Archive for June, 2014

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church added to National Register of Historic Places

Family stories say my uncle Wes Martin was a brick mason who helped build the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama…he died a year after it’s completion, leaving behind a grieving wife and four small children.

Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church (Selma, AL)

Tabernacle Baptist Church

Where: 1431 Broad Street Selma, Alabama

Visit Tabernacle Baptist Online

Listed on National Register of Historic Places: July 10, 2013

Significance: Eligible for listing in the National Registry of Historical Places for it’s significance to social history, religion, ethnic importance and architectural importance.

Social History: Tabernacle Baptist has connections to the Civil Rights Movement in Selma (1922-1968). It was the site for many of the meetings and rallies of the Civil Rights Movement,, working alongside other community groups, churches and organizations including the Brown Chapel A.M.E.  Rev. Louis Lloyd Anderson opened the doors to Tabernacle Baptist for the first mass meeting for voting rights. Rev. Anderson later ran for political office in a segregated Selma. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Tabernacle Baptist on two separate occasions.

Religion and Ethnic Importance: Tabernacle Baptist was founded in 1885 and built its present building in 1922, it is an established place of religious, community and cultural significance in Selma. Tabernacle Baptist is also the home of four presidents of The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.; the largest Baptist denominational group in the U.S.

Architectural Importance: The Tabernacle Baptist Church is a Classical Revival, designed in 1922 by a congregation member named David T. West, an African-American architect. According to the National Register of Historic Places program, “It is the most formidable Classical Revival design of any African American institution in Selma from the Jim Crow era.”

The Classical Revival style is based on the architecture of classical Greece and Rome.


For More Info:

Audience at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama, probably listening to Martin Luther King, Jr,. speak, Courier Photograph Collection (Image):

National Register of Historic Places Program, Tabernacle Baptist Church:

“Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church officially added to National Register of Historic Places” by Hannah Lane, WSFA Channel 12 News, 03/11/2014:

“Tabernacle Baptist placed on National Register” by Katie Wood, Selma Times Journal, 07/19/2013:


West Martin WWI Draft Card:


Wes Martin Death Certificate (Dallas County, Ala):

June 26, 2014 at 6:08 am Leave a comment

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