Reverend Dr. Darren M. Morton - Pastor
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE: 7:30am Early Worship Service (2nd, 3rd, & 4th Sundays only)
9:00am New Membership Training | 9:00am Sunday School | 10:30am Worship Service
141 S 9th Avenue | Mt. Vernon, NY 10550 (914) 667-2333 or (914) 667-6691 Fax: (914) 667-6715







where everybody is somebody and christ is all

Our History

With the dispensation of the Union Baptist Church in New York City, which was formerly pastored by the late Dr. J. D. Sims, there were approximately eleven Christian men and women with a vision of keeping the spirit alive, organized a meeting on February 16, 1913 at 111 West Third Street, Mount Vernon, New York for the sole purpose of establishing a Baptist Church. The Rev. J. D. Morris became the first organizing pastor. Under his leadership and with the help of initial organizers: Bro. John Rollins, Sisters; Maggie Bell, Elleana Chavers, Laura Fuller, Rebecca Hunt, and Addie Samuels, and with the first new members being Mary Music, Onie Nettles, Nora Rollins, the membership quickly grew to thirty five members in just eight months.

 

In April 1914, the Macedonia Church family outgrew its initial quarters and moved to 158 South 8th Avenue, Mount   Vernon, New York.  Rev. Morris, having served for only a year and two months, the Rev. Linwood Bush became Macedonia’s second pastor.

 

Membership continued to increase and in July, 1916 the church moved to201 South Ninth   Avenue,Mount Vernon, New York. Under the dynamic leadership of Rev. Bush, the Sunday School, Deacon and Trustee Boards and Senior Choir was organized. Deacon Rollins became the first Sunday School, Superintendant and Choir Director.

 

After the purchase of a two-family house on the site of141 South Ninth Avenue, in February, 1917, which stood a plot of 50 x 105 feet, the church acquired a mortgage of $6,400 which was provided by a Mr. Moses Miller. The financial status of the church was only $1,800, however, alterations began and the congregation moved in.

 

The months following, Macedonia suffered its greatest hardships, having to pay for alterations and mortgage payments and other current expenses imposed heavy burdens on the young church. The hardships only made the membership stronger. Because of the member’s courage, fortitude and deep faith in God, they continued to press forward.

 

Rev. Linwood Bush accepted a calling to pastor at a larger church and therefore resigned as pastor ofMacedoniaon January 8, 1917. The following February, 1917, the Rev. Mark Lynch became the third pastor of the church. In October 1917, the Deaconess Board was organized by Sister Ella Pryor.

 

Due to Illness, Rev. Lynch resigned as pastor in January, 1918. The Rev. Rinico Nelson thus became Macedonia’s fourth pastor on the third Sunday in April, 1918. He brought to the Macedonia Church and community a new spirit, new life and a vision that far exceeded all expectations of the members. Macedonia had reached new heights under Rev. Nelson’s strong and energetic leadership. The $6,000 mortgage was burned in June, 1919 on the two-family structure, purchased in February, 1917.

 

In 1919 the Usher Board was organized by Sister Nora Rollins and Brother Joseph Dixon. Rev. Nelson being the dynamic preacher and leader he was, the church in just a short time outgrew its present structure. In September, 1921, Rev. Nelson expressed his desire to build a larger church. His desire was put into action and plans were drafted to erect a new church. Mr. E.L. Phipps brought the two-family structure.

 

On March 7, 1922 ground breaking ceremonies were held and building of the new church began. During the building of the substructure, services were held at St. Clements Church at47 South Sixth Avenue. Upon completion of the substructure which cost $21,000 a balance of $8,000 was outstanding.  A corporate meeting of the church was held on October 16, 1922 specifically for authorizing the execution and delivery of outstanding balance to Mr. Albert M. Hect in payment for services rendered by him in partial erection of the Church building. This bond and mortgage was executed and delivered to Mr. Hect over the signatures of the following trustees: Allen Gant Sr., Lemuel Mills, Ezekial Bowen, George Byrd, Israel Dunbar, Walter E. Whitney, John Adams and Harry Turner.

 

With the inspiration and zeal of Mrs. Cynthia Dudley who organized the Sun Flower Club, an $8,000 mortgage was burned in October 1923. Being that the substructure was completed and paid for, vision for the implementation of the substructure was immediately focused on. Between March, 1925 through September 1925, the substructure was completed with the installation of pews, pipe organ and carpeting. Financial aid of a first and second mortgage secured from Miss Carolina Bussing and Mrs. Bertie Newman respectively helped to get the church through the great depression period.

 

On September 5, 1943, Rev. Nelson arranged a conference between Brooks and Lampkin, new holders of the second mortgage and the officers of the church for the purpose of working out amicable settlement of this mortgage. By December, 1943, final payment on the second mortgage was finalized.

