The Atlanta Bible Baptist Church was founded in 1964 by Dr. John McNeal, Jr., with his faithful wife, Earlene, at his side (see Our Pastor ). Going from door-to-door, they shared the gospel throughout southwest Atlanta to the “haves and the have-nots.” They received numerous promises to come to church. Pastor jokes that he is probably “the most lied to pastor in Atlanta” since many failed to keep their word. Undaunted, the McNeals persisted and church services were originally held in the chapel of the Carver Bible Institute and College.
Pastor started the church on three essentials: a desire that no one would be ignorant of the Word of God, men would take their biblical roles in the church and home, and no one would be turned away. The importance of the Word of God was indicated by including the word “Bible” in the name of the church. Pastor wanted to “dispel ignorance” of the Bible in the black community.
In addition, men would serve in positions of leadership as spelled out in the Bible. Specifically, this refers to the offices of pastor/teacher or elder (1 Timothy 3:1-3) and deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13). Opportunities were given to men to fill their biblical roles. For example, at ABBC men have nursery duty along with their wives to reinforce to children that the male is the head of the family (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Finally, since “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11) and because of his experiences, Pastor knew how critical it was that the church doors be open to everyone. “Racism, hatred, and segregation are not a part of God,” says Pastor McNeal. Anyone who wants to can come to ABBC.
Over the years, the Lord has given Pastor many opportunities to get involved and help. For example, several African-American pastors seeking fellowship with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) had been turned away during the Civil Rights era. They had founded the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship Association (FBFA) in 1962. Pastor joined and has since been actively involved in this association of black fundamental evangelicals. He has served three terms as president and is currently the Southern Representative and a member of Steering Council.
ABBC has always had a burden for winning souls and sponsors many home and foreign missionaries. We are a member of the FBFA and the GARBC.