The church was founded in 1877.
Vernon Johns, considered by some as the father of the American Civil Rights Movement, was pastor of the church from 1947 to 1952.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor of the church from 1954 to 1960.
The church's name was changed to the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in 1978.
The former parsonage, where many of the church's pastors lived, is now a museum.