First Baptist Church of Williamsburg
In 1776 a congregation led by a free black itinerant preacher named Moses met in secret on the grounds of Green Spring Plantation, the former home of Sir William Berkeley. Organized as Baptists in 1781 under an enslaved preacher named Gowan Pamphlet, the congregation was offered the use of a carriage house on Nassau Street as a meeting place. The African Baptist Church, as it was known before the Civil War, began meeting in a new brick church in 1856, its home for the next 100 years. Renamed the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg in 1863, the church is now located on Scotland Street.
Image: Kristin Ritchey