First African Baptist Church
Richmond’s oldest black Baptist church—First African Baptist—was founded in 1841 after white members of First Baptist Church sold its building to the church’s free and enslaved black members. But black congregants could only worship in the day, and the new church would be overseen by whites until the Civil War. By 1861, church membership swelled to more than 3,000, including the famous Henry Box Brown and Lucy Goode Brooks, who established the Friends’ Asylum for Colored Orphans. In 1955 the congregation moved, leaving its 1876 Greek Doric building to the VCU School of Medicine.
Image: Creative Commons (Morgan Riley)