Located on the NE corner of S Elm and Washington Streets.

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The African Baptist Church

“In 1866, just a year after the Civil War ended, The African Baptist Church separated from First Baptist Church and purchased the old one-level Methodist Church on the corner of Elm and Washington streets. The church was renamed First Missionary Baptist Church. The congregation grew so much that a new two-level church was erected in 1879. The stone facade was added in 1979” – Erin Schmitt Courier and Press

“The church was formed in 1840. Blacks were baptized and admitted to the white Baptist church. In 1845 the African Baptist Church organized with separate services in the basement of the church led by Rev. Willis Walker, an enslaved man. The church purchased his freedom. In 1866, the congregation bought the Old Methodist Church at Washington and Elm for $3,030.”

“The African Baptist Church, now known as First Missionary Baptist Church, has been in continuous operation as a place of worship primarily for African Americans at the same location since 1866. The church has endured and strives to maintain spiritual leadership in the Henderson community. Dedicated on May 26, 2019”


History of Henderson County, Kentucky by E.L. Starling

Courier and Press – First Missionary Baptist celebrates 175 years – By Erin Schmitt May 30, 2015

Gleaner – 22 May 2019

FMBC Facebook

National Registry of Historic Places