1895 - 2018
The history of this great religious institution is as varied and complex as a well defined tapestry that has been woven with many designs and colors. It’s survival is like that of a red wood tree—the roots are interwined with another red wood tree and they are strong and will survive no matter how strong the wind may blow. Thus this church began on a strong foundation with fifty-six (56) dissatisfied black worshipers who were members of Union Chapel, an integrated church. Desirous of worshipping in the traditions of their African ancestors, the fifty-six (56) Black members left Union Chapel and organized the Fifty-Six Baptist Church at the home of Mrs. Edith Albury on Williams Avenue in 1895 and became the first Black church in Miami-Dade County.
The organization of this church is significant in South Florida’s history because it was the first black church on the South Florida mainland to be organized by Blacks. Since its inception she has given birth to various churches in Coconut Grove: St Paul African Methodist Church (1896), Christ Espicopal Church (1901), St James Missionary Baptist Church (1917), St Mary Missionary Baptist Church, St Matthews Missionary Baptist Church (1976) and Canaan Baptist Church (only church not in existence today).
"A People without a Vision will Perish"
Rev. S. A. Sampson
The first pastor was Rev. S.A. Sampson and in succession were the Reverends:
Yates, Driver, Nicholson, Sneed, Guilford, Whitaker, Finlayson, Cooper,
(intern Carter), Jordan, Daniels and presently Bailey.
The church has had several name changes: Fifty-Six Baptist, St. Agnes Baptist, Macedonia Baptist, First Macedonia Baptist Missionary Church and upon it’s incorporation in 1976 the legal entity became Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Miami, Incorporated.
The first location of the church structure was on Margaret Street on land donated to the church by Count Jean D’Hedouville. In 1903 the church was moved to Evangelist Street (Charles Avenue) and in 1948 the church relocated to Douglas Road where it is presently located.
Rev. J.A.F. Finlayson
Rev. Rudolph Daniels
Rev. Yates: Built the first baptism pool and laid the first cornerstone;
Rev. Guilford: Expanded the church by 25 feet on Charles Avenue and organized the first Choir
Rev. Finlayson: Completed the present church
Acquired the parsonage and property on Williams Avenue
Organized Choir #2, Youth Department, Missionary Department, usher board #2
Involved the church in Parents and Teachers Association, active members NAACP
Leadership in National, State and Local conventions (President and Vice President)
Graduate of Florida Memorial at African Baptist, Live Oak Fla.
Footprint throughout the nation and Foreign Missions
Rev. Cooper: Implemented the envelope system for collecting Tithes and Offerings
Reorganized and streamlined the Finance Department.
Rev. Jordan: Started the Love Circle during communion, organized the Jordanaires Choir
Rev. Daniels: Organized the Male Chorus, Men Trusted Partners,
Revitalized the Youth Dept.
Purchased a van, installed the elevator, paved the church grounds,
Strong supporter of A-STEP Program
Reinstated the church in the Florida East Coast Association and
Pastored the church 34 years