Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest church in Liberty City, which originated in 1901 in the Black section of Lemon City. (Lemon City is now referred to as Little Haiti.) The first leader of Mount Tabor Baptist Church was Rev. B. E. Goodwin, who for 4 years led members in worship when there was no church edifice or school within the community to accommodate our congregants. Members assembled in homes, most frequently at the home of Elijah H. Boles. In Rev. Goodwin’s acceptance speech, he proclaimed, “We are a new testament church. That means we are a local organized body of baptized believers, equal in rank and privileges, administering its affairs under the headship of Christ, united in the belief of what He taught us, agreeing to what He has commanded and cooperating with other like bodies in Kingdom movements. We are a Baptist Church. Baptist history began with Christ and the Apostles. Christ set up his church during his personal ministry on earth. This was one of the things he came to do before he left this earth. He said the work he has come to do was finished. Establishing His church was part of the work he had to do; therefore it was established.”
The church continued to progress, and in 1905, under its second pastor – Rev. A.J. Thomas, a frame sanctuary was erected on NE 68 Street and North Miami Court. The presence of the sanctuary facilitated the inception of Sunday School and the Baptist Young People Union (BYPU), which provided Christian activities and training for the future generations of the church – the youth.
Pastors succeeding Rev. Thomas included Rev. N. B. Williams, Rev. C.T. Brown, Rev. J.S. P. Watson, and Rev. J.T Merrill. In 1924, Rev. R. E. Edwards became pastor, and the property on NE 68th Street and North Miami Court was sold, and the building of the current church located at 1701 NW 67 Street commenced. Church services were held at Liberty City Public School until the new edifice was ready to house its first service in 1925. In 1927, a church parsonage was acquired at 1710 NW 67 Street.
In 1941 Rev. James N. Byrd was called as the eight pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist church. During his tenure, a much needed dining hall was added to the existing building to support fellowship and the social needs of the church. Rev. Byrd led an effort to construct yet another building. Due to much misunderstanding and turmoil that arose, Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist church suffered a split. Some members followed Reverend Byrd to form Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, while others remained steadfast in their commitment to the Lord’s work through Mount Tabor Baptist Missionary Baptist Church.
Through the years Mount Tabor pressed forward in its worship, spreading God’s word and expanding its services, which were quite beneficial to its members, as well as to some non-members of the neighboring community, including but not limited to the Nurse’s Guild, the Junior Choir, a Day Care Center, free Legal services for members, a shared role in establishment of a Credit Union, installation of a marquee outside the church to inform the community of church activities, and even chimes that could be heard in the neighborhood. The church supported itself through member donations, auxiliary dues, and through annual fundraisers, such as Men’s day, Women’s day, and under Mount Tabor’s ninth pastor, Rev. James Hendon, “Dual Day.”
By the late 70s, the Liberty City neighborhood which was and remains home to Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church reflected many of the negative changes that were occurring in urban communities at large, but were concentrated in our midst. The once cohesive neighborhood of Liberty City was being damaged by illegal drug activity, prostitution, increased homelessness, and escalating rates of crime and HIV/AIDS. These changes hampered evening activities, and resulted in a decrease in overall active involvement among the congregation. Despite the challenges, through it all, Mount Tabor weathered the storm, knowing that God is faithful.
Following the illness of Rev. James Hendon, Rev. Dr. George E. McRae, in 1989, was carefully chosen to shepherd the flock at Mt. Tabor. He brought with him new energy and vision, and a plan for the church to “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every nation.” (Mark 16:15) He challenged the membership to heighten and broaden its worship to God. That is, he insisted that God’s word and work spread beyond the church walls. He inspired the church to engage in outreach to the surrounding community in ways it had not done before. Under his leadership several ministries were formed in an effort to embrace ALL God’s children – including those stricken with HIV/AIDS, burdened by a variety of other social ills and spiritual voids.
Mount Tabor, under Rev. McRae’s leadership was one of the first African‐American churches in the country to create an HIV/AIDS ministry. Other ministries were also created to attend to unmet needs including, but not limited to the JOB (Bereavement) Ministry, Street Ministry, Substance Abuse Ministry, Prison Ministry, Angel Tree Ministry, and the Shoe Box Ministry. Mt. Tabor’s doors were opened to host and house Narcotics Anonymous meetings, the Feeding Ministry was expanded, and members were reminded to continuously serve the Sick and Shut in. Mount Tabor also supported the spread of the Gospel in Haiti through donations of Bibles, finances and shipments of food and water, in addition to forming bonds with sister churches in Atlanta, GA, Palatka, FL, and many within Miami-Dade County. Under Rev. McRae’s leadership, the doctrine of tithing and Christian stewardship was stressed as a means of supporting the work of the church in contrast to its past practices of fundraising and appreciation days. Following fifty-six years in ministry, twenty-six of which were devoted to Mt. Tabor, in September 2015, Rev. MacRae retired.
Following an extensive nationwide pastoral search, Rev. Wendell H. Paris, Jr. was called as pastor to lead the Mount Tabor congregation as it continues to strive for GOD’s purpose. He is a pastor of incredible faith who has a heart for God, GOD’s people, and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of GOD’s WORD.
Today Mt. Tabor has and welcomes members from all walks of life. Its congregation is rich varied testimonies to God’s goodness! Mount Tabor’s primary focus remains worshipping God, saving souls and proclaiming the good news to the least, the lost and the often forgotten both by word and by deed, for GOD’s love conquers all
Sundays at 10 AM
Who We Are
Our Team & Leadership
Every one of our team members is devoted to delivering the gospel.
Our Pastor: Richard Allen Clements, Jr.
Board of Deacons
Board of Trustees
Mount Tabor Baptist Church
10500 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33150
Church Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM