Places of Refuge: 10 Influential African-American Churches in Atlanta

Ebenezer Baptist Church is situated in Atlanta, where many other African-American churches are found. (Photo taken from Ebenezer Baptist Church’s website)

Atlanta is known for being the spiritual center of the Civil Rights Movement. The Atlanta website emphasized that black churches in Atlanta have given comfort and refuge during their challenging moments.

In addition, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home church is at Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta. Besides, the headquarters of the nationally-acclaimed Southern Christian Leadership Conference is in Atlanta. 

Moreover, Atlanta was very famous for its nonviolent protest efforts. 

Here are 10 influential African-American churches in Atlanta.

Ebenezer Baptist Church


Ebenezer Baptist Church is the home of Martin Luther King Sr. and Martin Luther King Jr. in Jackson St. NE, Atlanta. Today, they have more than six thousand members and continue to serve the Atlanta community, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. 

Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock led the church and was ordained as the church’s senior pastor in 2005. He is the only fifth minister to lead Ebenezer Baptist Church in its 136-year history.

Moreover, Rev. Warnock is proud of his supreme achievements, including completing the Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resources Complex. This facility offers assistance to the larger community in Atlanta. 

The National Park Service regarded the Ebenezer Baptist Church Historic Structure Report in 2000. It served as a regulation for the church’s restoration. 

Big Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church


(Photo taken from Atlanta History Center's website)

Big Bethel AME Church pioneered African Methodism in Atlanta, Georgia. The church is located at 220 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta. 

People could expect a good balance of modern and traditional worship. 

In addition, the church is not bound by the traditional program and worship. The Spirit drives Big Bethel AME Church members. They have an energetic pastor who is well-equipped to minister to the people and their situations in life. 

At Big Bethel AME Church, everyone can freely worship and express their joy and love for God. They could rely on how the Bible proclaimed and the desires of the Spirit. 

The church is considered one of the significant urban churches in Atlanta. They continuously seek to serve God’s people in doing His work.

First Congregational Church (FCC), United Church of Christ


(Photo taken from First Congregational Church's website)

First Congregational Church will remain a “downtown church.” The church aims to build a New Legacy which would have a lasting influence around the city, in America and the world. They want to achieve this goal by working with their alliances and connections in new, unidentified sectors.

FCC is a member of the United Church of Christ, which they are dedicated to leading efforts for social justice, equality, and reconciliation. The church stressed that they continue to be ambassadors of God’s existence.

In addition, the church participates in the efforts in education, local and global missions, and artistic expression. They are becoming what they desire to be for 140 years and more. 

At FCC, they are on the walk of revitalization as they strengthen their historic church, which was built in 1908. The church is located at 105 Courtland Street, NE Atlanta.

Cascade United Methodist Church


(Photo taken from Patch's website)

Cascade United Methodist Church aims to make the church relevant. They are located at 458 Ponce De Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta. The members would like to discover Jesus deeper by reading and discussing Him more.

In addition, they walk with Jesus as they worship and praise Him. The church explained that all their efforts are because they firmly believe that Jesus is honest. The church thinks that the Holy Spirit lives in each of them.

Moreover, Cascade United Methodists treat each other as a family of Believers and prioritize God in their lives. They admitted that rules govern them and accept that it is part of their growth. The church believes they need regulations to follow so everything is in order.

Wheat Street Baptist Church


(Photo taken from Wheat Street Baptist Church's website)

The history of Wheat Street Baptist Church is rich and diverse. They praise the Lord for the 150 years of opportunity He gave them to praise and worship Him. They serve as beacons of hope and light for the Historic Old Fourth Ward Community.

Its sanctuary is a venue for salvation, motivation, and rejuvenation. It is also a place for those who desire to accept Jesus’ teachings and embrace Him as their Lord and Savior.

Wheat Street Baptist Church is located at 359 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta. They begin their Sunday Service at 10:30 a.m. They also offer online Praise and Worship via Facebook and YouTube Live. 

Friendship Baptist Church


(Photo taken from Friendship Baptist Church's website)

Friendship Baptist Church (FBC) is at 80 Walnut Street, S.W. Atlanta. The church believes that they need to grow to serve others so they can also mature in their faith.

At FBC, they acknowledged that God designed each individual to serve Him and His people. They believe that growth comes from acting and can only operate with growing. 

Moreover, the church member believes God called them His church, led by Jesus Christ. Their mission is to utilize their strength, tools, and facilities to offer in the spirit of Jesus, worship, and spread His word.

FBC is passionate about making initiatives through its local community ministries and working with others to promote the work of God’s Kingdom. The church desires to nurture and strengthen the transformative connection within the members and outside its walls.

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

(Photo taken from Sizemore Group's website)

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is a growing church with over 25,000 members and 40 ministries since it was founded in 1984. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., serves as an elder of the church after having been chosen as the President of SCLC.

The church needed a master plan for its 240-acre campus and an ideal design for expansion. At New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, ’s modern sanctuary design has various lighting sources and upscale furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

The church has been recognized as the most significant and fastest-growing church in the south. The mega-church integrates worship, Christian education, and family life facilities.

The church resides at 6400 Woodrow Rd. Stonecrest, GA.

Butler Street Christian Methodist Episcopal Church 


(Photo taken from Butler Street CME's Twitter account)

Butler Street CME emerges for the primary purpose of ministry and bringing souls to Jesus. They believe that God leads them to fulfill His plans as individuals and as a congregation.

The church is located at 23 Jesse Hill Jr. Dr. SE, Atlanta. People could experience a friendly church with a personal touch at Butler Street CME. 

Moreover, Rev. Dr. Curtis West, Jr. leads the congregation. He was born and raised in the small village of Homer, Louisiana. He is the fourth of six kids of the late Rec. Curtis West Sr. and Dorothy Anne West.

Additionally, Rev. S.E. Poe organized the Butler Street CME in 1882. The John L. Gran Estate provided the property on the corner of Butler Street, now known as Jesse Hill Jr. Drive. 

United House of Prayer for All People

(Photo taken from United House of Prayer for All People's website)

The United House of Prayer for All People aims to build, maintain, and perpetuate the doctrine of Christianity. They also seek to spread the Apostolic Faith worldwide among every individual. 

The church desires to build and maintain houses of prayer and worship where everyone can meet together to pray and worship God in spirit and truth. 

At the United House of Prayer for All People, they firmly hold on to the Scripture in Isaiah 56:7, which says, “Even them I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.” 

As the Bible says, people could give offerings and sacrifices to God’s altar because God wants to call His House the house of prayer for everyone.

Honorable Bishop C.M. Bailey leads the United House of Prayer for All People at 1665 North Portal Drive NW Washington, DC. The church has an Atlanta Branch at 2719 Third Avenue, Atlanta, GA.

Shrine of the Black Madonna

(Photo taken from Pinterest)

The Shrine of the Black Madonna in Atlanta was acknowledged as the ninth congregation of the Pan-African Orthodox Christian Church in 1975. The Holy Patriarch Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman originally pioneered the denomination in the 1950s. 

It was in response to the theological, spiritual, and mental needs of the African American residents in Detroit, Michigan.

At the Shrine of the Black Madonna, the core of its theological principle is based on God supporting African Americans' freedom from oppression. They believe that Jesus is called the “Black Messiah.” 

According to the Hebrew Nation in the Bible, they understood what it means to be a Black nation. They view Jesus as the redeemer of Black people and all humankind.

More Local News