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Martin Street Baptist Church (MSBC) began its journey in 1869, when a group of Baptist men and women organized a “Baptist Interest Group”. Their goal was to establish a place of worship for African Americans in the East Raleigh community. The group met in a local shoe shop and homes of church members, calling upon ministers from churches in the community to lead worship services each Sunday. The first pastor, the Reverend Thomas Edwards, was called to MSBC in 1907. In 1909, the church purchased the land upon which the present church stands, and construction of the building began in 1910. After nine years of sacrifice, and with God’s guidance, the first worship service was held in the new church building on May 10, 1919.

As the membership grew, MSBC remodeled its sanctuary several times. The current sanctuary was most recently remodeled in 1965. In addition, the church added a multipurpose building in 1977, named after our long-serving pastor, the late Reverend Dr. Paul H. Johnson; and a Family Life Center in 2007, under the leadership of Pastor Charles T. Bullock. Both facilities currently provide spaces for Christian education, church and community meetings, and church fellowship. Once a month, the Johnson building is used for Blessings in Bags, a mobile food market that provides fresh, nutritious food to hundreds of families in our community. This ministry began under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Earl C. Johnson, who succeeded Dr. Bullock as pastor of MSBC in 2009. Dr. Johnson also oversaw the creation of the MSBC Youth Leadership Development Academy, the Spanish Ministry and the MSBC Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization developed with the City of Raleigh.

On October 22, 2017, MSBC installed its 16th pastor, the Rev. Dr. Shawn J. Singleton. Pastor Singleton has been a dynamic presence at MSBC in the short time he has served as Pastor. He has overseen the upgrade of the church’s technological infrastructure and has expanded the church’s outreach to the surrounding community.

Since our church’s inception, MSBC has been actively engaged in Kingdom building in the city of Raleigh and beyond. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and sustained by God’s grace, MSBC has been blessed with substantial spiritual and physical growth. Through the years, our members have strived to serve communities in our area and beyond through countless mission projects and ministries. To God be the glory!

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. –

2 Corinthians 5:20


List of Pastors:

Rev. Thomas Edwards

Rev. Robert Shepard

Rev. Samuel Sanders

Rev. Auphy T. Price

Rev. W.S. Wyche

Rev. C.C. Clarke

Dr. William T. Coleman

Rev. Charles Mayes

Rev. Elias Wimberley

Rev. C.C. Staton

Rev. Vernon T. Williams

Dr. Paul H. Johnson

Dr. David Forbes, Sr

Dr. Charles Bullock

Dr. Earl Johnson

Dr. Shawn J. Singleton






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