Side A: The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church (GABC) organized with 250 members on December 16, 1945, at a Phillis Wheatley Association meeting. Led by its first pastor, Rev. John Rollins Plummer, the congregation raised $47,000 to purchase the Jewish Synagogue at East 105th Street and Tacoma Avenue from the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Beth Israel Congregation in 1946. It later purchased a parsonage, land for parking, and created a Federal Credit Union. Tragically, Rev. Plummer was killed in a car accident on October 22, 1951. The church’s lower auditorium was remodeled and dedicated as J.R. Plummer Memorial Hall. Honoring its missionary and pastoral care foundations, the church built a $3M senior citizens complex nearby. An endowment fund, instituted by its pastor’s savings in 1995, ensures that this commitment to civic leadership endures.
Side B: The Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church (GABC), for more than 75 years, has fought for civil and economic rights. In 1963, the United Freedom Movement (UFM) was headquartered at GABC and fought to desegregate Cleveland schools, encourage Black unity, and seed Black political power. Church leadership organized local clergy to help elect Carl B. Stokes, the nation’s first Black mayor of a major U.S. city. Prestigious local and state government positions derived from church leaders advocating for racial and economic equality. In 2012, the Church leadership’s revival of the local chapter of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and its long history of social activism, resulted in the enshrinement of symbolic footprints in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.