About EMBC



Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church located at 2200 South Alston Avenue has a proud and rich heritage rooted in a faith in God. Ebenezer began in a small prayer meeting group in 1909. According to the late Mrs. Betty Barrett, who was one of the original founders of the church, the prayer group would meet in a neighbor's house in East Durham every week says Mrs. Barrett. “Although I was just eight years old, I can remember sitting on the porch while the grown-ups were singing and praising the Lord. That was some of the prettiest singing you’ve ever heard in your life. With the cold weather of winter of 1909, the fifty member-band moved into a wooden house on Bailey Street; now known as Lakeland Street.  Mrs. Barrett remembers when the church members would sit on wash benches with no backs.  We didn't have a lot of money, so dues were about 25 cents a week, recalls Mrs. Barrett. To boost the church treasury, the members would hold rallies and sales on holidays. Sandwiches would sell for ten cents and lemonade for five cents a glass.  Mrs. Barrett's grandfather would fill up a wagonload of members and carry the group to a lake at Bilbo, North Carolina, for baptism.  We were still growing in the Lord. In 1910-1912, the ever growing congregation was situated in a school building. With the encouragement from one of the local pastors the congregation began to build a community church building. He suggested the church be named Ebenezer. It was in 1912, under the leadership of Rev. E.J. Carrington, the congregation moved into a little wooden church on the corner of Glenn and Sowell Street. Some years later, the wooden structure was torn down and a stone church was rebuilt in the same location.  In 1951, the church, under the pastoral of Rev. T.A. Grady, took on the task of building a new church that would accommodate its ever increasing membership. Ebenezer was located on Glenn Street until 1968. Due to construction of the East West Expressway, the church was forced to move to its present location on 2200 South Alston Ave. From a small prayer band situated in a neighbor's house to a structure that can hold 1000 people. That is part of Ebenezer illustrious history”.  Through the years, the determination and struggles of her people have enabled Ebenezer to be a witness for over one hundred years.


Note: Information extracted for an article in the Carolina Times Saturday February 11, 1978 written by Fern Gunn-Simeon.