Historian Ben Roberts Attends 150th Anniversary Celebration of First African Baptist Church

On August 19th, Brockington historian Ben Roberts attended the 150th anniversary celebration of the First African Baptist Church on Hilton Head Island. Ben is researching the church and its congregation as part of his study of three potential Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) on Hilton Head Island. TCPs are resources that are self-identified as culturally significant or important by the culture with which they are associated.

The First African Baptist Church was initially founded on August 17, 1862 in nearby Mitchelville by the Reverend Abraham Murchison, an escaped slave from Savannah. He and approximately 30 other former slaves were the first members, and the current Gullah congregants trace their lineage and culture to the original founders.

The celebration on August 19th included church services, a celebration lunch, the dedication of a new church cornerstone, and the unveiling of a new South Carolina Historic Marker. Additional information about the church and its anniversary celebration can be found here:


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