State Street Baptist Church is the first formally organized church for blacks in Bowling Green Kentucky.
It was established in 1838 from the slave membership of the First Baptist Church of Bowling Green. On December 25, 1844 a one-quarter acre lot was purchased in the area known as “Moors Barren River addition to the town of Bowling Green.” Services were held on each first Sunday afternoon at least until 1847 where the Rev. Nelson Loving presided. In 1868, the church then led by Rev. John F. Thomas became one of the charter members of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky. Under Thomas, the church purchased additional land and by the time of this acquisition it had changed its name to the First Colored Missionary Baptist Church. Between the years of 1875 to 1885, the church was served by eight pastors, one of which named Rev. Eugene Evans and again the church changed its name to what
is now State Street Baptist Church. During the period from 1886 to 1897 three daughter churches of State Street were organized in Bowling Green: Mount Zion in 1887; and both New Bethel and Eleventh Street in 1892.
In 1898, the church suffered a devastating loss in a fire that left it gutted, leaving only the brick shell standing. By 1900, a new larger structure was built. Until 1991, when the present pastor Freddie L.
Brown was called the church weathered many storms and witnessed many outstanding ministers. On
May 4, 2000, the church was rendered another devastating blow; while workmen were doing the final
day’s work on a new roof for the church, a workman’s torch ignited flammable roofing material. The resulting fire destroyed the roof, upper timber structure and all the benches and carpeting in the sanctuary.
Over one hundred-sixty years, the LORD God developed, directed and provided for the life of this congregation. It is to the Living God, the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ that we send up our songs of praise and thanksgiving for the number of years of life and witness that He has given to State Street and
to all of her children.
History submitted by Reverend Dr. John Long
Website Designed By Larecia Denning-Bell