Information on:

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

454 Dexter Avenue
334-263-3970

History:

Dexter Ave King Memorial Baptist Church is a National Historic Landmark. The church features a mural of the Montgomery bus boycott, and offers tours of the historic church to visitors.The church where Reverend Martin Luther King pastured from 1954 to 1950, The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church was founded in 1877 in a slave trader’s pen, located on Dexter Avenue (formerly Market Street). On January 30, 1879, the Church’s trustees purchased a lot (50' by 110') for $270.00 on the corner of Dexter Avenue and Decatur Streets, where the current church is located. A small wood-frame building located on the lot was used for worship service and educational purposes. The current red-brick building was constructed between 1883 and 1889. The Church was designated a national historic landmark on June 3, 1974, and Montgomery added the church to its list of historic sites on July 13, 1976.

The Church’s first name - the Second Colored Baptist Church - was later changed to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, when Market Street became Dexter Avenue in honor of Andrew Dexter, founder of the city. In 1978, the name was changed to Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, in memory of its twentieth pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The Church has a long history of community service. On October 3, 1887, the first registration of students for Alabama State University (then the Alabama Colored Peoples University) was held in the lower unit of the church. Over the years, it has served the community through the use of its facilities - meeting place for many civic, educational and religious groups - and its human resources. The initial Civil Rights activity in modern Montgomery - The Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1950's - was directed by Dr. King from his office in the lower unit of the church.

In 1980, artist and Dexter deacon John W. Feagin, painted a 10' by 47' mural at the church. The mural depicts scenes of Dr. King’s journey from Montgomery to Memphis. It reflects the segregated facilities of the era, as well as the struggles, sorrows, prejudices, and personalities of the era. Beginning with the bus boycott, it traces the long and tedious journey begun under Dr. King’s leadership.Thousands of national and international tourists come annually to the Church to be inspired by and educated on the role of the Church and Dr. King in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.The Dexter Parsonage Museum, historic home to twelve pastors of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church from 1920-1992, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It was restored in 2003 by the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Foundation, Inc., under the direction of church members, acting as an Authentication Committee.



Reviews

Aaron Lindloff

Rating:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Wonderful tour guide. We were pretty late but she let us in free of charge. How wonderful that the organist and 20 other members were alive when MLK Jr was pastor.

Victoria Golden

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Thursday, April 26, 2018
Fabulous experience! Our tour guide, Wanda, was like no other!! Full of life, vibrancy, an encouraging message important and appropriate for all ages! I highly recommend this tour to learn about not only historical events, but how we can each make a positive difference in our communities!

Suzanne Strength

Rating:
Friday, June 1, 2018
So much history and such an important building in the Civil Rights movement. Don't miss this when in Montgomery. Easily accessible and free.

Alexander Supertramp

Rating:
Saturday, March 24, 2018
What a wonderful, historical experience. Wanda is an amazing guide. She has a gift to minister through fellowship and an abundance of love. If you're in Montgomery, this is a must visit. You'll walk out feeling better about everything.

Elena Cameron

Rating:
Monday, Jan. 1, 2018
Beautiful! My family and I were walking around and we're reading some of the historical information signs outside. A lovely woman came out from the church greeted us with his and asked if we wanted to come in and explore. So beautiful and moving inside and out! I would love to attend a service here if I were not just visiting Alabama!

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