xt7mkk94bb94 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7mkk94bb94/data/mets.xml Richmond, Virginia Historical Records Survey of Virginia 1940 Prepared by the Historical Survey of Virginia, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Virginia Conservation Commission, Sponsored; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration Division of Professional and Service Projects; Foreword signed by W.T. Johnson, Moderator of the Shiloh Baptist Association of Virginia; Preface signed by Kathleen Bruce, State Supervisor, The Historical Records Survey of Virginia; xii, 59 leaves, 5 pages, 28 cm; Mimeographed; Includes bibliographical references and index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW 4.14:V 819c/2 books English Richmond, Virginia: Historical Records Survey of Virginia This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Virginia Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the Church Archives of Virginia, Negro Baptist Churches in Richmond text Inventory of the Church Archives of Virginia, Negro Baptist Churches in Richmond 1940 1940 2015 true xt7mkk94bb94 section xt7mkk94bb94   I   H I R   7 Um\;5Ré1TY OF KENTUCKY ` `¤` I A I ». ·`
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¢g, U The Historical Records Survey of Virginia
jjf June 1940

The Historicsl Records Survey Projects I
* Sargent B. Child, Director »
Juliet A. Jones, Regional Supervisor
Kathleen Bruce, Ph. D., State Supervisor ’
Division of Professional snd Service Projects
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
Izotte Jewell Miller, Chief Regional Supervisor
Elle G. Agnew, State Director
F. C. Harrington, Commissioner i
F. H. Dryden, Regional Director . j
William A. Smith, State Administrator fj

I have been inspired by reading the data contained in this
volume. It is most pleasing to have the history of the Virginia
Baptist State Convention, the Baptist General Association of
Virginia, the district associations of Virginia, and the local
churches brought down to date.
For many years it has been the purpose of the Baptist Gen-
eral Association of Virginia and the leading pastors and officers
of the convention to have someone undertake this difficult task,
but due to the lack of financial resources this has been impossible.
We greatly appreciate the foresight on the part of our
Government which makes available to Virginia Baptiststhe valuable
information that this compilation contains.
We believe the task has been well done and should add to the
efficiency of our work for many years to come. It will be dis-
covered that there are many new features in this present inventory.
( William Thomas Johnson, D. D.
Moderator of the Shiloh Baptist
y Association of Virginia

In January 1936, the Historical Records Survey, a nation-wide project
of the Works Progress Administration, now the Work Projects Administration,
was organized nationally. Dr. Luther H. Evans was appointed National Director
of the Survey. In March 1936, the Survey began to function in Virginia as part
of the Federal writers' Project, of which Dr. H. J. Eckenrode was State
Director, and Dr. Lester J. Cappon of the University of Virginia part·time
Technical Assistant. In November 1936, when the Historical Records Survey
became independent of the Federal Writers' Project, Dr. Cappon was appointed S
part-time State Director. At the same time Elizabeth B. Parker, a former
supervisor of the Survey, was appointed Assistant State Director. when Dr.
Cappon resigned in June 1937, Miss Parker succeeded him as State Director.
On September 5, 1939, the Historical Records Survey of Virginia became a State-
wide non-Fsderal project with Miss Parker as State Supervisor.
Likewise in January 1936 the Survey of Federal Archives, a nation-wide
project of the Works Progress Administration, now the Work Projects Administra-
tion, was organized under the national directorship of Dr. Philip M. Hamer,
an official of the National Archives, Washington, D. C. In February 1936 work
was started in Virginia with Mr. T. C. Durham as Regional Director. In
September 1936, Dr. Kathleen Bruce was appointed Regional Director to succeed
Mr. Durham. On August 1, 1937, the Survey of Federal Archives of Virginia
became a State-wide non—Federal project, with Dr. Bruce as State Director.
On January 1, 1940, the two projects, the Survey of Federal Archives
and the Historical Records Survey of Virginia, were consolidated by the Work
Projects Administration to constitute a new Historical Records Survey Project.
