First African Baptist Church

First African Baptist Church (HM1Y77)

Location: Beaufort, SC 29902 Beaufort County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 26.064', W 80° 40.132'

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This church, founded in 1865, grew out of an antebellum praise house for black members of the Baptist Church of Beaufort. During the Civil War, after the Federal occupation of the town, it hosted a school for freedmen. Rev. Arthur Waddell (1821-1895), its founding pastor, had come to S.C. from Savannah, Ga. In 1867 Rev. Waddell and two black ministers from Savannah formally organized this church. In 1885 the congregation, with more than 900 members, built this "handsome and commodious" Carpenter Gothic church. Rev. Waddell continued to serve this church until he retired in 1894. At his death in 1895 First African Baptist was described as "one of the most aristocratic colored churches." Robert Smalls (1839-1915), Civil War hero, state legislator, and U.S. Congressman, was its most prominent member.
HM NumberHM1Y77
Year Placed2013
Placed ByThe Beaufort County Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 8th, 2017 at 9:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 531129 N 3588635
Decimal Degrees32.43440000, -80.66886667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 26.064', W 80° 40.132'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 26' 3.84" N, 80° 40' 7.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)803, 843
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 501-599 King St, Beaufort SC 29902, US
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