Indiana Avenue MBC Celebrates 76th Anniversary

Ethel Scott, Deaconness Jacqueline Jackson, Deacon in Training Edwin Clayborne, Catherine Clayborne and Deacon Robert Jackson

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

Purple and white decorations welcomed congregation members and guests who attended the Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church’s 76th anniversary. The two Sunday celebrations were held on February 20 and February 27 using the theme, ‘We Walk by Faith not by Sight,’ inspired by Corinthians 5:7.

“God is good. I want to thank the Deacons for the heartfelt devotion. This is our second Sunday of our celebration. We should be excited about that. God hasn’t failed us and God is here with us,” shared Edwin Clayborne, Deacon-in-training during opening remarks.

Several individuals contributed to the service by presenting the church history, sharing moments in black history and personal reflections about their church membership including: Rev. John Hicklin, Wilma Brown, Ethel Scott, Mother Margureit Adams-Bills, Marcel Pringle Jr, Cherlene Taylor and Amy Hancock Meredith. The services also opened with a spirit-filled devotion and selections by the choir.

“Thank you for allowing is to serve there past two Sundays,” shared Clayborne.

The two-weekend celebration featured Deacon-in-training Edwin and Sister Catherine Clayborne as master and mistress of ceremonies; Rev. Aaron Murray delivered the message on February 20 and Rev. Samuel Hancock delivered the message on February 27.

Rev. Hancock delivered a message about understanding what’s under your hood, however, not specifically about cars, neighborhoods or wallets. He connected the story of Jesus’ conversation with the disciples when Jesus asked them to explain who he was. He later spoke about the kingdom authority.

“We have kingdom authority, we can walk by faith not by sight. When Jesus asked the disciples, who do people say that I am, the question was to the entire group. Jesus confirmed the great profession of faith and blessed him. No matter how Satan attacks the church, the church will win. The church has enemies that will fight against us,” shared Rev. Hancock.

The anniversary committee chairpeople were Deacon and Deaconess Jacqueline Jackson, and committee members were: Clara Brank, Brenda Cason, Mayon Hogue and Miller Watkins.

Indiana Avenue Missionary Baptist Church was organized by Rev. W.J. Stephenson. On February 20, 1946 Rev. Stephenson contacted Rev. E. J. Benton and invited him to be present at 819 Ewing Street to organize Indiana Avenue M.B. Church. Rev. Stephenson remained pastor until his death in 1959. The first revival was held in 1946, later the property was purchased at the current location and the mortgage to the basement was paid off by 1959. Rev. John Roberts was ordained in 1964 and became the fourth pastor in January 1965. The congregation held service in the completed upper level of the building in 1968 and the ground-breaking of the Stephenson-Roberts Fellowship Hall was held in 1987. In 2021, after years of property updates, furniture purchases and ministry impact Rev. John Roberts, DMin, died in 2021.