BNHA Trinity Baptist Church

Interpretive Framework

Gaining Freedom for All: African American Heritage and the Struggle for Equality

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Star Attractions

Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail

Resource Type

Points of Interest

1600 Druid Hill Ave

Baltimore, Maryland 21217

Founded in June 1888, Trinity Baptist Church sprouted from a Sunday school in East Baltimore and in 1920 moved into the former Saint Paul Lutheran Church building. Starting with 14 members, Trinity Baptist grew to become an influential congregation which helped pioneer a kindergarten teacher training program, an evening training school for ministers, and the Baptist Ministers’ Conference. Trinity also became integral in Baltimore’s Civil Rights Movement. The church’s founder, Dr. Gamett Russell Waller, was Maryland’s representative to the Niagara Movement, a national civil rights organization founded in 1905 and spearheaded by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois.

Waller co-founded Baltimore’s NAACP and the Colored YMCA with Dr. Harvey Johnson and Mr. S.S. Booker, a Trinity Baptist lay member. Trinity’s seventh pastor, Reverend William C. Calhoun, Sr., established the first ecumenical TV broadcast ministry, Lift Every Voice, portraying the diversity of worship in black churches. The program aired for nearly 25 years on Baltimore’s WMAR TV. The church is aligned with the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Churches, USA.