Our HistoryOur story began in 1902, we're 119 years old now...
NEW NORTHSIDE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1902, Rev. George W. Clemons, by pitching a tent at 2900 block of Semple Avenue began what would become New Northside Missionary Baptist Church. The church was the first Black Baptist church west of Kingshighway Ave.
In 1963, a new pastor, Rev. Willie James Ellis, Jr., would provide explosive growth and transformation leadership for over 47 years. During his tenure the church established a profound presence in the 27th Ward at 8645 Goodfellow Blvd. New Northside would grow to over 2000 members and would build the New Northside Family Life Center; a venue dedicated to providing services to the surrounding community.
New Northside Missionary Baptist Church currently has 530 Active Members.
New Northside serves the community with a youth drumline, The Spirits of New Northside. Over one thousand youth matriculated through this ministry, which teaches discipline, self-esteem, and dignity to at risk youth through music and marching. In the early 1990’s New Northside partnered with Volunteers of America to provide low income housing for seniors through the building of Northside Village Apartments, in Jennings, Missouri.
A new era of community engagement was ushered in under the new leadership provided by Pastor Rodrick Burton. Since 2012 New Northside has worked to reduce infant mortality with Triumph; partnered with the St Louis Area Diaper Bank and Project Downtown to provide an emergency diaper closet in the 27th Ward; partnered with Barack Obama Elementary to raise attendance rates; served the Jennings and St. Louis Public School Districts to meet homeless student’s needs; worked to for community safety by piloting Violence De-escalation with Better Family Life; continuing this work with CURE Violence, under the Urban League; provided seniors with exercise and education by collaborating with OASIS; advocates for energy efficiency and Environmental Justice in St. Louis and the region.
New Northside works with the Interfaith Community as a member of the Interfaith Partnership of St. Louis. This came about in the wake of an arson attack in 2015 on the Church. New Northside also partners with numerous faith coalitions, including Metropolitan Congregations United, 24-1 Clergy Coalition, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition, Ecumenical Leadership Council, Jennings Clergy Coalition, the 27th Ward Clergy Partnership, the Pastoral Fellowship of St. Louis, and others. New Northside also host Meacham Theology Institute to provide affordable graduate training to communities of color.
The world was stricken by a global pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19. Our church had to close its doors for services in April 2020 and did not restart until July of that year. During the pandemic, much of our engagement was through social media platforms and by phone. Despite the national shutdown, New Northside never ceased serving the community by providing child care for essential workers and diapers for poor families at our Family Life Center. The dedication and sacrifice of our members and employees during this dangerous time will never be forgotten. New Northside is a leader in modeling and training other churches on best practices during the pandemic. The Child Development Center received accolades from the St. Louis Health Department for its safe practices. Pastor Burton and the Media Ministry were celebrated for their providing accurate and truthful information about the vaccines to counter disinformation and widespread vaccine hesitancy in our community. These and many more actions have occurred during this pandemic crisis.
St. Louis was the first Missouri city (and one of the largest in the country) to commit to transitioning 100% of its electricity generation to renewable energy from wind and solar, becoming a model for other cities to follow for setting bold targets and achieving them through a community-driven process. New Northside played a critical role in advocating for this historic change. This action was one of many our congregation would take practicing environmental advocacy and confronting environmental injustice.
For 119 years New Northside has and will continue to serve the spiritual needs and improve the lives of those in our surrounding community.