First Baptist Church - Memphis, TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Lat34North
N 35° 08.352 W 090° 02.926
15S E 768888 N 3892467
Quick Description: Also known as the Beale Street Baptist Church, it is the oldest, continuous African American congregation in Memphis. Located on Beale Street at 4th Street, Memphis, TN.
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 9/28/2016 3:00:57 PM
Waymark Code: WMT59E
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
This location has two first. In addition to being the oldest continuous African American congregation in Memphis, it is also the first brick church in the mid-South built by and for blacks.

The marker at the church reads:

Beale Street
Baptist Church

(side 1)
Founded in the late 1840s by Rev. Morris Henderson and four other blacks, Beale Street Baptist Church is the oldest, continuous Negro congregation in Memphis. Withdrawing from the First Baptist Church, the founders and others met in an old dwelling house until it burned in the 1860s. Later they acquired a lot for $5,000 and held their early meetings in a brush arbor. Soon afterward the present building was constructed. Architects were E.C. Jones and M. H Baldwin. This was the first brick church in the mid-South built by and for blacks.

(side 2)
It is considered the mother church of all black Baptist churches in the area. Ministers who have served this church include: Revs. Morris Henderson, Scott Key, R. N. Countee, Taylor Nightingale, P.J. Jackson, Henry Clemons, J.P. Hurt, J.C. Bowers, J.L. Lewis, B.J. Perkins, George A. Long, and James A Jordan. Many outstanding leaders have spoken here, including President Ulysses S Grant in 1880, U.S. Rep. Oscar DePriest in 1930, and a Philip Randolph in 1944.

Erected in 1987 by the Beale Street Baptist Church
and the Shelby County Historical Commission
Street address:
379 Beale Street
Memphis, TN USA

County / Borough / Parish: Shelby

Year listed: 1971

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event / Black

Periods of significance: 1850-1874

Historic function: Religion

Current function: Religion

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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