Dr. Bruce was appointed State Supervisor and Miss Parker,Assistant State
Supervisor. Miss Parker resigned from the Historical Records Survey on April
29, 1940. On June 24, l940,Mrs. Helen D. Bullock was appointed Assistant
State Supervisor.
By authority of the Presidential Letter, D•3l9, effective September 1,
1939, the work which the Historical Records Survey is authorized to perform
consists of "preparing and duplicating inventories of Federal, State, County,
municipal, and other local public archives; preparing, and duplicating in-
ventories, guides, and calendars of manuscript collections, including church
archives; preparing and duplicating inventories of books, pamphlets, and broad-
sides printed in the United States and its territorial possessions prior to
January 1, 1891, and newspapers located in the United States; transcribing
older and more important archives and manuscripts as a measure of preservation;
and arranging archives, manuscripts, and printed materials as a preliminary
step to preparing inventories, guides, and calendars."
The ultimate objective is to make contributions of public value. In con-
formity with the authorization, the Historical Records Survey of Virginia has
in progress for publication inventories of the archives of all Federal agencies
within the State, except the Post Office, and inventories of the county and the
church archives. It also has under way a survey of American imprints prior to
1877. The inventories are deposited with the appropriate agency of the Federal
This Inventory of the Church Archives of Virginia, Negro Baptist
Churches in Richmond, is the second publication in the church series of the
Historical Records Survey of Virginia. It is based, as far as possible, on
primary sources. These sources have been supplemented by statements made to
our researchers by officers and members of the churches, whose archives were
surveyed, and by officers of the associations to which the churches belong.

sl The survey was started under Miss Parker's direction in 1936. The work was
E checked in 1939-40 by Mamie M. Jones, Clarence B. Taylor, and Thomas Welford
5 Jewett, to insure accuracy, as far as possible. The manuscript, which was not
I finished when Miss Parker resigned from tho project, has been completed and
Q edited in this office by the supervisor of the church unit, Elizabeth F. Coalter,
w in accordance with instructions from the National editorial office of the
A Survey. Editorial comments and criticisms were made by Arnett G. Lindsay,
Specialist in Negro History, and by Donald A. Thompson, Assistant Archivist in
_ charge of the Church Archives Inventories, Historical Records Survey Projects,
‘. Washington, D. C.
Q Negro ministers and other church and association officials, as well as
i members of the congregations, have given the project most generous cooperation. "
The Negro Baptist churches in the City of Richmond are the official co-sponsors
, of this volume. Towards the non-labor cost implicit in its publication, their
" officers have made the liberal contribution of fifty dollars. In particular
the Staff wish to express their appreciation of the kindness of Dr. william
° Thomas Johnson, Dr. William Leo Ransome, Dr. Christopher Columbus Scott, and
Rev. Joseph Henry Brown, pastors of Negro Baptist churches in the City of
Richmond, and of Rev. David James Bradford, clerk of the Tuckahoe Baptist
Association of Virginia.
Publications issued to date by the Project are listed on page 55 of
this volume.
Kat M {ccf! EDO u c.(~___
Kathleen Bruce
The Historical Records Survey of Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
June 28, 1940

 Ze it
Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes .............. ....... .... i
p Laws of the State of Virginia Pertaining to Churches .... .... .......... ii
Archives of National and State Associations including:
I. The Virginia Baptist State Convention ........................ 1
II. The Baptist General Association of Virginia .................. 3
III!       Qlllblllllllllllltlll•\lIl||•\OI•IIOO••O· 5
IV. The National Baptist Convention of the United States of
V. The Lott Carey Foreign Mission Society, Incorporated, of
the United States of America ............................... 8
Archives of District Associations and Churches including:
VI. The Shiloh Baptist Association of Virginia ... ..... .. .... ..... 12
Churches in the Shiloh Baptist Association ................. 13
VII. The Mattaponi Baptist Association of Virginia . .... ........... 21
Churches in the Mattaponi Baptist Association ... ...... ..... 22
        AS$OCj.€..tiOY]. of   •••••••••••••••••  
Churches in the Tuckahoe Baptist Association ............... 28
IX, The Chickahominy Baptist Association of Virginia ............. 34
Churches in the Chickahominy Baptist Association ........... 34
Archives of Churches Not Affiliated with any District Association ..... 36
Indexes of Churches including:

i Abbreviations, Symbols
t   •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• the 8BmG rGfBr9Y].C6
f H• d• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• H0 d8.t9S
M YI• p•- •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• no place of publication
p• pp• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• page (S)
y (see bibliography)
S€C• (S) ••`••••••••••••••••••¤••••••••••••••••••• section (S)
vol. (S) •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• volume (S)
Explanatory Notes
Church entries have been arranged chronologically within the district
association with which they are affiliated. These district associations
» are arranged chronologically according to the date of organization. All
; entries have been submitted to the individual active churches for criticism.
