As did most predominantly black churches around the country and in Kentucky, the roots of Main Street Baptist Church start with a former slave. In 1854, Pastor Frederick Braxton led and built the First Baptist Church at DeWeese and Short Streets. During his tenure, there was much dissension due to differing political views. Pastor Braxton, with 500 members, left the DeWeese Street location to start a new church at Main and Locust streets. In 1862 with the help of Samuel Johnson of Lexington, Pastor Braxton organized and became the first pastor of the Independent Baptist Church, which was located on land Mary Todd Lincoln’s family once owned.
John DeGarris purchased the property in 1853 from the heirs of Eliza Todd, Mary Todd Lincoln’s mother. According to the 1863 deed, John DeGarris conveyed the church property to Pastor Braxton as the Trustee of the Independent Baptist Church for $3,000. Abraham Lincoln, the country’s 16th President, name is recorded on the church’s original deed dated August 20, 1863.
During the leadership of the 2nd Pastor, William Gray, the name was changed from the Independent Baptist Church to Main Street Baptist Church. Several churches sprouted from the roots of Main Street Baptist Church: Lansomboro Baptist Church (now known as Greater Liberty Baptist Church), Mount Gilead Baptist Church, Houston Baptist Church, Bracktown Baptist Church, Maddoxtown Baptist Church, Fort Springs Baptist Church and Shiloh Baptist Church.
By the Hand of the Sovereign God we have been led by:
Pastor Frederick Braxton - 1st Pastor; 1854 to 1876 ; Pastor William Gray - 2nd Pastor; 1877 to 1883 ; Pastor Eugene Evans - 3rd Pastor; 1883 to 1884 ; Pastor George M. Moore - 4th Pastor; 1884 to 1896; Pastor Robert Mitchell - 5th Pastor; 1896 - 1898; Pastor E. A. Edwards - 6th Pastor; 1898 - 1901 ; Pastor Charles Douglas - 7th Pastor; 1901 - 1905 ; Pastor R. T. Frye - 8th Pastor; 1905 - 1909 ; Pastor L. N. Cheeks - 9th Pastor; 1909 to 1912 ; Pastor J. J. McCutcheon -10th Pastor; 1913 to 1923 ; Pastor James W. Gibson - 11th Pastor; 1923 to 1948 ; Pastor Reggie H. Johnson - 12th Pastor; 1948 to 1975 ; Pastor Benjamin S. Baker - 13th Pastor; 1976 to 1988;
Elder Dennis J. Ward - 14th Pastor; 1989 to 2008
On April 26, 2010, by the power of the Holy Spirit Pastor Victor G. Sholar was called as the 15th Pastor. He shepherds God's flock, standing on the shoulders of the past great pastors of this church, seeking to continue to build up God's church-glorifying the Sovereign Lord Jesus-the Head of the Christian Church. Pastor's Sholar's vision for the church can be found in Colossians 1:28:
"Whom we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."