Muslims began settling in Lexington, Kentucky just over 40 years ago with a small group becoming organized in 1975. Before that time, there was no masjid for Jumah prayer or any collective expression of Islam in Lexington.
In 1978, after having rented and been displaced from several facilities, this small group of Muslims was blessed with a permanent location at 572 Georgetown Street. This became the first masjid in Lexington, and was later named Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah. After renting at the location for over two decades, Masjid Bilal took ownership of the Georgetown property in 2001. In time, this small facility became a focal point for many Muslims in Lexington.
As the Lexington Muslim community continued to grow, Masjid Bilal become overcrowded in its Georgetown location. In March 2004, the community purchased property at its current location, 1545 Russell Cave Road.
Before moving to the Russell Cave address in 2005, the existing two-story house on the property was renovated to serve as a masjid. The solidly constructed building underwent several renewal projects to significantly expand the prayer capacity, as well as to improve the roofing, heating and air conditioning systems, and electrical systems. New Islamic carpeting was also installed.
Not only did the new location have more room for worship, but the 2.4 acre property also provided considerably more parking space and room for future expansion. While using this building for approximately 10 years, the community had a large parking lot and considerable outdoor recreational space for events such as the annual Eid carnival.
In January 2014, after months of rigorous fundraising, the community began the construction of a new masjid at the Russell Cave location in front of existing masjid. It was completed in the fall of 2015 and the community took occupancy in October of that year. In this spacious new building, the community is thriving and growing as Muslim families continue to expand, additional Muslims move into the welcoming Lexington area and more accept the Islamic faith.
The original masjid on the Russell Cave property now houses weekly Sunday school classes. It also serves as a venue for dawah in the surrounding neighborhoods and greater Lexington. The facility can be rented for events such as nikahs, aqiqahs and other special celebrations.
The first Masjid Bilal property at 572 Georgetown Street now serves the Lexington community as a Muslim sponsored outreach center. Known as the SHARE (Services for Human Advancement and Resource Enhancement) Center, it opened its doors in 2010. It houses an employment services center, food and clothing banks, a computer lab, and a health clinic staffed mostly by Muslim doctors and medical students. The SHARE Center exists to serve everyone in the Lexington community.