v The Virginia Baptist Historical Society, a depository for Baptist ar-
y chives, is located at the University of Richmond and contains most of the
reference material used in this publication. Other reference material may
be found at the Virginia Union University, Richmond, and the Virginia State
y Library, Richmond. All localities mentioned in this volume are in Virginia
unless otherwise specified.
f Records are kept in the church unless otherwise indicated, and may be
F assumed to be in good condition unless otherwise noted.
2 The date of founding refers to the formal organization of the church
rather than to the date services were first held by a Sunday School or other
All available information concerning the location of defunct churches
T has been included in this inventoy. All available deed book references have
been recorded under the individual church entries.
rl Most entries carry references to printed material; therefore only
y` general works have been included in the main bibliography. Only one publish-
{ GP has been given in the bibliographical references in the entries. The
fj full imprint may be found in the bibliography at the ond of the volume.

Since 1851, a church or religious denomination may not be incorporated
in Virginia,l but may hold a limited amount of property through trustees.2
Today, the trustees may hold not over 4 acres in a city or town and not over
75 acres outside the city or town. The value of the pergonal property (ex-
clusive of books and furniture) may not exceed $100,000. Trustees may be
appointed or substituted4 and may sue and be sued in relation to the property
they hold.5 Land may be sold or mortgaged with the permission of the circuit
G¤¤Pt6 and any member of the congregation may sue to require the trustees to
&PPlY th9 P?0P9FtY to the PFOPBF ¤SGS•7 Although these acts appear to limit
the churches in their ownership of property, they actually enlarge the rights,
since at common law most charitable trusts were invalid because they were
too indefinite to be engorced. Property must be hold and dealt with exactly
as provided by statute. "This adherence to the rule [that a charitable
trust was invalid] . . . originated in legislative and popular jealousy, and
opposition to the incorporation of religious societies, and a just apprehen-
sion that the accumulation of property by such institutions would be in-
compatible with sound republican po1icy."9 If a congregation divides, the
vote of the majority reported to the circuit court and recorded in the
1. Constitution of Virginia, 1851 [hereinafter cited as Const. 1851],
art. IV, sec. 32, in Thg Code of Virginia . . . 1860, Richmond, 1860
[hereinafter cited as Code 1860]; Constitution of Virginia, 1869
hereinafter cited as Const. 1869], art. V, sec. 17, in Third Edition gf
the Code gf Virginia . . ., Richmond, 1873 [hereinafter cited as Code
1873]?—Constitution of Virginia, 1902 [hereinafter cited as Const. 1902],
art. IV, sec. 59, in Code gf Virginia . . ., Richmond, 1918 [hereinafter
cited as Code 1919]; Constitution of Virginia, 1902 (as amended 1928),
[hereinafter cited as Const. 1902 (as amended 1928)], art. IV, sec. 59,
in fhg Virginia Code gf 1936, Charlottesville, Va., 1936 [hereinafter ’
cited as Code 1936].
