Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church

The History of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church

In 1889, Willie Whitfield and James Austell organized a Sunday school for residents of South Melbourne and North Palm Bay, Florida. The Sunday school assembled under an oak tree located on what is now the north end of Lipscomb Street in Melbourne, Florida. Methodist and Baptist Christians held Sunday school jointly under the oak tree for several years, and there were two classes – an adult class taught by Brother Whitfield and a class for children taught by Brother Austell.

By 1891, building plans were well underway. The church, to be named Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, was founded and organized by Reverend Miller; Reverend Sylvester Lawrence spearheaded the fundraising efforts. During this time, there were no roads or railroads in Brevard County that extended south of Titusville, so lumber for the church building had to be transported from Titusville to Melbourne on the Indian River. Reverend Miller built a barge and with the help of Brother Austell and Reverend Patrick Henry, rafted the building materials down the river to the church site. Through the dedicated service of the Sunday school members, the church building eventually became a dream come true. It was a simple structure, a one-room house with a window on each side of the four walls and two doors. The completed structure was furnished with six wooden benches and four straw bottom chairs. Early in 1912, Macedonia experienced considerable growth with a new church building constructed. The new facility was a building (of typical church architecture) approximately twenty square feet located on Brothers Avenue. Reverend Parson Miller was the pastor.

For more than a century, Macedonia has been lead by several pastors. The longest tenured pastor was Reverend John W. Taylor, Sr. who served Macedonia for more than thirty years. 

It was during Reverend Taylor’s pastorate that the present church structure became a reality. Plans for the new church building began in 1963 with Deacon Eddie L. Thomas and Brother Azie Horne who organized fundraising projects and rallies. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in May, 1970, and on Sunday, August 17, 1975, Macedonia held its dedication service. Reverend C. A. Weaver of Day Spring Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida delivered the inspirational message. Macedonia’s present Pastor, Reverend Nathaniel L. Harris, was ordained by Pastor John W. Taylor on August 23, 1987 at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. In 1990, upon the retirement of Reverend Taylor, Reverend Harris was asked to serve as Interim Pastor. On February 9, 1992, Reverend Harris was voted in by the membership and installed as pastor.

During the 1990s and early on in Pastor Harris’ tenure, Macedonia continued growing at a pace that demanded building improvements and expansion which culminated in the capital development project to construct what was initially called the Family Life Center. God provided the finances and Pastor Harris received overwhelming agreement and support from the membership to begin this building project. Under the managerial skills of Brother Jerry Phillips, the construction project began. Macedonia hired the Madison Architect Group of Maryland to design a facility that would accentuate and connect to our current sanctuary. Archer Construction Company of Palm Bay was hired to construct the facility. On Sunday, October 20, 1996, city officials and religious leaders from Melbourne and Palm Bay were invited to the 11:00 A.M. Worship Service for the ground breaking celebration of the future Family Life Center. Upon its completion in 2001, the Family Life Center contained a library; current audio/video recording and projection technology that bridged the sanctuary with the Family Life Center; fifteen classrooms; an elevator; administrative office space; a fellowship hall with a stage for performances; and a full-service kitchen with serving counters. The Dedication/Unveiling Ceremony of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church Family Life Center in honor of Reverend John W. Taylor commenced on October 21, 2001 which effectively changed the name of the facility to the Rev. John W. Taylor Family Life Center. The Rev. John W. Taylor Family Life Center continues to be open and available as a center for community-centered and Holy Spirit-filled activities. For its long-standing history of love and service in the community, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church of Melbourne, Florida, was bestowed with the honor of the Union Cypress Sawmill Historic Marker designation. This designation was given to Macedonia by Mayor Harry Goode of the City of Melbourne during the dedication ceremony on June 16, 2009, at 5:30 P.M.

MACEDONIA CONTINUES TO FLOURISH as a beacon of love, service, and hope with a solid foundation in Jesus Christ and an emphasis on Kingdom-building work. With its many saints, disciples and prophets, Macedonia is truly a blessed congregation in the continued teaching and preaching of the truth, of “thus saith the Lord” where many souls continue to come forth confessing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. To God be the Glory!


8.00 and 10.45 a.m.
Sunday School: 9.15 a.m.
Holy Communion (1st Sunday): 8.00 and 10.45 a.m.
Bible Study (Tuesday): Children 6.00 p.m./Adults 7.00 p.m.
Noon Day Prayer (Wednesday): 12.00 p.m.