Welcome

Ebenezer is a place that we call home

A place where you will never be alone

We will be there for you

Always in prayer for you

 Ebenezer welcomes you!

Upcoming Events

Wednesday Noon Bible Study-12:00 noon

Wednesday Night Bible Study- 6:00 p.m.

Every Member Bible Call- Saturday at 10:00 a.m.

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Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church

A history

 

 

 

The name ?Ebenezer? means ?Stone of Help.? The church has the distinction of being the sixth oldest Black congregation in Detroit, and was organized to serve as a harbor for the City?s newly freed Black Americans. It?s name was established on the scriptural reference in 2 Samuel 7: 12-?Then Samuel took a stone, and set [it] between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.?

 

                                       

 

2 Samuel 7: 12

Then Samuel took a stone, and set [it] between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

 

 

 

Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded November 2, 1871 under the leadership of Rev. Gee. C. Booth and thirteen members of Detroit?s Colored Society at the corner of Prospect and Watson.  Worshiping in Cook?s Hall, the founding Sunday School Class had 23 members.   In August of 1872, the church moved to a building on Calhoun Street between Beaubien and St. Antoine.  Two years later in 1874, the old Second Congregational Chapel was purchased, and moved beside the meetinghouse of the Detroit Colored Society on Erskine Street.  The Rev C. H. Ward was pastor when the chapel was purchased as Ebenezer?s new home.  Ebenezer prospered well on Erskine Street for the next twenty-five years.

 

In 1901, Reverend C. Emory Allen became Pastor of Ebenezer in a time of a growing migration of Detroit?s Black population.  In his time he became fast friends with a young inventor, Henry Ford, who procured a loan from him while he worked on his inventions.   As a result of this relationship, Rev. Allen was among a select group of Detroiters to see the unveiling of the Model T automobile in the Cadillac Square of downtown Detroit in 1908.  The two men shared a life long relationship as evidenced by many personal letters. 

 

The Rev. Joseph Gomez, an immigrant from Antigua, became pastor of Ebenezer in 1928.  He was an outspoken critic of the Ku Klux Klan and advocated for civil rights for Blacks with other national leaders.  His contributions to African Methodism include the spreading of the church to foreign lands and leadership in two of its colleges- Wilberforce and Paul Quinn College.  Rev. Gomez was eventually elevated to the episcopacy after pastoring other churches.

 

In 1933, Rev. George W. Baber became pastor of Ebenezer, and helped to guide the church through its next period of growth and expansion.  While under Rev. Baber?s leadership, and to rise to the challenges of the depression, the church established an employment bureau and relief agency for families in distress.  In 1935, the church building was purchased for twenty thousand dollars from the United States Government to make way for a clearance project initiated by the Federal Housing Authority.  Seventeen thousand dollars was immediately applied as a down payment on the purchase of Ebenezer?s third building, located on Willis and Brush.  On December 22, 1935 Rev. Baber lead the congregation of 3000 into this magnificent temple.  The congregation housed soldiers in the Dorms of the church During World War II, and Boxing Great, Joe Lewis trained in the gym.   Rev. Baber continued to serve as pastor until he was elected Bishop in 1944. On August 6, 1960 a fire destroyed the main sanctuary of the church, forcing the congregation to locate a new place to worship temporarily.  Services were held at City Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church for a few months, returning to Ebenezer's small chapel on Easter Sunday in 1961.  

 

 

                                                                     

 

Finally on July 12, 1964, Rev. Hubert Robinson led the Ebenezer congregation in what was her fourth move to the present location at 5151 West Chicago Blvd.  The stained glass windows, stone columns, and carved elements contribute to the unique interior of this Sanctuary and are considered elegantly monumental in appearance. 

 

Under the leadership of Dr. Fred E. Stephens-who assumed leadership of Ebenezer in late 1964 after the elevation of Hubert Robinson to the episcopacy- programs for the youth were expanded to include officer training and stewardship.  Personal evangelism was encouraged and the church grew in leaps with new membership.  The church continued its involvement with many areas of civic and religious life such as Operation Uplift (Vietnam) SCLC, Project Mississippi Delta and Hurricane Camille in the gulf coast, the African Art Fund and life membership in the NAACP. He also organized the Men?s Fellowship, provided for air conditioning, and installed an electric carillon in the belfry. 

 

While the Reverend Robert Thomas, Jr., was pastor he was instrumental in having the former Nardin Park, located across street from the church, renamed to the Richard Allen Park.  Today a monument stands within the park, in tribute to our founding father. ?Love Makes the Difference?, and showed his love through dynamic preaching and many outreach efforts into the community.  Rev. Thomas burned the mortgage on the building, and acquired new properties adjacent to the building. The Reverend Robert Thomas, Jr. was elevated to the office of Bishop in 1988.  

