We've Come This Far By Faith
Nicodemus National Historic Site
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Sunday school, prayer meetings, gospel singing, spirited preaching, church suppers, and special events all graced the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church. Churches are the cornerstone of black communities throughout the US.
Before Emancipation, restrictive laws often prohibited blacks from gathering in large numbers, except in churches. Rev Samuel Roundtree, one of five Nicodemus organizers and promoters, recruited homesteaders from Baptist churches in central Kentucky.
Soon after arriving in the fall of 1877, Rev. Silas Lee organized the Nicodemus First Baptist Church. At first the congregation worshiped in a dugout at Tom Johnson's homestead north of town. Later they worshiped in a large sod structure at this location. In 1880, they built a large limestone church here on the main street of the growing town. In 1907, the congregation substantially enlarged the church and the front entrance moved to this side of the building. The original church was incorporated with the new one.
"Weekends were what I remember most about Nicodemus. We would come up for the weekends and play in the streets and go to church. After
church there'd be dinners and the candy at the little old store that used to be there."
At least one wall of that earlier, limestone church remains, supporting the east side of the building. Oral tradition has it that when the larger, new church was complete, the old church was disassembled and taken out through the windows of the new one.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Churches & Religion • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 39° 23.593′ N, 99° 37.014′ W. Marker is in Nicodemus, Kansas, in Graham County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Avenue and 4th Street, on the right when traveling west on Washington Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 South Ave, Bogue KS 67625, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Baptist Church (a few steps from this marker); Nicodemus Baseball History (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mail From Back Home (about 400 feet away); St. Francis Hotel (about 400 feet away); Leaning On The Land (about 400 feet away); Nicodemus
More about this marker.
Church members proudly posed by the entrance, 1940s.
Also see . . . Nicodemus Nat'l Hist. Site. (Submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 12 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on August 15, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker in context. • Can you help?