November 18, 2021

Church founded by enslaved celebrates 175 years in Chesterfield

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The congregation now has 400 active parishioners and emphasizes volunteerism and acts of service to the wider community in their liturgy.

Some of the original families who founded the church have descendants who currently attend First Baptist.

Photo courtesy of First Baptist Church of Chesterfield

This post was originally published on St. Louis American

By Sophie Hurwitz

175 years ago, a group of enslaved people founded a church in what’s now known as Chesterfield. They were granted the land, which they couldn’t even legally own at the time, by Missouri slaveholder Maria Long. 

The group erected a log cabin on a site that today sits near I-64 and Chesterfield Parkway Road members held services there, and the church kept growing and changing through several wars, four different buildings, and generations of congregants.

That church, the First Baptist Church of Chesterfield, still stands, and this month’s 175th-anniversary celebrations, commemorates where they started.

On Sunday, Nov. 21, during 9:45 AM services, the church will top off a month of celebrating and remembering, including guest pastor Leonard Dennis, of the Metropolitan M.B. Church in Jennings, musical guest Cherise Louis, and a proclamation from Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation.

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