A Downtown Flushing church celebrated its 151st anniversary Nov. 14.
Ebenezer Baptist Church has stood at 36-12 Prince St. since it was founded in 1870. In that century and a half, the church and its congregants have become a vital aspect of the Downtown Flushing community. The southwest corner of Prince Street and Northern Boulevard was even co-named “Dr. T. P. Mitchell Way” by the city in 2013 to honor the late and longtime Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor.
The congregants celebrated the anniversary with a gathering in the church social hall. The event was slightly bigger than last year’s, but was still scaled down from anniversary parties in the past — Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its anniversary on the second Sunday of every November.
The history of the church and its impact on the community were on full display. Church Historian Gails Bridges laid out old fliers, pamphlets, other documents, pictures, newspaper stories and more for congregants to sort through and recall some of the church’s highlights.
Many of the artifacts related to the church’s support for transforming the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground from a park space, known as Martin’s Field until 2006, into a proper memorial for the hundreds of African and Native American individuals buried there. The decades-long effort was finalized with an epitaph etched with 300 of the deceased names that was dedicated on Nov. 9.
“Our plan is to open a historical room and a library, but that may be in the spring of next year,” said Bridges, noting that the church historians who came before her were meticulous in their preservation efforts. “Since it’s our anniversary, I decided to display some of our history.”