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Paradise Missionary Baptist Church (Atlanta, Ga.) Records

Identifier: aarl015-001

Scope and Contents

The Paradise Missionary Baptist Church Collection dates from 1947 to 2013 and it consists of Church Anniversaries, Special Events, Social Clubs, Correspondences and a Photograph collection.


  • 1930-2015

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Paradise Missionary Baptist Church was developed from a community Sunday school created by Dinah Watts Pace in the Atlanta neighborhood of Summerhill in 1865. In 1870 the church was officially formed and named Pleasant Grove Baptist (which was located on Grove Street) under the leadership of Reverend Robert Epps who resigned in 1875. Epps' successor Reverend C.O. Jones helped to grow the church's membership and the congregation was forced to move to a larger location on Reed Street.

The church was officially named Reed Street Baptist under the leadership of C.O. Jones and was finally given the name Paradise under the pastorship of its longest-serving reverend, Clifford Nathaniel Ellis, 1934-1980. *Under his leadership, Reed Street grew in unprecedented terms which led to major renovations of the Fraser Street church, the construction of a state-of-the-art Educational Building, major bus ministries and the establishment of new church auxiliaries. When the building of the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium forced relocation of the church, Rev. Ellis provided strong guidance, leading the church to a new northwest community location.

Rev. Dr. Ellis founded the WSB Chariot Wheels Radio Program, one of the first African-American gospel broadcasts in the nation. He also spearheaded the first integrated audience at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium during the Convention of the Alliance of World Churches. His affiliations included membership on the Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Rev. Dr. Ellis was married to Vashti Scott Ellis, a sister of the legendary W.A. Scott, II, founder of the Atlanta Daily world, one of the oldest African-American newspapers still in existence in the United States.* Paradise Missionary Baptist Church has had a total of eleven pastors and four interim pastors; Robert Epps (1870-1875), C.O. Jones (1876-1900), J.A. Pinson (1901-1902), Dr. Edwin Posey Johnson (1902-1929), Dr. Ralph W. Riley (1930-1932), Dr. Clifford Nathaniel Ellis (1934-1980), Dr. Nathaniel T. Young (1980-1981), Edward William Lumpkin (1981-1989), W. Thomas Pullen Jr. (June 1989- January 1990), James Edward Bullard (1990-1992), Stanley Calloway (1992-1995), Associate Pastor Lewis E. Baker, Sr. (1995-1999), Dr. Jesse J. Walker (1997-2002), Associate Pastor Charles W. Walker, Sr. (2002-2004), Dr. Charles A. Harper III (2004-Present)

Paradise Missionary Baptist Church currently stands in Bankhead, at 1711 Donald L. Hollowell Pkwy. Reverend, Dr. Charles A. Harper leads the congregation.

* Taken from the history section of the Paradise Missionary Baptist Church website


7 Linear Feet