- Chartered as Rose Hill Baptist Sunday
School/Church, on 30th Street between Third Avenue and
Lexington avenue. Rose Hill was a house church with twelve
- Rose Hill Baptist became Lexington Avenue Baptist
Church with twenty-eight members at 154 Lexington Avenue and
30th Street in a new Lombardian Romanesque-style edifice,
which is now the First Moravian Church. Jeremiah Milbank
(developer of canned milk with inventor Gale Borden) and
other congregational leaders (including the Colgate family)
decided to move the church. Five lots at 31st Street and
Madison Avenue became the site of a grand new structure.
- MADISON AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH
For an interesting look at sermons that were
delivered in 1867, visit the
Shiloh Online Library
- Following the death of Jeremiah Milbank, memorial
stained glass windows depicting the life, healing ministry,
death and resurrection of Jesus by F. X. Zettler of Germany
(sculptor of Infalbert's Angel of the Gospel statue) were
installed behind the pulpit. A gym was also built in the
- Ordination of Harry Emerson Fosdick
(the most prominent
liberal Baptist minister
early 20th Century and
author of the hymn God of Grace and God of Glory) held at MABC.
- The Parish House replaced the chapel (at E. 31st) to
better serve the community.
- The church replaced its original structure with the
Roger Williams (pioneer American baptist/founder of Rhode
Island) Hotel. The church sanctuary was placed within the
hotel structure. New stained glass was added depicting the
Gospel Writers and their symbols: Matthew/Cherub, Mark/Lion,
Luke/Ox, and John/Eagle.
history of the pipe organs built for the church by visiting this
link from the
New York Organist guild.
- The Great Depression and WWII, ministry adapting
- MABC sponsored church school, adult and young adult groups
and film festivals.
- First performance of "Jesus Christ Superstar" was held at
MABC on April 4th
- Parish House was home to the Bel Canto Opera Company
- MABC begins Sunday Afternoon Meal for Seniors (free meals
for the midtown elderly) and also a Shelter for the
- MABC and New York Theological Seminary go into partnership
in developing Kids Clubhouse, an after-school program for
children living in midtown Welfare Hotels. The program was
housed in the Parish House.
- The church begins ministries to person with AIDS at
Bellevue Hospital sponsored by the Bellevue Chaplains
Office, and in 1995 at the Flemister House, ABC Metro NY's
AIDS ministry on West 22nd Street.
- MABC became a Charter member of the Association of
Welcoming and Affirming Baptist made up of American Baptist
Churches and Organizations desiring to be inclusive of gay
- Dramatic Renovation of the Roger Williams Hotel, Rafael
- On September 11, the World Trade Center was attacked. All
of our lives were changed.
MABC worked with twelve Student Interns from Union
Theological Seminary and New York Theological Seminary. Six
were ordained to the Christian Ministry by MABC. They are:
the Rev. Dana Fenton, the Rev. Bette Buffa, the Rev. Michele
Grimes, The Rev. Paul Raushenbush, the Rev. Jennifer Harvey
and the Rev. Susan Sparks.
Rev. Susan Sparks, a
former lawyer turned standup comedian and American Baptist
minister, is installed as the first woman senior pastor in
MABC's 165 year history.
2007 to Present
MABC begins cyber
ministry, including a new website, an iTunes Channel (and
sermon podcasting), a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.
An innovative new music program is started featuring
Minister of Music Paul Stephan and a new MABC quartet. The
church also begins several new ministries, such as NY Cares,
Ecclesia Ministries (worship service and lunch for homeless)
and caroling to the homebound of MABC. As part of a wider
ministerial outreach, Rev. Susan Sparks offers national and
international sermon broadcasts through such groups as Day 1
and the Chicago Sunday Evening Club and is a blogger with
Huffington Post and Psychology Today. The
church and pastor are widely featured in television and
print media, such as The New York Times, CNN, ABC,
CBS The Early Show and the Oprah Magazine.
Membership grows extensively with worship attendance