Wilmington’s black Christian churches are testimony to a tenacious spirit in the face of racism, poverty, illiteracy, and little political representation. Against the backdrop of a changing political, social and economic landscape, black churches have survived while growing and prospering. Despite numerous fires, financial challenges, and changing Ministers and congregations, black churches have transitioned successfully into the 21st century. Today they are vibrant and strong and stand tall in historic Wilmington.

Black churches in historic Wilmington offer a rich history of pre-Civil War congregations evolving into modern day entities. An extensive architectural variety is represented among the fifteen churches. Despite many of these churches burning to the ground repeatedly, the congregations remained firm, rebuilding and repairing as needed. Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church still occupies the original 1858 building and First Baptist Missionary Church continues to display their original Bible which miraculously escaped a devastating fire. Beautiful stained glass windows adorn Saint Phillip’s AME Zion and First Baptist Church. Many of these churches also boast Historic Wilmington Foundation historic plaques and several have preserved their historic bells.

Join us on a web tour or take your own self-guided walking tour amongst some of the richest Christian heritage that historic downtown Wilmington has to offer.

African American Heritage Foundation of Wilmington 2008