Posts Tagged ‘First Baptist Church_Bute Street’

122-0040_FBC_VLR_4thEdition_cropped_small“The history of the congregation of First Baptist Church, Bute Street in Norfolk, dates to its organization in 1800 by David Biggs and Thomas Everidge of the Court Street Baptist Church in Portsmouth. Made up of whites, free Negroes, and slaves, the Norfolk congregation by 1805 had grown considerably and had adapted the Borough Church — abandoned by Norfolk Anglicans with the disestablishment — as its worship place.  With the black population of Norfolk estimated at 45 percent at the beginning of the 19th century, a substantial portion of the early membership of the church was black. By 1816, however, several white members of the congregation became dissatisfied with the large numbers of blacks in their midst and left to form the Cumberland Baptist Church. The original congregation continued to occupy the Borough Church building. Although the congregation remained an integrated community and was led by a white pastor, the First Baptist Church became known as a “colored” congregation. In 1830 three free black trustees paid $250 for the present Bute Street site and erected a sanctuary there later known as the ‘Old Salt Box. In 1830 some Negro members left to form another congregation known as the Bank Street Church. From this time on for the remainder of the 19th century, the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church was known as the Bute Street Church.”
National Register of Historic Places – Final Nomination Form — First Baptist Church, Bute Street – Norfolk, Virginia – #122-0040


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