After almost a century, prayer still matters at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
“We were founded on prayer and we still focus on prayer,” deaconess and treasurer Janice W. Warner said. “It’s our foundation.”
On Sunday, the church will celebrate its 99th anniversary. During the worship service, pastor Calvin Cage, of Meridian Hill Baptist Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will be the guest speaker. Cage grew up in Sandusky during his teenage years.
Ebenezer Baptist pastor Clayton Howard, Ebenezer Baptist’s pastor of 10 years, hopes to see 99 new faces during Sunday’s worship service, Warner said.
Ebenezer Baptist Church was founded on July 4, 1920. As the United States engaged in World War II, the increased need for steel mill workers drew dozens of African American families to Sandusky, where they settled on the south side of the city, according to Ebenezer Baptist’s written history. The closest black church was Second Baptist Church, which was one mile away.
In late 1919, six people began meeting in homes on Sunday afternoons for prayer services, which originated in Joe and Mollie Williams’ home. The group grew to 12 people in the following six months to eventually begin the church.
Ebenezer Baptist initially started in the home of Arthur and Emma Harrison before moving to 1224 South Depot Street owned by Henry and Texan Stovall. Members raised money for a down payment through rallies, fish fries and similar events.
Years later, the church broke ground at its current location in July 1977 and was dedicated in April 1978. Warner, 63, remembers that day.
“We walked over for the (new building’s) dedication from the old location at 908 Seavers Way,” she said.
A new addition to the church, an educational wing with eight classrooms, was completed in 2012.
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Source: Sandusky Register