Our History

New Monumental Baptist Church was organized in 1892 by the Rev. H. J. Johnson. It was first called the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and the meetings were held in a rented building at the corner of Eighth and Chestnut Streets. Rev. Johnson served as pastor of the church for five years. The next pastor of the church was Rev. Varner of Macon, Georgia, whose tenure of service was very short. In 1903, Rev. J. B. Miller became pastor of the church and during his tenure the name of the church was changed to New Monumental. Shortly after this time, a building on Douglas Street was acquired to house the growing congregation.
Rev. Miller was succeeded by Rev. M. M. Ward. Under his brilliant leadership, the church experienced great increase in membership. When he resigned to accept a church in Indianapolis, Indiana, the congregation extended a call to Rev. L. T. Simpson. He accepted the call and served as pastor for a short time. The next pastor was Rev. M. W. Moore. He was a dynamic speaker and he served the church longer than any of his predecessors. He was called to his eternal reward in 1920.
The church then called Rev. J. A. Wimberly of Atlanta, Georgia. During his leadership, a division arose and some of the members followed him in the organization of a new body called the Olivet Baptist Church, which is now located on Martin Luther King Boulevard. On the fifth Sunday in July 1922, Rev. G. W. Sanderfur was installed and the installation sermon was preached by Dr. A. M. Townsend. Under Rev. Sanderfur’s leadership, the edifice at 715 East Eighth Street was erected. It was begun in May of 1928 and completed in November of the same year. The dedication sermon was preached by Rev. L. K. Williams, President of the National Baptist Convention.
Since the administration of Rev. Sanderfur, New Monumental has been blessed with faithful, Godly leadership. They are as follows: Rev. Roy D. Morrison, Rev. William C. Upshaw, Rev. J. B. Outlaw, Rev. John N. Cooper, Jr., Rev. Dr. Virgil J. Caldwell (Dr. Caldwell was one of our longest serving pastors. He observed his fortieth anniversary as pastor on August 10, 2008). 
Under Dr. Caldwell’s extraordinary leadership, the church launched a building program in 1983 and by June of 1984, a sizable addition to the church building had been erected. This addition included a library and a spacious recreation room. In 1995, New Monumental underwent a complete renovation so that its sanctuary was one of the most elegant and picturesque edifices in the city of Chattanooga. On the Third Sunday in May of 2001, New Monumental experienced a great blessing, which will go down in history as one of the highlights of our church. On that date, we moved from the building at 715 East Eighth Street to our present location at 901 Woodmore Lane. Because of UTC’s Expansion Program, the changing demographics of this neighborhood and, most importantly, because of God’s Love and Care, we moved into this spacious facility which allows us ample opportunity to provide numerous services to our congregation and the community at large. In December 2008, he retired as minister of New Monumental. 
In June of 2009, Rev. Dr. Roderick L. Ware was installed as the Pastor of the historical New Monumental Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Pastor Ware, New Monumental  grew in membership, discipleship and outreach. Since 2009, the church has had renovation to the exterior of the church campus as well as many upgrades to the interior. We now offer Youth Church, and a nursery which enables us to minister effectively to our growing and diverse congregation. In 2010, Dr. Ware cast the vision for New Monumental to adopt our local Woodmore Elementary School. The church unanimously agreed and now logs over 3000 volunteer hours each school year while also volunteering at Dalewood Middle and Brainerd High School. Numerous ministry opportunities & programs have been added at New Monumental to aid in restoring communities and families.
In February of 2019, Rev. Dr. R. Gregory Odom became the pastor of New Monumental. He is a dynamic leader and teacher. Thus far during his tenure, we have increased in membership and in spiritual growth. Church ministries have been realigned to be more effective and efficient. The church has become the “Community church and not just a church in the community”. We have expanded our digital footprint to reach people around the world. New Monumental currently has a weekly “You Tube” broadcast, “Monumental Praise”, with viewership across the country. 
We are currently renovating and modernizing our campus to provide more outreach and services to our community and our city. We are partnering with external entities to enhance our impact on the Kingdom of God. We are excited and looking forward to what God has in store for this ministry with Dr. Odom as our pastor.
New Monumental believes in Christian Education and Missions, both Home and Foreign. Evidences of these concerns can be seen in our partnerships and sizable contributions to the agencies which support these causes. With God as our Father and Christ as our mediator, we continue to “press toward the mark of the high calling…” We are a church whose goal is EDUCATING the lost and EMPOWERING the saved, through the WORD of God.  The Best Is Yet To Come!