 

In early January, 1946, the first mortgage was paid off and the Church was free of dept for the first time since its existence. Thus, on January 31, 1946, the final mortgage was burned. The flame was applied to the mortgage papers by Mother Rebecca Hunt and Deacon John Rollins, assisted by Rev. Nelson and Brother Henry Wiggs.

 

The vision of Rev. Nelson and the Congregation had been achieved after 28 years of faith, dedication and hard work.  The first parsonage was purchased in July, 1946 for Rev. Rinico Nelson, and the first family located at128 West Fourth Street, Mount Vernon, New York, at a cost of $12,500.  The sanctuary was redecorated in October 1950. Stained glass windows were installed and a beautiful mural depicting the ascension of Christ was painted inside the dome over the pulpit by Alex Fournier of New York City, which was considered to be a great work of art by all who viewed it.

 

The property at 147  South Ninth Avenue owned by the first Assistant Pastor of Macedonia’s Baptist Church was purchased for $11,000 on February 15, 1955 for the purpose of expansion. Mrs. Ethel Robinson and her two young daughters Ester Mae and Ella Lee rendered a concert to raise money for the first expansion drive.

 

Having served as the fourth pastor from April 1918 – July 1957, Rev. Rinico Nelson retired as pastor.  On Labor Day, September 2, 1958, Rev. Nelson passed from this life. A dynamic Pastor, a great servant and a first black Police Chaplin was mourned by the city of Mount Vernon.

 

On December 29, 1958, the Rev. Richard H. Dixon, Jr. of Pontiac, Michigan was called as the fifth Pastor of the Macedonia Baptist Church. Assuming his role as the new pastor, the church continued to grow spiritually, financially, and numerically.

 

The Fourth Street parsonage was sold in 1959, and a new parsonage was purchased at 355  South Fulton Ave, Mount Vernon, New York.

 

With goods and future insights for expansion, the Church purchased from the Mt. Vernon Urban Renewal surrounding properties during 1963-64 was utilized for parking and future expansion. Under the present leadership, various new organizations were formed: The Federal Credit Union, July 1960; Rev. Dixon along with Dr. J. Ida Jiggetts organized the Drug Rehabilitation Program, December 1967; The Castle Taylor Scholarship in 1968 and the Annie L. Nixon Scholarship in 1983.

 

The Macedonia Towers (Senior Citizen) Complex was constructed in January 1975. The Macedonia Community Center was purchased in March 1979, and the Collin Allen Day Care Center was established in July 1982, where it is presently housed in the Macedonia Center. All of the affiliated enterprises are handled by Board Members, Administrators, and personnel of the Macedonia membership.

 

The Church has sponsored persons of distinction such as: Marion Anderson on February 25, 1960; Mahalia Jackson, November 10, 1960; Dr. Wyatt T. Walker, July 11, 1971; Alhaji MaHammud Ngilurema, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United Nations, January 26, 1962; Mother Hail, July 11, 1971; Adam Clayton Powell Sr.; Adam Clayton Powell Jr.; and Dr. W.T. Vivian.

 

One of the largest fundraisers of the Church was sponsored by the Willing Workers Club. During the years of 1977 – 1985 under the direction of our The First Lady, Earnestine Dixon, the proceeds from five youth cotillions were presented to the Church in the amount of $135,458.69. These sponsorships not only added financial prestige to the Church but added to its membership. Its challenge gave exposure, instilled grace and charm to five beautiful young ladies that surely gave meaning and direction to each of their future endeavors. During the span of 1975 to 1988, the church had to make many decisions that would affect the future growth of this great church.

 

In 1975, Mount Vernon initiated the Urban Renewal Program and changes in the community structure were affected. Macedonia and the First Methodist were both in the Urban Renewal area. The First Methodist Church was located a half block from your present location and was being merged with the Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church due to the Urban Renewal program; therefore, placing the church on the market for sale.

 

The First Methodist property included: the Church building, seating over fifteen hundred; a three story house adjacent to the Church; a Community Center across from the Church onSecond Street; and a thirteen room house directly next door to the Center. Pastor Dixon interceded, through Colonel Martin Sultzer, President of the Board at theMethodist Churchand Bill Starbach, for purchase of said property. After much discussion, the First Methodist Church project was brought to the membership of Macedonia for approval to purchase.

 

The matter was brought back to the parent body of Macedonia Church for its decision. A split decision was made, thus leaving the final decision to the Pastor.  Pastor Dixon did not want to risk splitting the church membership, due to the complexity of parent body meeting. His attitude was that he would rather loose the property and save the people. Therefore, the purchase of the property was cancelled. As time pasted, additional properties surrounding the church were purchased for future expansion rather than invest in cosmetic remodeling.