2. Acts gf thg General Assembly pf the State pf Vir inia, 1809--, Richmond,
1810-- [hereinafter cited as Acts]: 1841-42, p. 60 (land only, by con-
veyance); Thi Code gf Virginia, Richmond, 1849 [hereinafter cited
as Code 1849], pp. 362-363 (any property by conveyance, devise, or
dedication); Acts 1918, p. 94 ( by adverse possession for 25 years); Acts
1924, p. 498; Code 1936, secs. 38, 39, 46(a); see footnoteS 1, 3-
3. Agtg 1841-42, p. 60 (2 acres in incorporated town, 30 acres outside);
Acts 1865-66, p. 161 (2 in, 75 outside a town); gpg Code gf Virginia
. . ., Richmond, 1887 [hereinafter cited as Code 1887], sec. 1403
("a city or town"); Agtg 1901-2, p. 337 (personal property to the value
of $30,000 added); Acts 1930, pp. 687-688 (4 acres in city or town,
$100,000 personal property); Code 1936, sec. 43.
4. Acts 1841-42, p. 60; Acts 1897-98, p. 977; Code 1936, sec. 39.
5. Acts 1841-42, p. 60; Acts 1920, p. 9; Code 1936, sec. 42.
6. Acts 1852, p. 80 (sold only); Acts 1878-79, p. 348 (sold or mortgaged);
Code 1936, sec. 45.
7. Acts 1846-47, p. 66; Code 1849, p. 363 (suit will not be dismissed on
death of plaintiff); Code 1936, sec. 44.
8. St. dtephen's jpiscopal Church v. Morriss' Administrator, 115 Va. 225,
78 S. E. 662 (1913), (for full titles, see list of abbreviations and
bibliography); Moore v. Perkins, 169 Va. 175, 192 S. E. 806 (1937).
9. Hudgins, Judge, in Moore v. Perkins, supra, at p. 184 (quoting Staples,
Judge, in Kelly v. Love's Administrators, 61 Va. 124, at p. 131).

Laws of the State of Virginia Pertaining to Churches
chancery order book determines the disposition of all property held in trust
for the original congregation.lO This provision has been hold unconstitu-
ional if and when it impairs the provisiip of the deed by which the property
is held, but may be valid in some cases.
Church property is tax exempt if it comes under the constitutional class-
ification, which is as follows: "The following property and no other shall
be exempt from taxation, State and local, including inheritance taxes: . . .
(b) Buildings with the land they actually occupy, and the furniture and
furnishings therein, the endowment funds lawfully owned and held by churches
or religious bodies, and wholly and exclusively used for religious worship,
or for the residence of the minister of any such church or religious body,
together with the additional adjacent land reasonably necessary for the
convenient use of any such bui1ding."l2 The tax cod? has carried this
provision into effect practically in the same words. 3 Between 1869 and 1902,
the exemption was at the discretion of the Legislature;14 between 1849
(the first church exemption act found) and 1869, it was by act of Legis1cture.l5
Other constitutional provisions prohibit churches from levying a tax,l6 pro-
hibit the State from levying taxes or donating money or property for the sup-
port of churches,l7 and (formerly) protected church property from the effects
of the War Between the States or any subsequent laws or events.l8
There was a temporary provision by the Constitutimm of 1830 and 1851
forbidding any minister of the gospel to be elected to either house of the
State Legislature, but this provision was omitted from the Constitution of
1869 and subsequent legis1ation.19
In 1780, a law was passed making it legal for any minister to celebrate
10. Acts 1866-67, p. 649; Code 1936, sec. 40.
11. Finley v. Brent, 87 Vs. 103, 12 S. E. 228 (1890).
12. Const. 1902, art. XIII, seo. 183 (endowment funds not included); Const.
1902 ( as amended 1928),art. XIII, sec. 183.
13. Acts 1928, pp. 237-239; Acts 1930, p. 877 (adds endowment funds omitted
from the original tax code of 1928); "Tax Code" 1936, sec. 435 [appendix
to Code 1936]; Acts 1938, p. 429.
14. Const. 1869, art. X, sec. 3; Acts 1870-71, pp. 71 (real estate), 79 .
(personal property); Code 1887, sean 457 (real estate), 488 (personal prop-
erty); Const. 1902, art. XIII, sec. 183 (mandatory exemption); Code 1919,
secs. 2272 (real estate), 2301 (furniture and fixtures - neither section
exempts these subjects from inheritance tax as provided by the Constitu-
15. Code 1849, p. 185 ("any property"); Acts 1859-60, pp. 12, 15-16 (real
estate only); Code 1860, pp. 194-196 (real estate only); Const. 1869,
art. X, sec. 3 (exemption made permissive by Constitution}.
