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First Baptist Church

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Delevan and First Colored Baptist Church
1877–c. 1883, attributed to George A. Sinclair. 632 W. Main St. (southeast corner of 7th St.)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

First Baptist traces its lineage back to an 1863 petition by members of the African American community to separate from the white-run First Baptist Church. The petition was granted, and by 1877 they had a building underway at this site. Sinclair apparently built the structure, but his role in the design is controversial. His ethnicity is unknown, but he is associated with all three African American Baptist churches in this area. The appearance of First Baptist is so similar to Mount Zion Baptist Church as to suggest the same hand. Also a large Italianate brick structure with a prominent entrance tower, First Baptist has a different cupola and finial-capped pier buttresses at the front. The interior is divided into two aisles rather than three, but it has a similar gallery arrangement. The colored glass windows appear to be from the same supplier as those of Mount Zion.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "First Baptist Church", [Charlottesville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 149-150.

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