In the heart of the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s Southside, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was formed in 1902. During the Great Migration, African-Americans made Ebenezer their church home.
Ebenezer developed a reputation as a center for gospel music. Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), the father of gospel music, introduced his blend of Christian praise and blues at Ebenezer and started the first gospel choir here.
During the 30-year pastorate of Rev. Frank K. Sims, distinguished guests of the church included Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Ralph Metcalfe (1910-1978), Adam Clayton Powell (1908-1972) and Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972).
In 1966 a banquet honoring Dr. Frank Kentworth Sims on the 7th anniversary of his pastorate of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church featured Nobel Peace Prize recipient the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as the guest speaker and Mahalia Jackson as guest vocalist.