Who We Are

In 1864, a group of members from First African Baptist Church, located at Lafayette           
and Girod Streets, near the Girod Cemetery, came together and began to formulate plans to organize and build a church.

After the organization, the Reverend Charles Satchel was elected as the first Pastor.
For a while, services were held in the rear of a tin shop. Not being content to remain
in the old tin shop, the members began to raise funds to build a more suitable structure. They purchased a lot on which to build a new church to hold services, and Brother Chamberlain, a white gentleman, gave an adjoining lot to them. Upon
these lots they built a two-story church and named it First Free Mission Baptist Church. It was customary in those days to name churches and schools after the street on which they were located, so the name was changed to Common Street Baptist Church, and later Tulane Avenue Baptist Church.
A few years later, the Reverend C. S. Newman was elected as the second pastor of the church and served only a few months.

The Reverend A.S. Jackson was ordained and became the third pastor of the church.  Under his leadership Leland College was founded in the basement of the church and was named in honor of Mrs. Lela Chamberlain, wife of the benefactor who donated the additional lot to the church. Leland College was later moved to Baker, Louisiana where it closed in 1959.

The Reverend Thobs succeeded the Rev. Jackson and served as pastor approximately six months.

The Reverend E.D. Simms followed Rev. Thobs as pastor and succeeded in paying off the church building mortgage. During his eighteen-year tenure, the church organized a Bible School. In addition, they became interested in foreign mission, thus marking the beginning of the interest of the church in the work of foreign mission and Christian education.

Out of Texas came the Reverend E.W. White, under his administration the church became financially sound through increased tithing and stewardship among the congregation. The membership, directed by the Rev. White, fostered several local and national programs. He served as president of the New Orleans branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and a member of several civic organizations. He pastored for a period of twelve years.

The next elected pastor, the Reverend James Alexander Sharpe, he like the Rev. White, came from the state of Texas. He was a great teacher and instructor in the National Sunday School Congress. After a period of eight years the administration of the Rev. Sharpe came to an end.

Following the administration of the Rev. Sharpe, the Reverend H.B.P. Johnson of Chicago was elected pastor of the Tulane Avenue Baptist Church. The Rev. Johnson loved music and served as the director of the National Baptist Convention Choir for several years. He served for a period of five years and resigned on June 22, 1942.

In May of 1943, the Reverend Nathaniel Timothy Burks of Caldwell, Texas was elected pastor. He came with the slogan “The Bible Way.” He was a splendid Bible teacher and taught every Wednesday night. The Rev. Burks served as pastor for one year and eight months until he answered a call to serve pastor of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.

For a period of thirty days, the church prayed and elected the Reverend Ketchum Alfred Sloan, Jr. The Rev. Sloan grew up in the Tulane Avenue Family and was baptized at the early age of eight by the Rev. E.W. White, his uncle. He was installed in 1945.

Under the Rev. Sloan’s administration, a building fund was started to build a new and modern edifice on Paris Avenue.  During the Rev. Sloan’s forty-seven years, the church continued to freely give to foreign and domestic missions, initiated a scholarship program, joined the Federal Credit Union, and other programs that maintained a good financial base for the congregation to serve the community. Tulane Avenue Baptist Church relocated to Paris Avenue in 1945. In the late 1980’s, the education building was constructed as an addition to the present structure.

On December 31, 1991, Rev. Sloan retired as pastor of Tulane Memorial Baptist Church.

On February 23,1992, the Reverend Dr. Gerald Martin Young was elected and was installed on May 24, 1992. The Rev. Young served as pastor of Tulane for four years. During his tenure, he implemented the Soul-Winning Action Team (SWAT) whose goal is to perform evangelistic work in the community. He also organized the Junior Deacons. The church now hosts a community outreach program geared toward feeding the homeless and hungry. The Rev. Young encouraged tithing and sacrificial giving. He instituted a new member orientation class and a Senior Bible Study class to accommodate the schedule of senior citizens. In July 1996, Rev. Young resigned after accepting the call to pastor Friendship Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

The Reverend Ross Matthew Johnson, Jr., a member of Tulane, accepted the call to serve as interim pastor and began his tenure on September 29, 1996. The membership continued to flourish spiritually, financially, and numerically under the Rev. Johnson’s leadership.

Other accomplishments included introducing the concept of Pew Revival, the first Annual Men’s Day Musical and a Youth Explosion. Following the overwhelming success of the Pew Revival (Prayer Service).  The Rev. Johnson also initiated a Holy Communion Prayer Vigil. This vigil is held during the week proceeding the first Sunday in each month.

On Sunday, September 21,1997, the Rev. Johnson was elected pastor of the Tulane Memorial Baptist Church. Pastor Johnson, at the age of twenty-seven, became the youngest pastor of the then 133th year history of the church. He was installed on Sunday, November 30,1997.  Under the Rev. Johnson’s leadership, the tape ministry was reorganized into an Audio-Visual Ministry with the purchase of a new a sound system and other audio-visual equipment. Property was purchased for a servitude behind the church on Sere Street. To liquidate the financial debt of the K. A. Sloan, Jr. Educational Building, he introduced the biblical concept of “Vowing-Giving.’ Through faithful ”Vowing-Giving,” by the members, the debt on this building was eliminated in three years.  On October 5,1999, property was purchase for additional ministry space. As the church continued to grow, the Rev. Johnson sought ways to meet the needs of a growing congregation through ministry. Thus the Deacon Ministry was reorganized and serves as an In-Reach Pastoral Care Ministry. The Household of Brothers and Sisters Ministry was started to partner new members and new converts with existing members. Faced with the issues of a changing generation of the “X-ers,” the Rev. Johnson initiated Tulane’s First Youth Retreat, which resulted in the reorganization of the Youth Ministry. From this ministry needs and concerns, a children ministry and the Littlest Angels Haven Nursery Ministry were also formed.  Other miniseries under his leadership include the Book of the Month Club, and Single Vision Ministry.

The Rev. Johnson is a native of Fort Worth, Texas.  Under the Rev. Johnson’s leadership Tulane continues to grow and work together in unity.

As of 2001, the Tulane Family liquidated its debt of $320,000.00 on the K. Alfred Sloan Education Building.  The facility has extended to house and a Physical Health Fitness Room.

Under the direction of Pastor Johnson, Tulane Memorial joined the Louisiana Freedmen Missionary Baptist General Association in 2001.  Pastor Johnson serves as Deputy Dean, Adult Department of the Congress of Christian Education Auxiliary of the Louisiana Home and Foreign Mission Baptist State Convention. 

Tulane has had several starting points in its history during 2001 such as hosting the First Women’s Conference of the Louisiana Freedmen Missionary Baptist General Association, a Tulane Junior Women’s Day, and on March 27, 2001, our eminent pastor, welcome Dr. E. Edward Jones, President of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., and hosted its Planning Committee held in September, 2001, the establishment of a Junior Brotherhood, the Gentilly Mission Circle coordinated and joined the Federal Food-Co-Op., and the Tulane Community Outreach Center received a grant in the amount of $72,000.00 to fund a Peer Support program that provide services to non-custodial parents. 

In 2005, hurricane Katrina destroyed our church and displaced the membership all over the United States.  The Sanctuary had to be restored with excellent leadership.  We once again we enjoy fellowship in our newly renovated sanctuary ~ To God Be The Glory!  Tulane Memorial Baptist Church continues to move forward in the Name of Jesus Christ.  We look forward to God’s Guidance and Direction for the future for we are “A Church In the Hands of God for God for All Eternity.”