top of page

Our history

wash tab outside pic_edited.jpg

On November 6, 1902, the new church was organized at 2345 Market Street. The church was named Tabernacle Baptist Church. The church acquired property at Washington and Ewing, then known as Pilgrim Unitarian Church (the present location of Central Baptist Church).


Our church was recognized near and far for the illuminated sign displayed on the roof.  The sign read Christ Saves.  It was atop the roof and faced west above the transept.  Columns of polished Maine granite embellish the main entrance on Compton.  Roof construction featured a heavy Howe truss system, described at the time as a structural innovation.


Because of active participation in district, state and national affairs, Washington Tabernacle became known as The Friendly Church.  During the Civil Rights Movement, national leaders held strategy sessions and mass meetings at our church.  Included in these rallies were such notables as A. Phillip Randolph and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King spoke to over 4,000 individuals at the church on May 28, 1963, and, again on March 25, 1964.  A plaque, presented by the Missouri Historical Society, is affixed to the wall in the upper vestibule noting that our church was the location of two civil rights rallies during the 1960's.


A scholarship fund was established in January 1974.  The Reverend John E. Nance Memorial Scholarship Fund was designed to provide financial assistance to deserving high school graduated seeking to obtain a college education or technical/vocational post-secondary training.


The church membership has always been involved in many activities, within its walls as well as within the community, e.g., civil rights movements, voter registration drives, community support, hot meals programs, political, education, etc.  Looking back over our 119th year, we hope that Washington Tabernacle remains a physical and spiritual landmark, at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Compton Avenue.

bottom of page