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In the year 1874, three ex-slaves, Henry Rhodes, Mount Carlton and Williams Price organized the New Sardis Baptist Church in the Southeast area of Shelby County.

​These visionary men purchased two acres of land and built a “bush harbor” for worship and divided the land into two parts: A Church Campus and a Burial Ground. For more than one hundred years, New Sardis has stood as the beacon of spiritual light in this community.

​The Church experienced changes in leadership during its existence. Some of the Past Pastors include:

  • Reverend Isaac Cotton
  • Reverend J. W. Wilkerson
  • Reverend Charlie Campbell
  • Reverend J. W. Sinclair
  • Reverend A. Y. Crutcher (who served two different times)
  • Reverend D. G. Gray
  • Pastor Emeritus Dr. L. LaSimba. M. Gray, Jr.

The church is currently under the divine leadership of Reverend Darell L. Harrington and because of phenomenal growth and a committed membership, New Sardis is serving the community through ministries of preaching, teaching and advocacy.

Beyond the original vision of a church and a cemetery, New Sardis Missionary Baptist Church has expanded what the founders dreamed. Today, the campus sprawls several acres. It includes a main sanctuary that holds thousands, a dance studio that seats hundreds, a full gym, a commercial kitchen, a child care facility, dozens of classrooms, a world-class African American history museum complete with over a dozen exhibits, an additional sanctuary that holds hundreds & more!  Adjacent to the main facility, is the Neshoba Resource Community Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that serves as an incubator for African American business owners, an emergency shelter for those in need, a food pantry, clothes closet, and meeting space for the community.  In 2016, the church also became home to Memphis’ only official Lupus Support Group & Resource Center.

​Great things are happening at #newsardis. Click our hashtag on all social media outlets to explore!