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First Baptist Church marks 150th anniversary Sunday

One of Gloucester County’s older black churches will celebrate its 150th anniversary this Sunday by “Reflecting on the Past, Honoring the Present, and Providing a Legacy for the Future.”

First Baptist Church, Ordinary, will observe its sesquicentennial anniversary at 3:30 p.m. Pastor Reginald Davis and the congregation of the historic First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, will be the special guests.

First Baptist of Gloucester was originally known as “Old Glebe Colored Church” when it became an independent African-American congregation in 1867. The congregation comprised primarily former slaves who had been freed with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

Prior to this, both slaves and whites worshipped at Providence Baptist Church, which was organized in 1850 in Ordinary. Providence had 430 members; the slaves worshipped separately in an arbor—an old shack that was attached to the church.

Apparently emancipation of the sl...

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