1929-Present Day

Like the Saints of old who “wandered in a solitary way and
found no city to dwell in”—so the little band of 157 persons, under
the leadership of Rev. E. D. Maples, left the Corinthian Baptist
Church searching for a place to worship.  Finally in February 1929,
in the St. Paul AME Zion Church at 1117 Home Ave., the church
was organized.  The name “Tabernacle”, suggested by Mrs. Mary
Maples, wife of the pastor, was adopted.  Soon the small
congregation proceeded to their new home on the corner of
Broadway and Home Avenue.

During those early months the church suffered much, but they
continued because they thought their cause to be right.  They
experienced many problems during that first year, common to
many young churches.  In November, 1930, Rev. Maples left the

A call was extended to Rev. Ernest C. Estell of Drakesboro, Ky.,
and he came on July 5, 1931.  During this period, Tabernacle was
literally struggling for survival, but the members had a mind to
work.  Rev. Estell was a dynamic preacher and a student of God’s
Word.  He organized mission classes and clubs.  A Youth
Conference was initiated bringing outstanding world renowned
leaders to speak and inspire the young people.  He also involved
the church in the work of our denomination, local, state and

A great moment in Rev. Estell’s life was realized when Tabernacle
sent him to the World Baptist Alliance which met in Berlin,
Germany in 1934.  Under his leadership, Tabernacle hosted the
National Baptist Sunday School and Baptist Training Union
Congress in 1935 at Dayton Memorial Hall.

The year 1937 found Tabernacle in great financial difficulty.  
The church was unable to get credit anywhere in the city unless
someone with ability stood for that credit.  Church offering had
fallen off to almost nothing.  The total weekly offering from all
sources was approximately $40.  However, God had given
Tabernacle some very loyal members, and often on Sunday
evenings some official board members went to these loyal
members to secure funds to tide the church over until the next
week or month.

Rev. Estell received a call to the St. John Baptist Church in Dallas,
Texas.  He resigned this church to accept the call and left
in early December, 1937.

Rev. Strobridge E. Hoard of Bowling Green, Ky., was then extended
a call by this church in late December, 19937.  Rev. Hoard
accepted the call and came in January, 1938.  Our church was
deeply in debt, but Rev. Hoard had great plans for the church.  After
a few short months, God took him and his home-going in April,
1938 was a tragic loss.  Tabernacle had come to love him.  His
eloquent preaching and kind manner will long be remembered.

After the death of Rev. Hoard, Tabernacle was counseled by Rev.
H. Laurence McNeil, pastor of Zion Baptist Church, Dayton.  It was
under his guidance that our church elected the official Board as
Pulpit Committee to contact various ministers.  After many letters
and phone calls from ministers all over the country, five deacons of
Tabernacle with a member of Bethel Church, Dayton, traveled to
Frankfort, Ky., to have a consultation with Rev. J. Welby Broaddus,
where he was serving as pastor of First Baptist Church.  Rev.
Broaddus agreed to come to Dayton to conduct a week’s revival at
Tabernacle in the month of May 1938.  After conducting the revival,
the church unanimously voted to extend a call to Rev. Broaddus to
be our pastor.  Rev. Broaddus accepted the call on the second
Sunday of June 1938.  Rev. Broaddus and our previous pastor,
Rev. S. E. Hoard, had been lifelong friends in denominational work
in their beloved State of Kentucky.

When Rev. Broaddus began his pastorate in July, 1938, he found
that the First Christian Church held the mortgage on Tabernacle
Baptist Church and was about to foreclose.  There was no deed or
records of any kind.  Rev. Broaddus got in touch with Mr. Duncan,
trustee board chairman of First Christian and after several
conferences it was agreed that for every dollar Tabernacle paid on
the mortgage, First Christian would give us a two dollar credit.  The
membership was encouraged by this cooperative plan.  Under
Rev. Broaddus’ leadership and with the divine guidance of the Holy
Spirit, the doors of Tabernacle were kept open.

