Highlights In Our History – 2008
In the year 1881, a small group of dedicated Christians met in the home of one individual with the help of Rev. E. R. Carter, then pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, to organize this church. Rev. Rex Allen was called as first pastor and named the church Mount Calvary Baptist Church. The group met in the home of one member and later secured temporary meeting quarters on old “Doray Street,” later named Raymond Street in Northwest Atlanta. The first Deacon Board was organized in 1882 under his leadership.
The second pastor, Rev. Joe Wilson, served as pastor for ten years. From this humble beginning, the church has grown with faith, hope and love and is now known and respected across the world for its Christian leadership and service mankind.
Pastor Samuel Pettagrue organized five Missionary Circles in 1944, the beginning of the Missionary Union which functions today with thirteen circles. The Deaconess Board was organized in 1942; Pastor’s Aide Society (1943) and Mother’s Board (1945) were all organized during his administration.
Three of the most recent pastors distinguished themselves in the community, nationally and internationally.
In 1956-57, Dr. A. Franklin Fisher was among the group of three pastors who collaborated to desegregate public transportation in Atlanta. At the same time, he was Dean of the National Baptist Sunday School and BTU Congress. The West Hunter Street edifice was restored during his tenure.
Dr. Ralph David Abernathy led in the acquisition of the present church facilities which include a gymnasium and secured funding to build Abernathy Tower to provide housing for the elderly and disabled. This national and international leader served West Hunter longer than any other pastor in the history of the church. He traveled across the nation and around the world promoting civil rights.
Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr., served as pastor for 12 years. The present edifice was renovated during his administration. He is now the newly elected President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. He has established himself as a powerful preacher, author and leader.
Nineteen distinguished pastors have served as spiritual leaders during the past one hundred and twenty seven years.
In order to give our members an opportunity to use their spiritual gifts and further develop their talents, and in order to provide training for children and youth, West Hunter sponsors a wide variety of active ministries. These activities supplement other traditional ministries we cherish.
Dr. Toussaint K. Hill, Jr., our new visionary leader, was elected on July 26, 2006, by an affirmative vote by the congregation to be the spiritual leader of the West Hunter Street Baptist Church. Our Pastor continues to expand our Christian Outreach Services and broaden our scope of concentration so that the impact of our efforts continue to be relevant to the church congregation and the larger community.