries: transportation, photography, Home Builders and additional small groups.
In 2014, the church re-energized and enhanced its Media Ministry by installing 14 new monitors throughout the building, enabling us to view sermon notes, song lyrics and watch video announcements of upcoming events. Additionally, the church updated its website to include exciting new features such as an interactive eCampus, so those anywhere in the world can share in our worship experiences, submit prayer requests, and communicate with one another and our eCampus Pastor throughout the services.
It is our purpose to win people to Christ (evangelism) and develop them to spiritual maturity (discipleship); while cultivating relationships with one another (fellowship); allowing them to visibly express God’s love to others (service) in order to magnify God’s name (worship). To ensure we fulfill our purpose, Pastor Walker has placed ministry leaders to oversee each of these five key areas; those who are skilled and gifted in their focus to develop programs that will allow us to continue to experience growth as we demonstrate God’s love and disciple God’s people!