Springfield Baptist Church Greenville

Black History Month 2018 #10

Springfield Baptist Church, Greenville

Ken Pauli
February 23, 2018 - 4:00 am

You won’t have to travel far to visit the next site on our list of places to visit for Black History Month.  It’s the historic Springfield Baptist Church, 600 E. McBee Ave., in Greenville.

Springfield is the oldest black Baptist congregation in downtown Greenville. It was founded in 1867 by 65 freed slaves and four deacons who had been members of Greenville Baptist Church (now First Baptist.) Services started in the basement of Greenville Baptist until they got their own church in 1871.

Springfield Baptist Church was not only a center for spiritual growth, but a safe space in the face of Klan intimidation. It became the headquarters for non-violent civil rights protests in the 60s, where in January of 1960, they held a peaceful march from the church to the Greenville Downtown Airport.  It was organized after the keynote speaker for a state NAACP convention, Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, was denied use of the airport’s waiting room. 

The church you see today was built in 1976, replacing one that burned down in 1972. Only the bell survived, placed now in front of the church sanctuary.  (See our photo) 

Check out Springfield Baptist's Facebook page.

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