First Baptist Church

2709 Monument Avenue

 
 
 
 

First Baptist Church, Richmond’s second organized church, had humble beginnings in the home of John Franklin at the northeast corner of Carrington and Pink Streets in the East End in 1790. It wasn’t until 1798 that a formal building, most likely a small residence, was constructed to accommodate the church–this on Cary Street between Second and Third. Land was given to the church at H (Broad) and College Streets in the early 1800s to accommodate the growing size of the congregation. It is at this location that the church served as a place for the dead and dying following the Richmond Theater Fire of 1811. Notably, both whites and blacks worshipped together at this sanctuary, with the black members outnumbering the white. Ultimately, the congregation outgrew this location, as well and it was decided that the black members would retain the church (which became First African Baptist Church), while the white members secured a lot at Broad and Twelfth Streets for their new sanctuary, dedicated October 17, 1841. This structure served as an emergency hospital during the Civil War and was spared when the city was set ablaze in 1865 just prior to the Confederacy’s surrender. The beautiful Classic Greek structure located at the corner of Monument Avenue and the Boulevard opened on December 10, 1928 and has been home of the First Baptist Church since.

Griggs, W. S. (2017). Historic Richmond Churches and Synagogues. Charleston, SC: History Press.

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MAPS Mission Statement

Monument Avenue Preservation Society-MAPS advocates for the historical preservation, restoration, and pertinent development of Monument Avenue while promoting civic, cultural and educational initiatives in our immediate community.