16. Constitution of Virginia, 1830 [hereinafter cited as Const. 1830],art.
III, sec. 11, in Code 1849; Const. 1851, art. IV, sec. 15; Const. 1869,
art. V, sec. 14; Const. 1902, art. IV, sec. 58; Const. 1902 (as amended
1928), art. IV, sec. 58.
17. Const. 1902, art. IV, sec. 67; Const. 1902 (as amended 1928), art. IV,
sec. 67.
18. Const. 1869, art. XI, soc. 8.
19. Const. 1830, art. III, sec. 7; Const. 1851, art. IV, sec. 7.

1 iv
Laws of the State of Virginia Pertaining to Churches t
the rights of matrimony but dissenting ministers had to be licensed by the
county court. Such license had to be signed by the judge or elder magistrate.2O
In 1784, it was permissible for a minister to perform a marriage provided he
produced to the court credentials of his ordination and proof of his being in
regular communion with the Christian society of which he was supposed to be a
member. In addition, the minister was required to take the oath of allegiance
to the Commonwealth and also enter into a bond with two or more sufficient
securities, payable to the Governor or his successors. With these provisions
complied with, the court was required to grant the minister a testimonial
which was to be construed to be sufficient authority for performing marriages.21
Since 1831, the minister has had to produce his credentials and take bond be-
fore he could perform the marriage ceremeny.22
Not until comparatively late in Virginia's history was there any law
specifically preventing slaves and free Negroes from worhhiping in their own
churches. A law of 1804 prohibited slaves from meeting in the night for any
purpose, but the next year it was so amended as not to apply to slaves who
attended a church with their masters, or part of the whige family, if the
worship was conducted by a regularly ordained minister.2
The fear was not of the result of religious worship, but of the danger of
any assemblage of slaves. Indeed, earlier acts relating to unlawful assemblies
of slaves did not apply to “their going to church and attending divine service
on the Lerd‘s day, or on any other day of public w0rship."24
Punishment, at least as severe, was inflicted on white persons, mulatteesé
free Negroes, or Indians found in company with slaves at an unlawful assembly. 5
It will be noticed that during this period, the laws were directed only
at unlawful assemblies of slaves. Beginning in 1832, however, the laws por-
taining to Negroes became wider in scope. In that year a free Negro or
mulatto, ordained, or otherwise, was prohibited from preaching, oxhorting,
or conducting any meeting for religious, or any other purposes, in the day
or night. This provision was merged in an act of 1848, which provided that
any assamblgge of slaves, free Negroes, or mulattoes in the day—time for re-
ligious worship conducted by a slave, free Negro, er mulatto, er such
assemblage in the day-time for the purpose of instruction in reading or writ-
20. Nilliam Maller Hening, compiler, The gtatgtgg at Large . . . (1619-1792),
lst ed., Richmond, etc., 1809-23 [hereinafter cited as Hening, Statutes,
for complete citation, see Bibliography], X, pp. 361-363.
21. Hening, Statutgg, XI, pp. 503-504; Samuel Shepherd, compiler and editor,
Thq Statutes gt ggggg gf Virginia . . . (1792-1808), Richmond, 1835-36
{hereinafter cited as Shepherd, étgtptgg], I, pp. 130-131; g Collection gf
. . . égtg gf thg General Assembly gf Virginia . . ., Richmond, 1803,
pp. 192-193; Egg Revised Code pf_£hg Laws gf Virginia . . ., Richmond,
1819 [hereinafter cited as Code 1819 , I, pp. 394-395.
22. ggtg 1830-31, p. 102; Code 1860, p. 523; Code 1919, sec. 5079; Code 1936,
sec. 5079. p ——-
23. Shepherd, Statutgg, III, pp. 108,124; gggg 1819, I, pp. 424-425.
24. Hening, gtatutes, VI, p. 108; Qpgg 1803, pp. 187-188.
25. They were fined $3 for each offense and, if the fine was not paid, given
20 lashes, while slaves were punished with not over 20 lashes; Hening,
Qtgtutee, VI, p. 109;_Qpgp 1803, pp. 187-l88;_ggde 1819, I, p. 425.

