Bronx elected officials, family and friends came together on Easter weekend to honor Dr. Henry Bolden, the founding pastor of the Greater Eternal Baptist Church in Melrose for more than 50 years.
The intersection of Elton Avenue and East 156th Street just outside of the Baptist church will now officially be known as “Reverend Dr. Henry Bolden Boulevard.”
“No better way to celebrate Easter weekend than with uplifting songs and celebration, as we honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Henry Bolden with friends, family and community at Greater Eternal Baptist Church in Melrose,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. on Twitter.
Reverend Bolden, a pastor for more than 70 years, was born in Bluston, South Carolina, in 1933. He was raised in the countryside and received his calling into the gospel ministry at a young age. Later, he moved to Grace Baptist Church in Detroit, where he was elected pastor. He spent years serving as a pastorate in different churches throughout the Bronx, then went on to found the Greater Eternal Baptist Church in 1969.
During his career at the church, he taught, licensed and ordained countless individuals into the offices of the gospel ministry.
At the commemoration of his 50th year as a pastor, the National Baptist Convention honored him for his five decades of service to God and his community.
“For more than 70 years, thousands upon thousands of people turned to Rev. Bolden for spiritual and personal guidance,” said Salamanca in a news release. “More than a pastor, Rev. Bolden was a beloved husband, father and uncle to the extended Bolden family, and a dear friend to the many people he interacted with throughout his travels as a pastor.”