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

West Chestnut Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY)

The West Chestnut Street Baptist Church was organized in 1886 in Louisville, KY, with Reverend William Johnson as pastor. Reverend Johnson was pastor for more than 30 years and he was respected as a leader. The church was known to have a number of professional men within the congregation such as doctors and lawyers who supported church efforts. The church also became known for its fine Black gospel music; the West Chestnut Street Baptist Church Choir performed in the 1986 film Aida. From the 1950s-1970s, the church served as a training center for civil rights protests. In the 1980s, when Reverend C. Mackey Daniels was leading the church, there was a partnership developed with the Highland Presbyterian Church, which was predominately white and led by Reverend James O. Chatham. The two church congregations worked together to speak out for racial unity in Louisville. For more see a picture and brief history of the church in Negro Baptist History, U.S.A., 1790-1930 by L. G. Jordan; and "A Tale of Two Congregations" in Sundays Down South by J. O. Chatham.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Aida (film)
NKAA Source: Negro Baptist history, U.S.A., 1750, 1930
NKAA Source: Sundays down South : a pastor's stories

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“West Chestnut Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-05-25 23:32:43