Free blacks and slaves living west of Second St. and north of Broad St. founded the Third African Baptist Church in 1857. In 1858, it was dedicated on this site as Ebenezer Baptist Church, with a white minister, the Rev. William T. Lindsay, as pastor, as required by law. On 21 May 1865, the Rev. Peter Randolph became the congregation's first black pastor. The church made education one of its chief goals. It opened the first public school for black children in Richmond in 1866, organized Hartshorn Memorial College for black women in 1883, and helped found the Richmond Colored Young Men's Christian Association in 1887.
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