Founded two decades before the Civil War, Gray’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest black congregations in the area. The church was organized as a congregation for freedmen and slaves and has continued to serve African Americans for more than 150 years.
One of its founders, Joseph “Free Joe” Harris was also the first preacher and the master carpenter during construction. Harris began preaching at Gray’s Creek in February of 1843, when most of the members were slaves. They met twice a month in a small, white-frame building in Eads. The annual revival began the third Sunday in August and lasted until Baptism, the first Sunday in September.
Joseph Harris and the preachers who followed him built a church that has lasted through wars, depressions, and prosperity.
Gray’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church is located today at Airline Rd. at Stage Rd.