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The First Baptist Church of St. Louis
*On this date in 1817, The First Baptist Church of St. Louis was founded.
Founded by a free slave named John Berry Meachum and John Mason Peck, a white-American Baptist missionary. The First Baptist of St. Louis is the oldest African American church west of the Mississippi River. The First African Baptist Church, now First Baptist Church, moved to 14th and Clark streets in 1848. In 1917 it moved again, to its present address at Bell Avenue.
The church later purchased the adjacent four-family flat and converted it into an educational building. The church had a fire and burned to the ground in 1940. The congregation had it reconstructed on the same site within thirteen months On April 22, 2017, the church, its pastor Rev. Henry Midgett and first lady Jacqueline Midgett celebrated the 200th anniversary of the church at the Randall Gallery, 999 N. 13th St.