The History of Nazareth First Baptist Church

[Organized in 1867]

Nazareth First Baptist Church was organized in 1867, as an outgrowth of a group of slaves who were gathered together for Bible Study by Miss Mary Patton in the basement of her father's home in Beaverdam between 1862 and 1863.

Miss Patton's father, Capt. Tom Patton, gave his slaves some land on Chinquapin ridge, present site of Nazareth First Baptist Church, for a place of worship.

After the organization of Nazareth Church, the members started to build a log cabin on the donated land. But their first place of worship was an arbor made of brush cut from trees needed in the log structure.

There were eleven charter members of Nazareth First Baptist; these eleven persons had been members of First Baptist (white). When the blacks decided to leave the First Baptist (white), they were escorted by the Reverend Thomas Stradley, a white minister who founded the Baptist Church in 1829, and a black minister, the Reverend Caleb Johnson. These two ministers led the eleven members to the present site of the church.

The original church building was a log building, which was used for a number of years after which a brick church was built. This church was destroyed by fire in February 1958.

During the construction of the new church the congregation worshipped in the auditorium of the YWCA, and later in the Allen Center, which was at the time Allen Home School. The new and present church was dedicated April 2, 1961, Rev. Otis E. Dunn was the pastor at the time, the present pastor is Rev. Charles Moseley.