New Salem Missionary Baptist Church has been a staple of Minneapolis since it was established 50 years ago.
Armed with only God’s word as their blueprint, a faithful core of believers acknowledged the need for a place of worship. This vision became a reality in 1969 when a committed and group of Christians met at 1821 Oliver Ave. N. in North Minneapolis.
Pastored by The Rev. Earl Hines, he and his founding members fought despite many obstacles to contribute to the growth of this spiritual institution.
In April 1970, the basement of the Cassius Cleaners located on Plymouth and Logan Avenues North in Minneapolis served as home to the small but growing congregation. By the end of the year, the congregation quickly outgrew their new space and moved on to holding services at the Phyllis Wheatley House on Aldrich Avenue North in Minneapolis.
On Jan. 25, 1972, the New Salem family purchased the building at 2309 Plymouth Ave. North from the Kenesseth Israel Congregation.
On Dec. 22, 1989 Hines unexpectedly passed.
The congregation was left with the task of finding a leader. Very few preachers were beating down the door to get in.
After preaching a powerful sermon in January of 1990 to just a few families of the congregation, The Rev. Jerry McAfee consented to serve as interim pastor to New Salem. It did not take long for the small but dedicated congregation to decide that they wanted the young, fiery expository preacher to be their new pastor.
In May of 1990 McAfee was installed as the senior pastor of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church. Word quickly spread about the preaching, teaching and singing young man at New Salem that was causing Sunday morning services to be “standing room only.”
Since the beginning McAfee has led many New Salem Missionary Baptist Church initiatives such as feeding the hungry, clothing and providing housing to those in need.
The congregation of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church welcomes the community to come help celebrate its 50-year anniversary Oct. 11 – Oct. 13. New Salem will host a gala Oct. 11 with a reunion choir concert to take place Oct. 12 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday services Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Services take place at 2507 Bryant Ave. N., Minneapolis.