From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Keas, Samuel G.

(born: 1812) Samuel Keas was a land owner, farmer, and cattle owner. Keas Street in Smithville [Montgomery County, KY] is named for him.

In 1878 Keas became the first pastor and namesake for the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church in Mt. Sterling, KY. Along with Bishop Miles from Louisville, KY and with the aid of Mrs. Eliza Magowan and Mr. Willis Magowan, Keas organized the church in a former school building. Future additions to this small church would be built around the existing structure, but the footprint remains the same, even today. Keas was a well-known and respected preacher prior to the Civil War, serving as a beacon to the black community in Montgomery County.

On August 17, 1856 he conducted a baptism at Lublegrud Creek in Montgomery County and performed the marriage of Patsy Magowan to Edward Howard on September 18, 1858. Samuel and his wife Nannie [Rebecca] had three children: daughters Amanda and Betty and son Allen.

This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society, courtesy Jane D. Hawkins, Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial.

For more information, see the National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form for Keas Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church [.pdf]; "Keas Tabernacle CME Church" on p. 245 in African American Historic Places, by B. L. Savage; and mention of Allen Keas and Keas Tabernacle in the column, "Religious," in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/31/1899, p. 8, and 6/3/1902, p. 7.

For information on Samuel Keas as pastor of the C.M.E. Center Street Church in Louisville, see p. 156 in The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O. H. Lakey.

For information on the prior history of the Keas Tabernacle C.M.E. Church, see the Mt. Sterling Station (Church) entry in the NKAA Database.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Smithville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Keas, Samuel G.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-01 17:51:48