Historic church opens doors as museum

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By Jamal Thomas

December 8, 2019

Montgomery, AL- December 5th, 2019 marked the 64th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Mass Meeting was held at the historic Holt Street Baptist Church.  On that day, the church opened its doors as The Holt Street Baptist Church Museum to help preserve a powerful and great legacy.

In 1998, Holt Street Baptist Church built a new facility at 1870 South Court Street. To honor its rich history, “Memorial” was added to the name and the church became Holt Street Memorial Baptist Church. Today, the vision to restore the original church at 903 Holt Street as a museum has been manifested.

Dr. Willie McClung, Senior Pastor, gave a brief history of Holt Street and the events leading to the boycott. “The Montgomery Bus Boycott launched on this day from this church. This is the birthplace.”

There were pictures and news articles from the boycott on the walls of the sanctuary. From the pictures you can see how many people were at the mass meeting. Hundreds were packed in the pews and the balcony. Another picture showed the fleet of cars that the church had for the boycott.

The basement of the museum is yet to be complete. It will replicate the daycare that was started by Dr. A.W. Wilson in 1941, who was pastor at the time of the boycott. The daycare was the first daycare center for Blacks and was designed primarily to help working mothers.

Attending the program was an experience that I will never forget. I was sitting in the same pews that people sat in who saved our lives. It touched my spirit to be in the same room where people came together to make a difference for me. Through their bravery, courage, and unity I can enjoy civil liberties that I often take for granted. I can walk into any business I want, use any restroom I want, drink from any water fountain I want, and most of all vote. Through their efforts and faith, I know who I am. I know what I am capable of. I can make a change. I am change. Just like we came together as a community 64 years ago, we can come together today.

To see a video of the museum click HERE.

The Holt Street Baptist Church Museum will be officially open within the next few days. For more information or to become a member of The Holt Street Baptist Church Historical Society contact  334-263-0522.

All rights reserved, Gumptown Magazine. Copyright 2019.

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