African Baptist Church (Henderson, KY)
The African Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, located in Henderson, KY, held its meetings in fields, barns, or any location where they could gather. In 1840, the African Baptist Church received membership into the white Baptist Church, according to "African Baptist Church," pp. 476-480 in the History of Henderson County, Kentucky, by E. L. Starling. The group stayed within the white Baptist Church until 1845, when the African Baptist Church was organized, after which the group held services in the basement of the white Baptist Church. Willis Walker, a slave, was chosen as the pastor of the African Baptist Church, and the church purchased his freedom for $560. Rev. Walker died during a creek baptism and was replaced by Rev. Henry Green from Danville, KY. In 1866, the African Baptist Church split: 33 members left to form the Race Creek Baptist Church. In 1866, the African Baptist Church separated from the white Baptist Church and moved into its first building, the old Methodist Church building at the corner of Elm and Washington Streets. The church was renamed First Missionary Baptist Church, and several more churches would grow out of the congregation: St. Paul's Baptist Church in Corydon; St. John Baptist Church; New Hope Baptist Church; Walnut Hill Baptist Church; and Fourth Street Baptist Church.