The West Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational Association was organized in 1884 at Tabernacle Baptist Church, Memphis, pastored of Rev. R. N, Countee. Rev. A. L. McCargo who later became pastor or Salem Gilfield was on the original committee of the organization – He served as a Moderator.
The Educational objective of the Association was to support Howe Institute, later Owen College, and today LeMoyne-Owen College.
The West Tennessee B. M. & E. Association gives most of its funds to support missions and education.
Salem Gilfield is still actively involved in the West Tennessee B. M. & E. Association.
The Memphis Baptist Congress of Christian Education was organized in 1936 at the First Baptist Church of St. Paul Avenue, pastored by Dr. T. O. Fuller (Now First Baptist Church – Lauderdale. Former pastors of Salem were present and supported the organization: Rev. W. L. Varnado and Rev. A. L. McCargo.
The election of the first officers was held atSalem Baptist Church (Salem Gilfield Baptist Church). Members of Salem who were present and elected to an office: Mrs. M. E. Fisher and Professor J. L Buckner.
Annetta A. Hamilton, our 150th Church Anniversary Chairperson, and life long member of Salem Gilfield was the first female to be elected to a Presidential position in the 75 year history of the Congress.
79 years later, the Congress continues to be “A Mighty Force of Christian Education” in the Memphis Community. “ Salem Gilfield remains active in this organization.
Salem Gilfield is a member of The Progressive National Baptist Convention, Incorporated (PNBC).
It was formed in 1961 after civil-rights-oriented Baptist ministers, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. proposed a change of tenure of office and leadership, which was shared by a cross section of Baptists at that time.
The convention was originally formed as the "Progressive Baptist Convention" and word "National" was added to the name in 1962. The Convention has grown from the original founding numbers to member congregations throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
PNBC has followed a path of political activism, supporting groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and methods such as affirmative action. Famous civil rights leaders who were members of the PNBC include Martin Luther King, Benjamin Mays, Ralph David Abernathy, Wyatt Tee Walker, and Gardner C. Taylor. The Convention bills the progressive concept as "fellowship, progress, and peace.".
Sessions of the Convention are held annually in August and recently celebrated their 50th Annual Session in Washington, DC in August 2011. Headquarters are in Washington, D.C
Progressive National Baptist Convention, INC.