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Chillicothe in Ross County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The First Baptist Church

Historic Underground Railroad

 
 
The First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 24, 2022
1. The First Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  
In July 1824, David Nickens assisted by the Rev. Nathan Cory and Rev. William White brought together a group of people in his home for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Church. The new church selected the name of the First Regular African Baptist Church of Christ of Chillicothe.

Nickens became the first ordained African American minister in Ohio when he was ordained in October of the same year. The by-laws of the new church included a strong anti-slavery statement. Nickens and others continued to speak out against slavery and for the rights of African Americans. As a matter of fact, members of the congregation Richard Chancellor and this two sons. Richard and Robert were Underground Railroad operators. In the 1830's the church's name became the First Anti-slavery Baptist Church of Chillicothe.

Between the years of 1858 and 1660, John R. Bowles served as pastor. He formed the choral music department known for its excellence throughout southern Ohio. During his pastorate, the church operated a school for the education of African American Children.

In 1869. the congregation purchased a brick structure from
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the New Jerusalem Society at 65 West Fourth Street between Walnut and Paint where it is presently located The trustees at the time were Joseph Ogelvie, Joseph Hackley, James Hackley, Stephen Davis, Mark Shavers, Robert Stephens Sr., and James Jones. The Baptismal was built in 1894 under the pastorate of Rev. Henry C. Randolph.

Through the years, the church. has been blessed by many capable pastors and deacons whose mission it has been to promote Christ and improve society. One of those talented ministers, Rev. Melvin Woodward served the congregation for more than twenty years.

A major renovation and expansion project was completed in October 2002 under the pastorate of Rev. Jonathan McReynolds enabling the church to continue its ministry for years to come.
 
Erected by The Friends of Freedom Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansChurches & Religion. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1824.
 
Location. 39° 19.899′ N, 82° 59.032′ W. Marker is in Chillicothe, Ohio, in Ross County. Marker is on West 4th Street east of South Walnut Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 65 W 4th St, Chillicothe OH 45601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
The First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 24, 2022
2. The First Baptist Church Marker
this marker. The Underground Railroad in Chillicothe / Ross County (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Chillicothe Gazette (about 400 feet away); Home of Chillicothe Newspapers (about 400 feet away); A Replica of Ohio's First Capitol (about 400 feet away); Historic Site in Journalism (about 400 feet away); A Cannon Captured from the British in Revolutionary War. (about 500 feet away); Donald E. McHenry (about 700 feet away); Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chillicothe.
 
The First Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 24, 2022
3. The First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, June 24, 2022
4. The First Baptist Church
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 191 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 19, 2022, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 19, 2024