In 1870 in the Fourth Ward of Atlanta a group of Christians wanted to ensure that the local children were learning to read. That "Sunday School" would soon become Fifth Baptist Church of Atlanta & built a clapboard church at Bell & Gilmer Streets.
In 1900 church records grievously say on account of "apartments and negros moving in" , the church sold the property to a new African- American congregation that became Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Moving to the industrializing Southeast side of the city, the church was renamed Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in the growing neighborhood of Grant Park. In time the church building began to fall into disrepair and a fire did significant damage to the building. As industry sprang up around the building, the decision was made to buy property a few blocks away along Grant Park.
In 1927 the current building was built, with an education building added in 1953. Through the
30's50's the church had a large Sunday School program with an average attendance of more than 700. The construction of I-20 in the early 60's saw an exodus of Grant Park residents as many moved to the growing suburbs. In time the membership declined severely and the congregation refused to minister to a changing neighborhood, rejecting initiatives by some pastors to engage increasing populations of African-Americans & people facing homelessness. The church began losing membership.
By 2005 the membership of Park Ave was 12 senior adults who believed God could do
something new in the church. With new leadership & after a decade moving toward radical inclusivity, the church reflects the beauty & diversity of the community, but know there's more to be done. We commit to deconstructing racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism- physical & mental, homophobia, transphobia, violence & hatred through the creative use of worship, dialogue, education, activism, protest and resources to embody the inclusive way of Jesus.