The birth of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church
occurred in 1926, and was incorporated in 1927. History says this branch of
Zion started with the first Pastor, The Reverend Albert J. Greene, and a few
faithful members worshipping God at each others homes. A few of these members
were: Sister Martha Baker, The Turner Family, The Yarborough Family, Sister
Pearl Young, Sister Mattie Cloud, Brother David Thomas, Brother Rob Thompson,
Sister Viola Peacock, Sister Ann Sadie Shannon, The Frank Wilson Family, The Veney
Family, Sister Cecelia Crawford, The Grove Family, The Goldie and Floyd Neal
Family, and others.
Out of this humble and determined beginning, the direction for The Grace Memorial Baptist Church became clear. Its direction is bringing souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through preaching, teaching, witnessing and making true disciples for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Grace Memorial Baptist Church is a beacon light in the community and strives to win souls to Christ and to spiritually nurture and feed its people.
The Reverend Albert J. Greene, the first Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church served faithfully for sixteen years. History says, Pastor Greene established the Church name for the free given Grace of God. He preached, taught and encouraged the members to move forward in their Christian journey until the Lord called him home on December 15, 1943.
The Reverend Eugene T. Grove, a son of the Church became the second Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church. Reverend Grove had a great Outreach Ministry, which included Street Evangelism, a Scholarship Fund, and a Radio Broadcast. After serving as Pastor for fourteen years from 1944 to 1958, Reverend Grove departed The Grace Memorial Baptist Church becoming the Founder and Pastor of the New Frontier of Faith Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1959, The Reverend Joseph Brown was called as the third Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church. His ministry included a radio and television program called The Grace Memorial Hour and a prison ministry. While serving as a Prison Chaplain, Reverend Brown served as Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church until 1968. After terminating his stewardship with The Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Reverend Brown became the Founder and Pastor of the Manna Bible Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
On August 7, 1968, the Church Family called The Reverend Alfred C. D. Vaughn, former Pastor of The Promise Land Baptist Church, Moneta, Virginia, as the fourth Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church. Under the stewardship of Reverend Vaughn, The Grace Memorial Baptist Church became a great voice in the City of Baltimore, across the country and around the world. Also, history says, during Reverend Vaughn's tenure as Pastor, the membership increased, the Church Office was remodeled, and the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall repainted. After eighteen years as the Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Reverend Vaughn resigned and accepted the Call to Pastor his home Church, the Sharon Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
On September 27, 1987, The Reverend Irvin Pope, son of the First Mount Calvary Baptist Church was unanimously called as the fifth Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church. Under the stewardship of Pastor Pope, there are numerous accomplishments. Some of these accomplishments include: increased membership; weekly Bible studies via the Journey through the Bible Series; a Soup Kitchen, feeding approximately 60 homeless people weekly, along with clothing give-a-way; a Computer Laboratory; a revision of the Church’s Constitution and By-Laws; the establishment, development and implementation of a Policies and Procedures Manual; the changing of Boards to Ministries; mandatory training for all Ministries; the development of the position of Church Treasurer; the Sheepfold Ministry; the Golden Disciples Ministry; the Christian Education Ministry; the Men’s Ministry; the Women’s Ministry; Liturgical Dance Ministry; Adult Aerobics Classes; Black History Recognitions and Honors among members of the congregation; renovation of the Church Sanctuary with chandeliers; total remodeling of the Fellowship Hall with new tables and chairs; the installation of new sanctuary glass entrance doors; the construction of a handicap entrance ramp; a new church roof; a new modern outside Marquee; a new kitchen; a new Church Van; a new and improved boiler heating system; replaced the pipeline infrastructure of the Church, and in honor of the 85th Church Anniversary and the 25th Pastoral Anniversary of The Reverend Irvin Pope, a Ceremonial Street Sign was erected to denote the year 2012 as “The Year of Celebration”, to name a few. On September 28, 2015, Rev. Pope retired as the Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church and became Pastor Emeritus.
On September 29, 2015, Reverend Marshall Lee Barnes, Assistant Pastor of the church became the sixth Pastor of The Grace Memorial Baptist Church. Reverend Marshall Lee Barnes is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of Evelyn Short. Reverend Barnes’ personal life, and ministry philosophy has been shaped by his grandmother, Littie J. Wallace. He gives thanks to God for having spiritual mentors who showed him by their living what the gospel of Jesus Christ really means. He received a clear call to ministry at a very early age. His earliest childhood memories are of a fervent desire to become a carrier of the Word.
For 89 years, The Grace Memorial Baptist Church has had five dynamic Pastors with diversified gifts. Each Pastor has contributed to the growth and existence of this Spiritual Organism, from its first Church Home at the Star Theatre Auditorium on Monument Street to its present location, 1100 North Eden Street. The Grace Memorial Baptist Church is determined to continue the establishment of a fellowship in Jesus Christ that promotes the spread of the Gospel through scriptural, spiritual and secular experiences. These experiences, in conjunction with Service and Teaching Ministries will enable each member to acquire and develop knowledge, skills, and abilities that are essential to one’s perseverance as a Christian individual.