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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Selma in Dallas County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

First Baptist Church

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

 
 
First Baptist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
1. First Baptist Church Marker
Inscription. First Baptist was the first church in Selma to open its doors to members of the Dallas County Voters League as well as to young activists from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. From 1963 to 1965, under the leadership of Reverend M.C. Cleveland Jr., it was the frequent site of mass meetings and nonviolence training sessions. These led to the rallies and demonstrations that culminated in the historic march to Montgomery.

In December 1964, law enforcement authorities in Selma sought an injunction against mass meetings. Martin Luther King Jr. purposely broke the law by delivering a speech at Brown Chapel on January 2, 1965. Although Brown Chapel became King's headquarters during the march to Montgomery, King and his colleagues were frequent speakers here, at what was aptly called "The Movement Church."

At First Baptist Church many African Americans learned the principles of nonviolent protest, sang freedom songs, and filled out voter registration forms for the first time.
 
Erected 2014 by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 32° 24.876′ N, 87° 1.07′ W. Marker is in Selma, Alabama, in Dallas County. Marker is at the intersection of Martin
First Baptist Church with marker on right side. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
2. First Baptist Church with marker on right side.
Luther King Jr. Street and JL Chestnut Jr Boulevard, on the left when traveling north on Martin Luther King Jr. Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 709 Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Selma AL 36703, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Turning Point (a few steps from this marker); A Grassroots Movement (a few steps from this marker); George Washington Carver Neighborhood (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lewis Scott (about 600 feet away); I Had A Dream (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sanctuary to Stage (approx. 0.2 miles away); George Washington Carver Homes Projects (approx. 0.2 miles away); Temple Mishkan Israel (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Selma.
 
Regarding First Baptist Church. This Gothic Revival-style church building was constructed in 1894 by a local black architect, Dave Benjamin West. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
 
Additional keywords. SNCC
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionCivil Rights
 
View from marker north towards intersection of Chestnut Boulevard and Martin Luther King Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
3. View from marker north towards intersection of Chestnut Boulevard and Martin Luther King Street.
Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Street Historic Walking Tour. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
4. Part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Street Historic Walking Tour.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 6, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 104 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 6, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   4. submitted on January 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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