The History of The Dixie Hills First Baptist

In the first quarter of 1932, a small group, led by Rev. B. D. Howard, Rev. J. H. Alphabet and Brother J. H. White families, began to hold weekly meetings and Sunday School every Sunday. When the suggestion came about to begin a church, as one was needed in the community, it was wholeheartedly endorsed and by the group. The following is a chronological tablet of the church’s many milestones:

September 18, 1932
A presbytery was formed to organize a Missionary Baptist church. The presbytery Included Rev. P. J. Steels, Rev. R. R. King, Rev. C. H. Patterson, Deacon F. Harris and Deacon Ben Walton.

May 1933

Rev. B. D. Howard was called as pastor for as long as he and the church could agree. On the first Sunday in May 1933, the church was organized in the home of the Rev. B. D. Howard at 385 Spellman Street. Churches and pastors assisting in organizing the church included Springfield Baptist Church, and Pastor Rev. T. J. Johnson, Mt. Zion Baptist Church Carey Park and Pastor Rev. J. B. Thrasher, and Welcome Baptist Church, Rev. P. J. Steele, Pastor. And the church was officially licensed to use the name Dixie Hills First Baptist Church.

The first chartered members were: Rev. B. D. Howard, Rev. O. R. Alphabet, Rev. J. H. Alphabet, Sister Willie Howard, Brother John White, and Sister Susie Thomas. Rev. Howard. For the next five years Rev. Howard labored successfully toward building up the church. Forty-seven (47) members came into the church by baptism and forty-three (43) by Christian experience; three deacons were ordained: Brother Sam Marsh, Brother A. Green and Brother James Harris.


Ground was purchased for the present site and a small frame building erected.

Following Rev. Howard as pastor, were Rev. J. J. Hall, Rev. I. S. Mack, Rev. J. H. Alphabet, Rev. J. H. Sanders, Rev. A. G. Davis, Rev. R. D. Sutton and present pastor, Rev. R. B. Sutton.


The Rev. R. D. Sutton was called to pastor the forty-two (42) members. After four years of prayer and hard work, the cornerstone of the second church building was laid on May 29, 1949.

September 27, 1953 Burned mortgage on the second building. During Rev. R. D. Sutton’s tenure, a building fund was initiated for the purpose of renovating the second church building. The fund became the seed money for constructing the present building.


On the fourth Sunday in July of 1968, the church family was saddened by the death of their beloved pastor. However, still praying for guidance, the congregation voted to elect the energetic and faithful youth pastor, Rev. R. B. Sutton.

Rev. R. B. Sutton became the leader of the church carrying on the work of his father. Since then the church has been blessed with many new members, and the organization of the church has been strengthened greatly. Due to Rev. Sutton’s leadership and the cooperation of his deacons and trustees, the membership was successful in purchasing additional property on Morehouse Drive, and on Spellman Street. After much prayer and with faith that our Heavenly Father would provide for our needs, the decision was made to erect a new building. There was a need for a growing congregation and a place for training the young people of this community. At this time, the late Deacon Nathaniel Walker, Sr. was chairman of the Deacon Board and Deacon Mack Akridge was chairman of the Trustee Board. Along with Pastor Sutton and the other officers, these men moved forward and secured a loan to build together the present edifice.


The membership vacated the old building in 1972 and the work began. Sunday worship services were held at Turner High and Douglas High Schools for the next two years until the new building was completed. All business meetings and choir rehearsals were held in the church’s property on Spellman Street.

May 12, 1974

It was a joyful and thankful occasion when the Dixie Hills First Baptist Church was dedicated on. After dedicatory services were held outside, the ribbon was cut; the deacons and church officials led the congregation into the sanctuary for the morning services. The Re-Entry Services continued through the third Sunday in May.

In the following years, many new projects were accomplished. The addition of the chimes has brought joy to the entire community, warming hearts twice daily with melodious, religious tones. A ramp was built which provides handicapped persons ready access to the church building. A Boy Scout Troup No. 238 and Girl Scout Troup under the sponsorship of the church were organized.

September 1985

The Red Circle, youth missionary circle, under the leadership of Mrs. Jessie Akridge, presented the church with the Christian Flag and the United States Flag. These flags have been an appropriate addition to the church sanctuary.

December 1985

The first unit of the church was dedicated and named “The Albert Woodard Fellowship” in honor of the late Deacon Albert Woodard, December 12, 1985. Deacon Woodard served faithfully as a Deacon and as Sunday School Superintendent for many years.

March 6, 1988

The church held mortgage-burning services for the current building; conducted by Rev. R. B. Sutton, Deacon Board Chairman W. B. Releford, Trustee Board Chairman Mack Akridge, and Deacon Charlie L. Davis.

Purchased its first van for transporting members and is used in outreach ministry.

A lighted communication sign was purchased and more modern equipment was bought for the church office.

The church has been blessed to have some of its young men called into the service of the Lord as ministers. All have been trained to carry out ministerial duties under the watchful eye of the Pastor, Rev. R. B. Sutton.

1969: First were the late Rev. Lloyd Hammond and Rev. Orange Weems.
1979: The late Rev. Ronnie Thomas (deceased) and Rev. Melvin Allen Tukes
1989: Rev. Michael E. Sutton, Rev. Howard Beckham and Rev. Chesley Forest
1991: Rev. Delvin Talton and Rev. Bobby Y. Grimes
1992: Rev. Alfred Watkins, Sr., and Rev. Alfred Wheeler
1995: Rev. Terry Tolbert (deceased) was called to the ministry
2002: Rev. James Talton (2002) and Rev. Reginald Jackson in 2007.
1994: The church was blessed to purchase the property located at 1996 Morehouse Drive. It is the members’ goal to build a multi-purpose building.
1997: Paved the parking lot directly in front of the church (Morehouse Drive) and Purchased the property at 235 Morris Brown Avenue (next door) Fenced the parking lot across from the church.

February 2005

Purchased the property immediately behind the church at 239 Spellman. All are integral to the growth of the church and its purpose for the community; to bring others to Christ. We thank God for allowing us to add a lift for the convenience of our members.

Dixie Hills First Baptist Church is working to serve the community through its outreach ministry and youth training programs. Religious training for the youth of the church and community is provided through Sunday School, Bible Study, Vacation Bible School, the Red Circle and Youth Training Programs of the local, state and national associations. In addition, the Education Committee provides enrichment activities and learning experiences for the youth.

The Church’s outreach ministry has provided assistance for the needy in the community; fed the homeless in conjunction with neighboring churches, visited the nursing homes, contributed to the United Negro (UNCF), the Morehouse School of Religion, the Baptist Foreign Mission Bureau and provided used church literature and Bibles for a church in England and presently for the QLS in Atlanta supported a women’s shelter and various nursing homes in the community and the greater metropolitan area.

May 8, 2004

The board of Trustees of Carver Bible College conferred upon our Pastor, Rev. R. B. Sutton, the Degree of Doctor of Divinity. The Lord is continuing to bless His church and add to the preaching of his word.

November 14, 2010

The ministerial staff was increased with three additional ministers; Rev. Oscar Williams, Rev. Render Russell and Rev. Clifford Longino. Dixie Hills First Baptist Church is mindful of its MISSION to serve others and WORK to introduce others to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

December 2, 2012

Dixie Hills First Baptist Church celebrated its 80th anniversary and is ever thankful for its many blessings.

© 2013 Dixie Hills First Baptist Church All Rights Reserved .
Graphic Design by Lamore Thompkins & Stacey Woods
Web Development by BIE Media Group