Our History


 
In 1909, a group of baptized believers were united under the leadership of Rev. Hamlet, forming the 10th black Baptist church in Columbus, New Salem Baptist Church. Starting at the intersection of Spruce and City Avenues, the newly formed Church soon moved to City and Charles Streets, remaining there until 1920.
 
The Church again moved in 1929 to 329 North Garfield Avenue, changing its name to Big Bethel Baptist Church. The small congregation believed that the word "Big" would suggest grandeur and project a larger image through out the Church community.
 
Between the years of 1909 and 1958, many pastors served the small congregation. Rev. Frank Cleveland was called to pastor New Salem in 1958 when the church was located on St. Clair Avenue. Under his leadership, major purchases and building improvements were accomplished. More importantly, a new spiritual awakening occurred and the membership began to grow. In 1960, the Church moved to 487 North Champion Avenue in a building with only a lower auditorium. By 1966, the mortgage had been paid, and the upper story of the building had been completed. The growing membership continued making major purchases and improvements to the building on North Champion.
 
In October 1983, Dr. Keith A. Troy was called to pastor New Salem. At Easter Sunrise Service, April 3, 1988, the Church held its last Baptism and Holy Communion Service on Champion Avenue. Following the Prayer of Thanksgiving, 200+ cars traveled to the present Cleveland Avenue location. From 1988 to the present, God has blessed New Salem with a growth in membership from 400 to 5,000.