 

With rapid growth and change in the Church’s current status, Pastor Dixon devised a method to re-register and re-organize its membership through phase organizing and computerization. The vision and objective of the Church to save souls and to tell of the Good News of Jesus was more evident by the continued growth of the Church.

 

Mr. Ernest Davis, a member of Macedonia and contracted architect, displayed in January 1988 plans and drawings of “New Macedonia Church” to the congregation. On Monday, March 7, 1988, the Macedonia Church Family approved plans for the building and renovation of two “Super Structures” at the cost of $4.5 million. The building would accommodate our present needs and the generations of the future.

 

Continued preparations, fund raising, donations, pledges, and commitment by the members are in full progress for the planned Ground Breaking Ceremony to be held Sunday, April 21, 1991, for the first phase of this three part structure.

 

Dr. Rinico Nelson had a vision that Macedonia Baptist Church would grow spiritually, financially, and numerically. He once stated that he may not be able to finish the building all that he aspired to build, but there would come a younger man who would carry out his dreams. Dr. Richard H. Dixon, the 5th Pastor, picked up the torch of continuing to keep alive the dreams and aspirations of those great men before him.

 

On December 31, 1999, Rev. Richard H. Dixon, having served as pastor for over forty years, retired. Being the faithful servant he was, the Church voted to entitle him Pastor Emeritus. Macedonia then moved into pastor search mode and was without a pastor for over two years.

 

In January 2002, God sent us the Rev. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr. from Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in San Francisco, California to serve as the sixth pastor.  Rev. Hardaway came from the west, back to the east as a preacher with a vision and in a short time began leading the congregation from Membership to Discipleship.   Rev.  Hardaway established a Youth Church, reorganized New Membership Training Class, and began a weekly noon “Lunch with Jesus” Bible Study to accommodate senior citizens and others.  He also helped to start an “Overcomers” Ministry for substance abusers and people struggling with strongholds.

 

Rev. Hardaway also implemented the 7:30 AM “Come as you are” Service, Macedonia’s first Radio Broadcast on WVOX AM, and the purchase of Macedonia Towers and King’s Court apartment buildings in Mt. Vernon, New York

 

On August 10, 2009,  as Macedonia’s sixth pastor, Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway, Jr., ended his tenure after serving as Pastor at Macedonia for seven years.   The Joint Board along with the membership of the church made the decision not to immediately look for a new (seventh) pastor.

 

During the transition, it was voted by the congregation to select one of our own Associate Ministers to fill the void. The Rev. Dr. Darren M. Morton was selected to fill that capacity as Interim Pastor. He had served under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Richard H. Dixon Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hardaway Jr. for many years. He was a member of the Mount Vernon Community, well educated and knew how to work with the congregation. He accepted the position in order to help the church move forward until a decision would be made to install a new pastor.

 

After serving as Interim Pastor from almost two years, the church membership elected Rev. Darren M. Morton the seventh pastor on February 28, 2011 and he was installed on May 21, 2011.   Being a hometown boy, his installation was a celebration for the Mt. Vernon community and homecoming for many.

 

Immediately, Pastor Morton began working on revisiting the church bylaws, developing mission and vision statements, eliminating the mortgage balloon payment and refinance to make repairs and improvements to the church edifice.   He reminded the church that Macedonia has been and must continue to be a community church.

 

During the first year as pastor in 2011, Rev. Morton has financed the mortgage, completed major repairs, renovated the Helen I. Williams Fellowship Hall, reestablished the Macedonia Community Center Board, established the Macedonia After-school Program, Praise Dance Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and begun the process to create a community development corporation.   The Youth Adult Ministry was established in 2012.

 

Additionally, under Pastor Morton’s leadership, the church has seen new life, growth in membership and appointed our first set of female Deacons in March 2011: Sis. Patricia Brown, Sis, Veronica Harding, Sis, Barbara Howell, and Sis. Sonya McClendon.  In October 2012, by the inspiration of God and upon the recommendation of Pastor Morton, the church had its first Deaconess Consecration Service and Investiture of Rev. Joyce Somerville as the first female Assistant Pastor.

 

Currently, the church is in the midst of celebrating our 100th church anniversary, led by Sis. Doretha Lanier and Deacon Barbara Howell.  With faith, hope, and trust in the Lord, a new vision can be fulfilled. For with the belief that is professed by each Christian and with the praising of God almighty, truly the Church is “Marching on to Victory.” Our dreams and hopes shall not perish, for when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved; we have another building not made with hand.

 

Yes, with God on our side, along with faith, patience, prayer and love, we continue to move forward in the Lord, as Macedonia still enjoys congregational Splendor because “We’ve come this far by Faith!”.

Where Everybody is Somebody and Christ is All