Rev. Broaddus introduced many programs in the church for the
spiritual, cultural and social advancement of the members.  A
Church Convention was inaugurated in November, 1938 for the
training in actual convention procedures.  IN 1940 a Church
Retreat was held.  This project, which replaced the youth
conference, was held out of doors, and provided worship,
fellowship and recreation.  A Savings Club was organized on
January 1, 1943.  Members were urged to save weekly and many
who saved through this club were able to purchase their own
homes.  The savings club grew and has become a bulwark of
economic stability of this church.

By January, 1944, our mortgage indebtedness was greatly
reduced.  Programs were set in motion to pay off the mortgage.  
The week of September 1944, on the Sixth Anniversary of Rev.
Broaddus` pastorate, the mortgage was burned.  Special Services
were held and Rev. Ernest C. Estell was invited from Dallas to
deliver the Dedicatory Sermon.  A grave memorial for the late Rev.
S. E. Hoard was also unveiled at these services.

In 1952 the Activity Building (former parsonage) was dedicated
with special services.

In the interim period the church took steps to acquire properties for
rental income to supplement the regular church offerings.  As a
result of the Savings Club, the church borrowed funds and
purchased the Kennesaw Ave. apartment building.  The income
from rent repaid the savings club, with interest; the total transaction
involved $20,000.  Since this purchase, Tabernacle has acquired a
double dwelling at Bank and Elgin Sts., a double brick dwelling at
1228-30 Home Ave., a church edifice and dwelling at S. Williams
and Home Ave., and a dwelling at 3730 Lakeside Drive.  The debt
on all these properties has been liquidated.

Rev. J. Welby Broaddus suffered several illnesses and the death
of his beloved wife, Mrs. Nannie Broaddus.  It became evident to
Pastor Broaddus that he needed an assistant.  He stated that, “Our
challenge today is to continue in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, a spirit
that transcends meaningless traditions which eclipse the spiritual
insight of God.  The Divine Call today is still the voice of the Master
saying ‘Follow Me.’

The Reverend Gentry F. Worth, a Methodist minister, joined
Tabernacle on October 9, 1955, as a candidate for baptism.  
Recognizing that Rev. Worth was knowledgeable, scholarly and a
devout minister, the congregation elected him assistant to the
ailing Pastor Broaddus.  His guidance during uncertain times was
greatly appreciated.  Minister Worth served Tabernacle 15 years in
this capacity before his death in August 1970.
Church History

In February 1959, plans were begun toward the building of a new
sanctuary, and the church took official action to build in December,
1959.  On Easter Day, April 17, 1960, Groundbreaking Services
were held and construction was begun immediately.  The
architects, Lagerost and Walters, had designed a modern, tall,
stately edifice that seemed to soar with glass, brick and metal.  The
overall dimensions were 53’ feet wide and 135’ deep, to
accommodate the land available.  The 12 on 12 gabled design
block and concrete technique created the perfect setting topped
with laminated pine arches.  This was awesome and beautiful.  
Within fourteen months, the Fellowship Hall was opened with
ribbon cutting ceremonies on Friday, June 30, 1961.   This area
included the kitchen and lounges for women and men.  

The Cornerstone was laid on Sunday, April 15, 1962, and the week
of June 10-17, 1962.  Dedication Ceremonies for the New
Sanctuary were held.  The main sanctuary accommodated
approximately 624 worshippers with additional balcony seating of
390.  The choir loft had 112 green theater style seats.  But the focal
point of the sanctuary was the elongated wooden and steel cross
that centers the baptistery donated in memory of Deacon Charles
Francis by his family.  The total cost of construction was $350,000
in 1962.

Many innovations have been introduced to enhance the worship
and strengthen ties within the church and in the community.  An
Official Club, composed of deacons and wives and deaconesses,
with the pastors and wives has created a warm togetherness.  
Senior Members Day was inaugurated for fellowship of the aged.  
Joint-Fellowship Services on Thanksgiving with Bethel Church and
with Greenmont-Oakpark Church in March have become annual
church events.  A Scholarship Award is made each year to two
worthy, graduating students, sponsored by the Senior Women’s

The church included a departmentalized church school comprised
of 30 classes, a general missionary organization having 10 circles,
a young girl’s guild and children’s band.  There were also 5 choirs,
adult usher board and Health department, young adult and junior
usher boards.  There were Boards of adult and young mothers and
a youth fellowship organization.  A wide range of activities reach
into the community, even as far as Africa, where one of our
members serves as a missionary.  Tabernacle is affiliated and
cooperates with Metropolitan Churches in Greater Dayton, and in
all denominational bodies from the county level up to the National
Baptist convention, U.S.A., Inc.  

