African Meeting House
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The African Meeting House, also known variously as First African Baptist Church, First Independent Baptist Church and the Belknap Street Church, was built in 1806 and is now the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, adjacent to the African American Abiel Smith School. It is a National Historic Landmark.
- also known as African Meetinghouse; First African Baptist Church; African Baptist Church Society; African Meeting House, Boston
- part of Boston, Massachusetts
Printed encyclopedias and other books with definitions for African Meeting House
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Massachusetts Encyclopedia (2008)
by Jennifer Herman
AFRICAN MEETING HOUSE The oldest black church in the United States is the African Meeting House located in Boston.
The African Meeting House was restored in 1987, and since 1964, it has served as a museum of African American ...
by Gerald D. Jaynes
Between 1805 and 1848, African Americans in Boston had established four separate churches; two were Baptist (including the African Meeting House), and two were African Methodist. Prior to the establishment of these churches, blacks had ...
The African Meeting House, the first Negro church in Boston and in New England organized. The building for this church which is said to have been erected entirely by Negro labor, was in Smith Court, off Belknap Street. It is now known as the ...
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- African Meeting House
Photo credit: City of Boston Archives
- African Meeting House
The African Meeting House in Boston, a national landmark (1806). Boston was home to one of the largest groups of free blacks in the early 19th century. However, blacks were still forbidden from sitting among whites in church. Thomas Paul, an African-American preacher, started Boston's first all-black worship services at Faneuil Hall. The service quickly became popular, and a meeting house was built to house the new congregation. The building became a symbol for abolitionists prior to the Civil War, and it became the home of the New England Anti-Slavery Society, which published The Liberator, a popular abolitionist paper. Frederick Douglass recuited black soldiers for the Civil War here.
Photo credit: Teemu008
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