                                                      

The Rev. Clarence Robinson became pastor of Ebenezer.  His motto: ?If you make the effort, God will make the Way.?  This theme still echoes through our congregation today.  Reverend Robinson was focused on the youth of the church, and invested many resources in the development of the young people- many of whom would go on to serve the AME church as ministers and officers. 

Rev. Robert L. Phillips, who pastored Ebenezer AME church from 1991 to 1997, became presiding elder of the north district of the Michigan Annual Conference in 1997.  While at Ebenezer, Rev. Phillips implemented the ?You took me in? program, in which the church to provided shelter for the homeless during the bitter cold of winter.    Rev. Robert Phillips also began the process of obtaining an abandoned building by forming a Non-Profit Housing Corporation and acquired the abandoned building, currently located next to the church.  The building was renovated and converted into apartments, providing additional housing to the adjacent community.  This apartment complex was honored by being named after the third pastor to be elected Bishop from Ebenezer AME Church, and is now known as the Robert Thomas, Jr. Apartments.  Rev. Phillips was elevated to the position of Presiding Elder

Dr. H. Michael Lemmons became pastor April 6, 1997, providing leadership of this 1000 member congregation in the completion a $5 million restoration of the Robert Thomas Jr. Apartments, a 48-unit building, a $25,000 repair and restoration of an historic Aeolian Skinner Organ, an instillation of a sound system in the Mother Beverly Thomas Social Hall and the Bishop Hubert N. Robinson Chapel, the consolidation and paving of church parking lots, 2 new church vans, a new roof on a the church parsonage and the church gymnasium, the establishment of an Arts Guild, a Liturgical Dance Ministry, a Greeters Club, the H. Michael Lemmons Archival Library, and the establishment of a church website, www.stoneofhelp.com. In March 2003, Rev. Dr. H. Michael Lemmons appointed a commission to research the process to have Ebenezer recognized as a historical site. The Detroit City Council voted unanimously to approve the recommendation, and the church is now considered a Historical Landmark within the City of Detroit.  Pastor Lemmons was elevated to office of Presiding Elder on October 26, 2008.

 

           Rev. Byron C. Moore was assigned to this pastorate in October 26, 2008.  Rev. Moore made an evident difference in the greater Detroit community. He served as a volunteer for the Detroit Public Schools Compaq Program, where he helped to train leaders of tomorrow in the business ethics and practices of today. Rev. Moore also served as an Adjunct Chaplain for the Children?s Hospital of Michigan, completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) consisting of a 600 hour practicum.  Under his pastorate, Ebenezer took its first steps into a new era.  With an emphasis on personal spiritual growth, Pastor Moore championed the spiritual aspects of Christianity in an age of material gain.  A gifted preacher and teacher,  some 500 persons chose Christ as their savior in his tenure. The Bible Study grew tremendously under his direct guidance. He expanded the role of women in the church, naming his wife, The Rev. Sharon Moore, as his Assistant Pastor.  This ministerial team lead powerful spiritual growth, and revealed the prophetic nature of God to many.  The Boiler Room Ministry and EAGLES ministry underscored the passionate nature of living a spiritual life.  Pastor Moore is also credited with expanding our Stair Steps Ministry, the expansion of neighborhood based programming through the EC3, the church's non-profit outreach entity, and our first steps into a social media ministry through Facebook and Twitter pages.


The Rev. Dr. Mickarl Thomas Sr. was appointed pastor of Ebenezer in March 2014.

The rich history of Ebenezer AME Church is entrenched in the traditions of social and political issues that have faced the Detroit Community as well as the nation.  From its role as ?Champions of Freedom? to its role in Civil Rights,  Ebenezer has made known her responsibility to the community and constantly engaged in cooperative efforts to help make Detroit a better place.  Inclusive of church?s prominent relationships, some of the country?s leading orators, educators and statesmen have appeared at the podium of Ebenezer.  Just to name a few, Mary McLeod Bethune, Walter White, Ralph Bunche, Adam Clayton Powell, former Michigan governors Frank Murphy,  Kim Sigler and G. Mennen Williams, and first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was so impressed with the Choir that she arranged for them to perform in concert. Joe Louis trained within its gymnasium, which also housed Negro soldiers serving in WWII.  In more recent years, Vice President Al Gore, Former Governor James Blanchard, and Detroit Mayors Coleman A. Young, Dennis W. Archer, and Kwame M. Kilpatrick, have all visited the Ebenezer Family.     

 

This is the history of Ebenezer AME Church.  Each moment that we have existed is certainly a moment in Black History?