Mount Zion Baptist Church played a central role in the formation of Charlottesville's African American community in the period after the Civil War. A group of former slaves established the congregation in 1867. The 1883–1884 brick structure replaced an earlier (c. 1875) frame church on the same site. Local lore holds that Spooner, a Charlottesville architect, designed the structure. In the Italianate idiom popular with Baptists after the Civil War, the church is relatively plain on the exterior with a dominant entrance tower and steeple and corbeled brick detailing at the eaves and in recessed panels on the tower. The interior is a large three-aisle space with galleries on three sides and some stock colored glass windows.
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Mount Zion Baptist Church
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