From its emergence in early American history to its present-day relevance, the Black church has always served as a safe haven for African Americans – a place to worship together and a place to get motivated to rebuild communities and strive for more enriched lives. To honor the influence African American churches have had in the lives of so many, the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum has created an exhibit highlighting the four oldest African American churches in Springfield, the oldest of which is Zion Baptist Church, founded in 1838 as the Colored Baptist Church. The exhibit contains some original photos and information on each church as presented by several researchers. The nonprofit Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Foundation was founded in 2006 and it opened the museum in 2012. Its mission is to tell authentic stories celebrating and sharing African American history and culture through exhibits, scholarship and programs. spiaahm.org.

Springfield's oldest African American churches
Ongoing
Springfield and Central Illinois
African American History Museum
Thu.-Sat., 12-4 p.m.
1440 Monument Ave.
217-391-6323
Donations accepted

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