Records and Recordkeeping
ing, or such assemblage at night for any purpose, constituted an unlawful
assembly. Religious services, however, were lawful if conducted by a white
minister. A severe fine or jail sentence was provided for whéte persons
convicted of foregathering with them in an unlawful assembly. 6 All of
these acts were repealed after the War Between the States.2
From this brief summary it appears that slaves could attend white
churches, but could neither maintain their own churches, nor assemble to-
gether for worship except under a white minister. Until 1848 no law pro-
hibited free Negroes or mulattoes from assembling, but the presence of a
single slave converted the meeting into an unlawful assembly. Except during
the period 1848-66, therefore, it seems that in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries there might have been separate Negro churches, attended only by
free Negroes or mulattoes; and in most of that period there were few
specific restrictions.
The Negro Baptist churches that were in Virginia prior to the War
Between the States were usually sponsored by a white Baptist church. The
records regarding these early churches were kept by the white pastors if
they were kept at all. The Negroes themselves were either unable io keep
their own records at that time, or were discouraged from doing so. We have
not been able to locate many of the old church records.
Thegkeeping of church records at present is left to the individual
church. We found that nearly all of the churches keep minutes and frequent-
ly that is the only record book they have. It often includes members,
baptisms, and marriages.
Most of the Negro district associations have had printed minutes, in-
cluding the Constitution, from the date of organization. We located minutes
of the Shiloh Baptist Association as far back as 1868.
It is, however, in very recent years that most of the Negro churches
have begun to appreciate the value of keeping records. The Virginia Baptist
Historical Society located at the University of Richmond, the Virginia State
Library, and the Virginia Union University are the main depesitories in
Richmond for Negro Baptist records.
26. Acts 1831-32, p. 20; Acts 1847-48, p. 120; Code 1849, pp. 458, 747-748;
Code 1860, pp. 510, 810-811.
27. Acts 1865-66, pp. 84-85.
1. Oral statement of Dr. William Thomas Johnson, and Dr. William Lee
2. Oral statement of Dr. Milliam Lee Ransome.

 f vi
The epic quality of the rise of the Negro Baptist Church from primitive
animism in Africa to the present impressive organization can best be understood
if some of the facts of that rise are in mind.
The first Virginia plantations were tilled either by free men or by in-
dentured white servants, and by a small number of Negroes who were in bondage
for life but who did not yet have legal status as slaves. For economical
‘ reasons, the indentured system, as the chief source of labor, was replaced in
j large part by the Negro slave system which gradually evolved. Thus, although
" a Dutch slave trader deposited 20 Negroes at Jamestown in 1619, Negroes were
not imported in large numbers on the North American continent until after 1680.
The system worked not only in Virginia but in the other colonies. The Negro
slave could not only be held for life but could successfully weather the hottest
American summers, which in Virginia and elsewhere in the South so often and so
speedily cut short the lives of European immigrants.l
Though English plantirs permitted religious instruction among the slaves,
it was in general neglected. However, as early as 1695, Rev. Samuel Thomas of
Goose Creek Parish, South Carolina, was working successfully among them. "By
I 1705 he had brought under his instruction as many as 1,000 slaves, many of whom,
said he, 'could read the Bible distinctly and great numbers of them were en-
y gaged in learning the scriptures.'"3 In 1701, the Society for the Propagation
’ of the Gospel in Foreign Parts was established in London "to do missionary work
, among the heathen, especially the Indians and the Negroes . . . This body
_ operated through the branches of the established church, the ministrations
` of which were first limited to a few places in Virginia, New York, Maryland,
. and the cities of Boston and Philadelphia." From time to time there were
slave converts in the various parishes. The Bishop of London sent Dr. Thomas
r Bray to the Colony of Maryland to study the religious need of the Negro, and
to devise plans for his education. This missionary movement spread to the
{ neighboring colonies, and a school was maintained by Dr. Bray's associates in
“ North Carolina and another in Georgia in 1751.4
The first Negro Baptists in America were members of the white Baptist
churches. "The first known instance of a Negro as a Baptist was during the
Awakening in connection with the Newton, Rhode Island, Church where Quaseey
was one of the fifty-one constituent members in l743."5 Although the first
known Negro Baptist was a member of the Rhode Island church, "there were Negro
Baptist churches in the South for more than a quarter of a century before they
began to be constituted in the North, and about a half century before the first
church of the kind was planted in the West. When in 1805, moreover, tho First
African Baptist church was organized at Boston, Massachusetts, it was not only
T the first Negro Baptist church in the North, but was also the only independent
1. Bruce, Philip Alexander, Economic History pf Virginia in thg Seventeenth
Qggtgry . . ., New York, Macmillan and Co., 1896, vol. l, pp. 1-56, 64-68.
