Pensacola in Escambia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Historic John the Baptist Church
Historic John the Baptist Church is the oldest Baptist congregation in Pensacola. In 1846, the First Baptist Colored Church of Pensacola, known as Historic John the Baptist Church since 1927, was organized in the Seville Square community. The congregation's first church served black and white Baptists until the Civil War. When fires during the war threatened to burn Pensacola, the colored Baptists kept the church open. After the war, a dispute between black and white Baptists arose regarding the church property. As a result, the black congregation was permitted only limited use of the church. This dispute is recorded in a letter, now in the National Archives, that the colored Baptists wrote to the Freedman's Bureau in 1866. In 1870, under the leadership of the Reverend Robert Ahrens (c. 1833-1925), the founder of the West Florida Baptist Association, the black congregation relocated to the Hawkshaw community. The congregation's first church at this location, built in 1872, was destroyed by a fire. A second church built in 1897, was lost in a storm. The present church was built in 1907 and has played a vital role in the spiritual life of the Hawkshaw community.
Erected 2010 by the Congregation of Historic John the Baptist Church and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-692.)
Location. 30° 24.938′ N, 87° 12.241′ W. Marker is in Pensacola, Florida, in Escambia County. Marker is at the intersection of North 10th Avenue and East Salamanca Street, on the right when traveling south on North 10th Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 North 10th Avenue, Pensacola FL 32502, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hawkshaw (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stephen R. Mallory (approx. 0.3 miles away); John Innerarity (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ebenezer Dorr (approx. 0.3 miles away); Eugenio Antonio Sierra (approx. 0.3 miles away); Don Manuel Gonzalez (approx. 0.3 miles away); P.K. Yonge (approx. 0.3 miles away); Jose Noriega (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pensacola.
Also see . . . John the Baptist Church History. (Submitted on March 12, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 12, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 400 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 12, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.