New Psalmist Baptist Church has a rich history that spans over 120 years. The church was founded by Rev. Junius Gray in 1899 and was named the Right Independent Freewill Baptist Church. It had its beginnings in the basement of a house on Russell Terrace, with fewer than twenty members.
In 1901, the church purchased and moved to a two-story building at 1102 Parrish Alley. The very next year the adjoining property was bought and a new church building was constructed. Later, in 1911, the church, renamed Psalmist Baptist Church, purchased and remodeled property at Riggs Avenue and Woodyear Street. Rev. Gray was an active community leader and the church donated $100 towards salaries of Negro Nurses in segregated colored schools. Rev. Junius Gray pastored Psalmist Baptist Church for 47 years.
Rev. Atkins was called to pastor New Psalmist Baptist Church in June 1948. Under his leadership, New Psalmist membership greatly increased. Due to congregational growth, the church purchased and moved to a new building at Druid Hill and North Avenues in 1954. During Rev. Atkins’ pastorate, many improvements were made to the interior, including installation of a baptismal pool, powder room for the ladies and air conditioning. A new pipe organ and hot water heater were also purchased. The $56,000 mortgage was paid in full and burned in 1960. The church was renamed, the New Psalmist Baptist Church. Rev. Atkins was an excellent preacher. He labored diligently in service for God until his sudden passing on March 16, 1974.
Bishop Walter S. Thomas was called to pastor this church in April of 1975. Under his stewardship, in 1978, New Psalmist moved from Druid Hill and North Avenues to Cathedral and Franklin Streets. While in downtown Baltimore, New Psalmist grew tremendously. In 1991, a church meeting was held and a motion was passed to build a new church. In 1994, New Psalmist broke ground and two years later, April 7, 1996, New Psalmist moved from Franklin and Cathedral Street to 45011/2 Old Frederick Road; a multi- million dollar worship center and ministry complex on 19 acres of land. The church continued to grow and in 2004 another church meeting was held to build a new church. In 2008, the church broke ground, and in the fall of 2010, the church moved into its brand new 4000 seat worship facility. To God Be the Glory!
New Psalmist is very fertile growing ground. There are bible study classes held every day of the week, a three year discipleship program, leadership classes, catering ministry and ministry school for future ministers of the gospel, just to name a few. New Psalmist has a televised broadcast, “Empowering Disciples” that can be viewed locally and a regular Wednesday noon-day worship service. Many men and women have left New Psalmist Baptist Church to pastor other church. In 2005 they came together to form The Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors and elect Bishop Thomas as the Presiding Prelate of the organization. On July 20, 2005, Bishop Thomas was elevated to the office of Bishop and Presiding Prelate of The Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors. This historical occasion was held at the First Mariner Arena in front of over 10,000 people. New Psalmist was proud to witness such a historic day in the life of its Pastor.
New Psalmist believes in caring for its community and God’s creation. Our mission is to make life better for someone else. Partnerships have been formed with local schools and nursing homes to help students and seniors, as well as support teachers and the administration of the schools and nursing homes. A food pantry has been set up in the church for those needing food at any time. Families are also helped during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. New Psalmist is always striving to be of service to those in need.
Bishop Thomas has led New Psalmist to higher heights and deeper depths in Christ. Under his leadership the church has grown from 200 to over 7,000 active members. New Psalmist is truly thankful to have him as the Pastor of this great church. New Psalmist has come a long way with the help of the Lord and three great men of God. For eyes have not seen, neither have ears heard what great things are in store for New Psalmist Baptist Church.
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