“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Dunbar Broadway in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, May 3, 2008
1. First Baptist Church Marker
Inscription.  First Baptist Church, the oldest Black Baptist church in Maryland, was founded amidst turmoil in 1836, five years after Nat Turner's Rebellion in Virginia. Alarmed at the Rebellion, Maryland and other slave states passed laws restricting the movement of free Blacks across state lines, prohibiting the employment of free Black immigrants, and forbidding the teaching of reading and writing to slaves.

In this heavily charged atmosphere, Moses Clayton, an ex-slave and lay minister from Norfolk, Virginia was called to Baltimore by William Crane, a well-known merchant and active Baptist, also from Norfolk. Clayton arrived in Baltimore in 1834, began Sunday School classes in his home, and was ordained the following year. On February 2, 1836, the "First Colored People's Baptist Church of Baltimore" was founded and housed in a school building near Belair Market, offered rent-free by a sympathetic banker.

As minister, Clayton energetically fought for the education of Black children. He joined other activists in petitioning the City to stop taxing Blacks for the support of public schools which excluded them, and urged a separate system
First Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Busta-Peck, May 3, 2008
2. First Baptist Church
to be established. The petitions were rejected, but the Baptist Sunday School, through its religious and secular classes, continued to play a vital part in the struggle to provide education to the Black community.
Erected by the City of Baltimore, First Baptist Church, William Donald Schaefer, mayor.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series list.
Location. 39° 17.817′ N, 76° 35.842′ W. Marker is in Dunbar Broadway in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on North Caroline Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 525 North Caroline Street, Baltimore MD 21205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Dunbar High School (a few steps from this marker); Dr. Charles W. Simmons (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The General’s Highway (approx. 0.2 miles away); Young Martyrs (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Poe’s Death (approx. 0.3 miles away); Thomas Wildey Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Church Home and Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ferdinand Clairborne Latrobe (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dunbar Broadway.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 3, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,348 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 3, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.
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Oct. 24, 2020