Church History Israel Baptist Church was founded in 1916 by a prayer band that met in different homes. On April 27, 1918 the prayer band officially called their first pastor, Rev. A.B. Fort. With a $100 down payment, a small house was purchased at 13 Daniel Street from Mrs. Mary Ficklin, which would become the first church sanctuary. Early members of Israel were Sisters Nora Banks, Mary Kay, Gussie Gaither and Sister Anna Sumpter. Some of the first deacons were Deacons William Blair, David Fort, Alberty Mackey, Lamsol Irby and Deacon Lee Hall. Read the full Church History In 1964 Rev William Smith was called, and accepted, the pastorate of Israel Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Rev. Smith Israel's membership continued to soar in great numbers. Shortly after Rev. Smith accepted the pastorate, the church home at 13 Daniel Street was destroyed by fire. Church services were then held at a vacant church, formerly Tuner Monument located at Edgewood and Boulevard.