Alfred Street Baptist Church is home to the oldestAfrican American congregation in Alexandria,dating to the early 19th century. It has served as aprominent religious, educational, and culturalinstitution. In 1818, the congregation, then knownas the Colored Baptist Society, began worshipservices here in the midst of the Bottoms, a freeblack neighborhood. By 1820 the church createdits educational branch, providing religious andsecular opportunities for both black children andadults. In 1855, free black craftsmen probablydesigned and built the brick church. Alterations tothe building occurred in the 1880s and in 1994 thechurch constructed a new sanctuary.