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About Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church



In the late 1920’s, amidst the October 27, 1928, stock market crash, the Reverend H.B. Mitchell, obeying the word of God, along with a group of influential members of the African American Community, consisting of: L.C. Heath, Nero Arthur, Sylvester Earles and Robert Smith, met at the law office of Sanford W. Brown on College Street. There, the group purchased land from William Dixon and wife Cornelia Dixon, situated at the intersection of Livingston Street and Victoria Street, in the City of Asheville.  Subsequent  thereto, despite the onset of the Great Depression, with high unemployment especially in the Black communities and a decline of black owned real property, Rev. Mitchell and his disciples of God, constructed a brick frame building on the land purchased from the Dixons. On December 20, 1930, the brick building became home to MITCHELL TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH.


During the next five years, under the leadership of Rev. Mitchell, MITCHELL TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH WAS renamed, TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.  In 1935, following Rev. Mitchell’s death, the early deacons: Brother B. Frank Thomas; Brother Sylvester Earles, Brother Robert Smith, Brother L.C. Edwards, Brother J.H. Heath and Brother Nero Arthur, made several Interim appointments as follows: Rev. Ingram 1935-1936; Rev. T. N. Moss 1936-1942; Rev. J.T. Lasater 1943-1947 and Rev. Acker 1948-6 months. In 1948, the deacons appointed and installed the second pastor, Rev. E. W Posey, who would serve until 1966. In 1966, the Rev. Chaplin Hills Morris was appointed Interim until 1967, when Rev. Clydell Johnson was appointed and installed as the third pastor in the Church’s history. Rev. Johnson would serve from 1967 to 1988.


During the tenure of Rev. Johnson, the beloved brick fame building that had become the church home to so many and the pride and joy of the Black Community went up in flames.  Upon investigation, the fire was deemed to have been intentionally set and declared to be Arson. The fire was set in the women’s choir room which quickly spread throughout the building, totally destroying the church, at 4:20 a.m. on Friday, October 13, 1972.  Rev. Johnson along with the parishioners soldiered on, holding church at the headquarters of the Opportunity Corporation of Madison and Buncombe Counties at 133 Livingston Street, until another facility could be located. In 1973, the Young Adults of Tabernacle commenced a fund raising effort to raise $45,000 to rebuild the church.  In the meantime, under the leadership of Rev. Johnson, a new church building was acquired, the Historical Church and School for St. Anthony of Padua.  Located at 56 Walton Street, the building was part of the St. Anthony of Padua parish, which opened its doors as a school, serving primarily African American Students, on September 28, 1936, by the Franciscan Sisters of Alleghany.  The Sisters remained until 1969 when they withdrew and the school closed but, not without having left a profound impact on the numerous local African American families whose children attended the school, one such person being Theodis Beck, appointed by former North Carolina Governor Michael Easley, as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Corrections. (  http://bio  ). Rev. Johnson continued to lead the congregation, holding church services at its new facility, the historical church and School of St. Anthony’s of Padua, until his retirement in the late 1980’s.


In September of 1988, a young minister, John W. Brewster, his wife and four children arrived in Asheville.  The young John Brewster, hailing from Birmingham, Alabama was asked to address the congregation of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, which he did in September, 1988.  The congregation led by its Deacons and Trustees asked the young John Brewster to address the congregation several times, concluding in an offer to the young young John Brewster to become the Pastor of the TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.  Despite being courted by several local churches as a potential candidate for a pastor position, the young John Brewster, having seen the vision of God in a dream, accepted TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH’S offer.  According to Pastor Brewster, one night before being offered the position of pastor of TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, he had a dream.  In that dream, the young John Brewster recalls feeling highly favored by God to lead his people in the Asheville area. As the young John Brewster slowly awaken from the dream, he saw the image of two brown doors coming together.  The next day, when offered the position of Pastor of TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, according to Pastor Brewster, he stood facing two brown doors.  Having been called by God to pastor the TABERNACLE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, Pastor Brewster readily admits that he is there to serve until God instructs him otherwise.  To date, God has not instructed him otherwise.


Under the leadership of Pastor Brewster, the church mortgage was paid off and the Church embarked upon numerous successful projects as more particularly described under the Menu herein entitled: “About Our Pastor.” The church continues to grow annually, with the addition of numerous new souls being saved, baptized and added to the church roll.


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Tabernacle Missionary
Baptist Church

56 Walton Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Phone (828) 255-0054

Service Times

Sunday School
9:45 am

Sunday Service
11:00 am

Bible Study
Wed 6:00pm