In 1914, the New Bethel and Galilee Baptist Churches united their congregations into one church. A new building was constructed on what was then Forty-fifth Street and the church was named Forty-Fifth Street Baptist Church. Rev. A G. McKinley served as pastor.
The Rev. R.N. Hall, president of the North East District State Convention, presided at the first election of officers of the combined churches. Rev. A.G. McKinley served as pastor from 1914–1919. Among the organizers were: Mrs. Pearl Little and Mr. William Green from the Galilee Baptist Church and Mr. and Mrs. William and Melvin Harper and Mr. A.J. Seymour from New Bethel Baptist Church.
The membership marched to the new building in February 1916. In December 1919, Rev. J. S. Gamble was called as pastor and served until 1927.
The next pastor was Rev. S. A. Bostic in 1928. Rev. Reid, Rev. A. Garner and Rev. William Walton served for brief periods following this time. It was during the administration of Rev. Walton that the church was torn down and cleared away for the construction of a new building. Rev. Hobart Oden, Sr., served as interim minister. Rev. Jeff Thomas and Rev. Henderson Huguley also provided spiritual guidance during this time.
Rev. L. M. Turner was called as pastor of the church in 1939 and under his strong administration, he led the congregation in the building and completion of our new church. Brother William Haynes and others worked diligently to aid in construction of the church. Brother Haynes drew the plans for the front of the building. The members marched triumphantly into the new church on December 10, 1939 singing “So Glad I’m Here.”
The members will long remember this day as their homecoming day. A new day had dawned. They were inspired, encouraged and determined to unite themselves for the service of God. The acquisition and expansion of church property were high priorities of the church program. Rev. Turner served until God called him home in 1966. Rev. Turner left memorable works for Forty-Fifth Street to remember and build on.
Rev. Hobart Oden, Jr. was the next pastor of Forty-Fifth Street Baptist Church. The members were inspired by Rev. Oden in his lead to renovate and beautify the church, as well as to increase the membership. The Sunday morning radio services highlighted his ministry. We will always remember him for his deep involvement in the study of Christian education. In 1971, God called him from labor to reward.
Rev. Carlington J. McGlothan served as interim pastor following the death of Rev. Oden. He was then called to the pastorate in 1972. During his tenure as pastor, the church grew and many ministries were started, including a church nursery and transportation ministry. The old building at 1209 Coosa Street was sold in 1991, as a result of the US Village Creek Flood Project and a new place of worship was purchased in full at 7600 Division Avenue. The first service was held on Sunday, September 22, 1991. At the new location, the church underwent renovation, to include installation of a baptismal pool. The home next door was purchased and demolished to create additional parking to accommodate current worshippers and potential growth. He served until his retirement in May, 2003. Rev. George Johnson was selected as pulpit conductor to serve as spiritual leader of the congregation.
In 2004, Rev. Andra D. Sparks was called to serve at the ninth pastor of Forty-Fifth Street Baptist Church and remains in that capacity today. Rev. Sparks sought to re-energize the church’s internal and external fellowship. In January 2006, the “Time to Build” capital campaign began. From August 2008 until December 2008, the church underwent major renovations to update the current structure and worship services were held in Barrett Elementary. Members returned to a new sanctuary on the second Sunday in January 2009.