Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church
Under the leadership of Reverend J.H. Williams, the church was organized at the home of Deacon and Sister Rufus Boone, located at 4127 Parrish Street Philadelphia PA. After the approval of the congregation in attendance, the church’s pastor would become the Reverend J.H. Williams. The church would be named “Williams Chapel Baptist Church”. After several places of worship, the church moved to Holly and Aspen Street. In October 1960, the church was on the move again.
On October 18, 1960, the Rev J.H. Williams and congregation marched from the Williams Chapel Baptist Church on Holly and Aspen Street in West Philadelphia, to its new edifice at 315 South 59th Street Philadelphia PA. This move allowed for the growing membership a place in which the parishioners could worship.
Several years later, Rev. J.H. Williams’s tenure at Williams Chapel Baptist Church was over, but the church was still on the move to higher grounds, as the Lord had planned and blessed them.
The Reverend Leonard L. Smalls was then called to Pastor Williams Chapel Baptist Church. Under Rev. Leonard Small’s Pastoral-ship in 1963, the church’s name was changed to the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Freedom Garden was erected beside the church in memory of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other Civil Rights Freedom Fighters.
Through troubles, trials, heartaches, pain and prayers, God sent the church another one of HIS anointed servants, the Reverend Benjamin F. Powell to pastor the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church Family.
Reverend Benjamin F. Powell was installed as Pastor in January 1983.
Many blessings and accomplishments were bestowed under his leadership of this great church. On June 30, 1985, the burning of the mortgage took place. During the latter years, the Fellowship Hall and renovations throughout the Sanctuary and the Chapel were done.
The Properties at 5901 and 5903 Spruce Street were purchased. This allowed the church to reach out into the community. Services such as the Drug & Alcohol Programs and the Food Program were housed at the property, as well as a meeting place for ministries.
With the increasing church membership, on September 24, 2006, the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church has a groundbreaking ceremony on the vision that was given by God to Pastor Benjamin F. Powell for a Community Center adjacent to the church.
This expansion was to allow for continued growth of the membership and ministry work, allowing for services for our youth, middle aged and elderly, as well as ongoing involvement with the community. A gallery to house the monuments of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other Civil Rights Freedom Fighters would connect the church with the expansion.
In December 2008, The Lord blessed the church with the ability to purchase a 25 passenger bus.
After 26 years of devoted service to the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church, Rev. Benjamin F. Powell retired in January 2009 due to his declining health, and on November 13th, 2009, he was called home to Glory.
After much prayer and supplication, on January 25th, 2010, the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church was blessed by God again, Reverend Dr. Daly Barnes Jr. was called to Pastor the Church and was installed on May 23rd, 2010.
Now 57 years later, the congregation of the Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church continues to grow in God’s Grace and Mercy.
Through the radio airwaves of thousands of listeners, Fifty Ninth Street Baptist Church “Fountain of Faith” is broadcast weekly on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. The word is preached over the airwaves by our very own Pastor, Dr. Daly Barnes Jr.
Our Church has been blessed with a Praise and Worship Team, directed by Pastor Daly Barnes Jr. and our Music Ministry continues to grow.
The Food Program housed at 5901 Spruce, which had shut-down in August of 2011 has now be re-established and open for business, serving the community.
Our Church is now blessed to have a Culinary-Kitchen Ministry available for members and non-members needing assistance.
It is our fervent prayer that this body of Baptist Believers in Jesus Christ, will continue to serve out Lord and Savior in Spirit and in truth, and remain a blessing to the community and to each other. As we strive to deepen our relationship with our Savior, let us continue to tell somebody about the good news which we have been called to spread; the gospel of peace, and tidings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
THANK YOU, AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS THE FIFTY NINTH STREET BAPTIST CHURCH, AND MAY HE CONTINUE TO BLESS AND KEEP OUR PASTOR, DR. DALY BARNES JR.