Metro   City

First African Baptist Church

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First African Baptist Church was organized in 1773 under the leadership of Reverend George Leile. In May of 1775 he was ordained as the pastor and December of 1777 the church was officially constituted as a body of organized believers. Under the leadership of the 3rd Pastor Reverend Andrew C. Marshall, the congregation obtained the property where the present sanctuary stands. Marshall also organized the first black Sunday school in North America and changed the name of the church from "First Colored Baptist" to "First African Baptist". The sanctuary was completed in 1859 under the direction of the 4th Pastor Reverend William J. Campbell.

The sanctuary still contains many of the historical elements that have allowed the congregation to preserve much of its rich history. The stained-glass windows installed during the Pastorate of Reverend George Gibbons, 5th Pastor, can still be found along the edifice. A stained-glass window of Rev. George Leile is located outside, in front of the church.

The light fixtures, baptismal pool, and 1832 Pipe Organ are all original to the church. They were installed during the Pastorate of Reverend Emmanuel King Love. The light fixtures were originally gas at one time, but were later converted into electricity. The solid oak pews were installed in the main sanctuary during the early 1900's under the leadership of the 7th Pastor Reverend James Wesley Carr.

The pews located in the balcony are original to the church. These pews were made by slaves, and are nailed into the floors. On the outside of the pews are markings written in the African dialect known as "Cursive Hebrew".

The ceiling of the church is in the design of a "Nine Patch Quilt" which represented that the church was a safe house for slaves. Nine Patch Quilts also served as a map and guide informing people where to go next or what to look out for during their travel.

The holes in the floor are in the shape of an African prayer symbol known as a Congolese Cosmogram. In Africa, it also means "Flash of the Spirits" and represents birth, life, death, and rebirth

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue11:00 AM1:00 PM
Wed11:00 AM2:00 PM
Thr11:00 AM1:00 PM
Fri11:00 AM2:00 PM
Sat11:00 AM2:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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