Reverend Donald W. Thompson joined Tabernacle Baptist Church
on March 26, 1967.  Shortly thereafter, he accepted the call to
pastor in Chillicothe, OH.  Minister Thompson returned to
Tabernacle in July 1970 and accepted the Assistant to the Pastor
position on July 27, 1970.  Reverend Thompson stepped up to the
task of preaching every Sunday, performing marriages and
eulogizing the deceased members.  From 1970 to 1978, he
faithfully served Tabernacle as the assistant to the late Dr. J. Welby

With the enthusiastic support of Pastor Broaddus, Minister
Thompson also revitalized many existing programs and introduced
new ones.  He instituted bible study classes and journeyed to the
Holy Land with adult and teenage members.  Dr. Broaddus felt
confident that Tabernacle would move forward in the capable
hands of Reverend Donald W. Thompson.  “The time has come for
Tabernacle to climb to higher pinnacles under the banner of God.  
Your pastor has tried to lead you, under the Lord’s omnipotent
hand during these years.  I must relinquish this leadership and
retire as Pastor of this congregation.  I love thee dear Tabernacle.  I
love thy structure, thy officers, members, and memories.”  With
those words the Reverend J. Welby Broaddus became Pastor
Emeritus and the Reverend Donald W. Thompson was
unanimously elected Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Under Dr. Thompson’s leadership, the Church continued to grow in
the Lord, membership, physical plant, and acquisition of new
properties for future growth and expansion.  He had a strong
commitment to the Christian Education Program and to the
scholarship fund so that members could attend college.  In
addition to the many classes offered, he instituted a men’s Bible
Study called Men Standing for Christ.  Following a brief illness, The
Reverend Dr. Donald W. Thompson passed away on Friday,
August 28, 2009.

The Reverend Ernest E. Graves was installed as pastor of The
Tabernacle Baptist Church on January 10, 2010.

Within these hallow walls the work of the church moves
forward, its mission constant – to grow spiritually, to serve
this present age, and to spread the “Good News” that
Jesus saves!

In 80+ years, the little church has grown from 157
persons, a pastor and 4 deacons to approximately 3,700
members, a total of 6 pastors and 57 deacons.  Much of
Tabernacle’s success has been due to the fact that the
church is incorporated by the State of Ohio and also
operates under Church Control, having one general

Many hands, minds and hearts have cooperated and
contributed to the progress of our church.  However, this
church owes a special debt of gratitude to the local
ministers and deacons who have given unreservedly of
themselves to the work of the ministry, and who shared in
the leadership responsibilities, many times during interim
periods when the church was without a pastor.

I.        Ministers:
II.       Reverends
*Lewis E. Logan, *Gentry F. Worth and Donald W.
Thompson have served as assistants to the pastor.

Associate ministers who are `sons` of Tabernacle:
*A. A. Mayes                    *Rev. Berry                 *Cornell Herron
*G. P. Perdue                   Rev. Lewis                 James Lee Arnold
J. A. Bullard                  *Joseph Joiner            John Gaddis
*C. D. Morrow                  William Crutcher        R. W. Richmond
* J. O. Kennedy                T. C. Hardy                  Otis Drake
*Frank Reaves                William  Carter            Charles Sanders
William Fambrough     George Lawrence       LaVoy Spooner
*Robert L. Smith              Walter B. Hoard          Daniel Bullard

III.      Deacons:
Four deacons participated in the organization of this church:

*James McKinney, Chairman         *L. C. M. Jones, Clerk
*J. W. Parks                                        *Lonnie Greenwood

Added during the first year:

*W. D. Jackson                                **C. L. Huguely
*Madison Amos                               **F. A. McKissack

Tabernacle continues lifting, loving and looking to the head of the
church, Jesus Christ; preparing, praying and praising God, our
Creator; leaning, depending and serving with the Holy Spirit as
our guide.