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Court Street Baptist Church front

Court Street Baptist Church, originally known as the African Baptist Church, is regarded as the mother church of all the city’s Black Baptist congregations. The Court Street Baptist Church congregation dates its beginning in 1815 while worshiping at the First Baptist Church (white). Court Street Baptist Church was not organized as a separate church until 1843.

The present edifice designed by R.C. Burkholder, a local white architect, was constructed exclusively by black laborers many of whom were church members. Construction began in 1879 and was completed in 1880.

Court Street Baptist Church was esteemed as Lynchburg’s chief black architectural landmark, with its spire the tallest object gracing the downtown skyline .Today the church stands as a testament to the perseverance, enterprise, and faith of a godly people.

The Court Street Baptist Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1982 and is also on the Virginia Landmarks Register.