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About TBC | History


Tabernacle Baptist is a ministry born out of a vision, given to the pastor in 1972. The vision challenged the heart of the pastor to enter into the ministry, primarily to address the spiritual needs of the Black community.  

Pastor Wheeler was licensed to preach the gospel by First Baptist of Accokeek, MD on July 4, 1976. Having a passion for souls, the Lord burdened our pastor’s heart to reach the Shirley Duke community with the gospel. With the help and support of men like Tom George, John Perry, and Clyde Pearson, a home Bible class was established. The Bible class began to grow as men and women hungered for the living bread. It was not long before the Bible class moved into the art room of Patrick Henry Elementary School, Alexandria, Virginia. 

With no Independent Baptist Churches in the area, Brother Tom George came up with the idea of starting a church. As a young preacher, it was understood that Brother George, who was Pastor Wheeler’s senior and mentor, was to be the pastor of this inner city work. However, circumstances and situations would not permit Brother George starting the work; thus the mantel fell upon the young and inexperienced preacher. With a group of faithful and committed young believers, First Baptist of Shirley Duke was established in 1977. Members enthusiastically shared their faith and the power and authority of the Word of God began to impact families and communities for Christ. Throughout the years, the church has transitioned from First Baptist of Shirley Duke to First Baptist of Foxchase, to now: Tabernacle Baptist Church. 

The Lord has blessed Tabernacle with an unyielding conviction that: God’s Word is the answer to Man’s questions and that the Lord Jesus is the solution to man’s problems.

For over thirty-five years, Tabernacle has stood upon the unchanging Word of God, in these compromising and challenging times.

Today, Tabernacle Baptist Church (TBC) is a multicultural congregation which worships the Lord in spirit and in truth. With a passion for souls and a burden for a backslidden nation, Tabernacle prays to see the flames of revival ignite in our churches once again.

Looking back at the 35 years of ministry of Tabernacle, many of the unsung heroes have gone home to be with the Lord.  We praise God for the late Brother Robert Milton, a true soul winner; the late Sister June Pearson, a godly example to all the ladies; Sister Bobbie McGee a spiritual inspiration to us all; Sister Carlista Jackson, who spread love and kisses to all; Sister Nancy Moore, who adopted the pastor as her son; and just this year our dear Sister Florence Contee, a real soldier for the cause of Christ.

Tabernacle will forever be grateful for the faithful service of its members and for all those who are still on the battlefield laboring until Jesus comes. May the Lord continue to show us His mercy and grace as we march on to victory. One glorious day, we shall see our Lord face to face. 

Looking unto Jesus, Tabernacle Baptist “a little church...with a big message”.

To God be the glory great things He has done!