Formed on September 29, 1844 on First Street in Louisville, KY the Second African Baptist Church was born. The church has not only seen the changing of its location, its name, and its pastors, but it witnessed a metamorphosis taking place. The church was not just a central location of worship for the black community, but a hub for the Civil Rights Movement. History took place under this church, history that would help change the lives of African Americans in Louisville, KY.
Second African Baptist Church got its name because it was
going to be only the second African Baptist Church in Louisville. It’s
organization efforts led by Brother George Wells were stalled in April of 1844.
Other churches didn’t feel as though another African church was needed nor
warranted in the community. Finally, on September 29, 1844, with permission
from other churches, twenty-eight African Americans came together in worship.
As the congregation grew, so did the church’s need for space. In 1848, the
church moved to Green St. In the 1930 the church relocated to its
current location and changed its name to the Green Street Baptist Church.
Behind the walls of this church, religion was not the only
topic of conversations. Civil Rights was also on the minds of the church
members. Green St. was able to be witness to several things that circulated
around the Civil Rights Movement. The church organized meetings and were successful
in the conquering of segregation on public transportation in Louisville. In
1920 the church joined the Interracial Commission that was headed by Dr. James
Bone. In 1961, Green St. showed its support to the student initiated sit ins
that were taking place in and around Louisville. Alas, in 1967, Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr attended the church. He was there for a rally that was being
sponsored by Green St. that was encouraging the black community to register to
vote. Dr. King would die a short year later, but his legacy and his dreams live
on with the Green Street Baptist Church.
Thanks to the churches support, its ability to stand the
test of time, and it’s fight for civil rights, the community of Louisville has
been steeped in tradition. A tradition and a legacy that was all started by
Brother George Wells whom wanted to make sure his fellow African Americans had
a place to worship and share fellowship. Brother Wells will never be forgotten,
nor will the churches place in the Civil Rights Movement that took place in