2. Carter Godwin Woodson, Thg gistory pf thg Ne ro Church, Washington, D. C.,
1921 [hereinafter cited as Woodson, History], pp. 5-6.
3• Ibj.d•, p• 7•
4. Ibid., pp. 5-10.
5. Miles Mark Fisher, £_§hp£t History gf Egg Ba tist Denomination, Nashville,
Tennessee, Sunday School Publishing Board I6l933, hereinafter cited as Fish-
or, History], pp. 31-32; Walter H. Brooks, "The Evolution of the Negro
Baptist Church" in The Journal gf Negro History . . ., Lancaster, Pa., The
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Incorporated, 1922,
vol. 7 [hereinafter cited as Journal, vol. 7], pp. ll-14.

Historical Sketch
Negro church north except the St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Philadelphia,
A which had a Negro recter."6 The Baptist doctrine, and teaching appealed to the
Negro, and Negro Baptist churches "preceded by many years the first Negro
churches of other denominations in America."7
The first Negro Baptist church in America was established between
1773-75 at Silver Bluff which was "situated on the South Carolina side of the
Savannah River, in Aiken County, just twelve miles from Augusta, Georgia",
and was within the bounds of "Mr. Ga1phin’s Sett1ement." Silver Bluff Church,
which was organized in Mr. Galphinfs mill, was founded by Elder Palmer who
is thought to have been Wait Palmer, of Stonington, Connecticut, who baptized
Shubal Stearns. Among the constituent members of Silver Bluff Church was David
George ghom Elder Palmer baptized and made the first regular pastor of that
I church.
The Silver Bluff Church went into exile when Savannah fell to the
British in December 1778. Rev. David George, and about forty other slaves,
went to Savannah to seek protection. There they were freed by the British whom
they joined.9
When the British occupied Savannah, 1779-82, there was an African Baptist
church in that city. It is thought that this church was established by the
exiled congregation of Silver Bluff Church. The pastor of the Savannah church
was George Liele, a pioneer Negro preacher, who for a number of years was a
member of a white Baptist church. He had preached frequently at Silver Bluff.
In 1782, George Liele left the United States. In 1784 he began preaching in
Kingston, Jamaica, British West Indies. 10
Another product of either the Savannah church, or the Silver Bluff
Church was "Brother Ames", who established a church in New Providence, Bahama
Islands, British Wei? Indies. His church had a membership of 300 in 1791,
and of 850 in 1812.
David George, the first regular pastor of Silver Bluff Church, went
from Savannah to Charleston, South Carolina. From there he went to Nova Scotia.
"In prosecuting his mission, he preached in Shelburn, Birchtown, Ragged Island,
and in St. Johns, New Brunswick." He established the first Baptist church in
Shelburn. From Nevia Scotia, David George with a colony of 12,000 Negroes
moved to Sierra Leone, British Central Africa, in 1792, and there he established
a Baptist church. Thus, it is claimed that Silver Bluff Church is "the mother
of Negro Baptist peginnings in South Carolina, Georgia, Canada, Africa, and
the West Indies." 2
After the Revolutionary War, the Silver Bluff Church was revived by one
of its congregation, Jesse Peter, who returned to the Galphin plantation as a
slave. The