Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery

#3 of 11 in Historic Sites in Montgomery
Religious Site · Landmark
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church is a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, United States. The church was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1974. On January 1, 2008 the US Government also submitted it to UNESCO as part of an envisaged future World Heritage nomination and as such it is on the so-called UNESCO 'Tentative List of World Heritage Sites'. In 1978 the official name was changed to the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, in memory of Martin Luther King Jr., who helped to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the church's basement. The church is located steps away from the Alabama State Capitol.
The Dexter Avenue Baptist Church congregation was organized in 1877 and was first known as the Second Colored Baptist Church. The church trustees paid $270 on January 30, 1879 for a lot at the corner of what is now Dexter Avenue and Decatur Street. The first church building was a small wood-frame building, it began to be replaced by the current structure in 1883. The new brick building was not completed until 1889. The church began serving the broader African American community on October 3, 1887 when it hosted the first registration of students for Alabama State University. This community service continued into the 20th century with activities associated with the American Civil Rights Movement. In 1899, Selma University cofounder William H. McAlpine became pastor. Vernon Johns, an early leader of the Civil Rights Movement, served as pastor from 1947 to 1952. He was succeeded by Martin Luther King, Jr., who was pastor of the church from 1954 to 1960, and organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott from his basement office.
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Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church reviews

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473 reviews
  • It’s still closed due to Covid but if you contact a private tour company you may be able to get in. We got lucky I would definitely recommend trying to arrange a visit  more »
  • I was in town on a Sunday so there were no tours, and I arrived in the afternoon so missed a service. That said, there was free parking just outside the church - which allowed a walk to the...  more »
  • A pleasant way to start our anniversary trip. The mural in the basement with anticipation of the history to be presented brought us here. We were not disappointed in the least. Wanda was extremely courteous and did a fabulous job of keeping everyone engaged. Her knowledge and passion for the full history were very evident in her delivery.
  • Highly recommend this tour. Wanda is amazing...the tour was engaging and very informative. My 9 year old said "she was great, I don't know why more tour guides don't try to keep kids interest". A must see for everyone in the family!

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