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Fri, 11.26.1869

The Beale Street Baptist Church, a story

Beale Street Baptist Church

*Beale Street Baptist Church is celebrated on this date in 1869. Also known as First Baptist Church or Beale Avenue Baptist Church, it is a historic church built by a congregation of freed slaves in Memphis, Tennessee.

It was designed by the prominent Memphis architectural firm Jones & Baldwin, a partnership between Edward Culliatt Jones and Matthias Baldwin. Its foundation stone was laid in 1869 and constructed between 1871 and 1885. In the late 1880s, the church also housed the newspaper office of Ida B. Wells, the civil rights journalist.

Over the years, Ulysses S. Grant and Teddy Roosevelt made visits to the church. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was included in an enlargement of the National Historic Landmark District of Beale Street in 1993.

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