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

Braxton, Frederick [Bracktown] [Main Street Baptist Church]

(born: 1819  -  died: 1876) 

Rev. Frederick Braxton, born in Kentucky, was  enslaved, a blacksmith, and became pastor of the First African Church in 1854. In 1864, the church was located on Short Street, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65. Rev. Braxton succeeded Elder London Ferrill, who had organized the congregation in 1822; Elder Ferrill died in 1854.

During Rev. Braxton's tenure, the church continued to grow and had over 2,000 members by the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The following year the First African Church split, with 500 members following Rev. Braxton as he founded the Independent African Church, which was located at the corner of Main and Locust Streets, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65. For a brief period, Rev. Braxton was pastor of both the new church and the First African Church.

New church members were baptized in the Poor House Pond located in the southern part of Lexington. [The pond was also used for the baptisms of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church]. In 1867, Rev. Braxton organized a school with nearly 300 students at the Independent African Church; it was managed by Negro teachers. Later the Independent African Church was located at the corner of Main and Merino Streets, according to the Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874. The name of the church would be changed to Second Colored Baptist Church (1876), to Main Street Independent Baptist Church, and then later renamed the Main Street Baptist Church.

Rev. Braxton was also a land owner: he owned part of the Stonetown property on Leestown Pike in Fayette County, KY, where the community that became known as Bracktown (named for Rev. Braxton) was established. He began purchasing land in 1867 and continued up through 1874.

Rev. Frederick Braxton died January 31, 1876. He was the husband of Keziah "Kessie" Ware Braxton, and they were the parents of Cary Braxton (d. 1913) and Charly J. Braxton (d. 1923) [source: Kentucky Death Certificates], Molly Braxton (d. 1876) and Merritt (d. 1901) [source: Yvonne Giles], Henderson A. W. Braxton [source: Freedmen's Bank Record], Betsy Braxton, Sara J. Braxton, and Ella Braxton [source: 1870 U.S. Census]. After Rev. Braxton's death, his widow Keziah and daughter Betsie (or Betsy) Braxton lived on Bolivar Street in the 2nd house east of Broadway [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. Keziah (or Kesiah) Braxton died in 1898 [source: Yvonne Giles - Death Certificate #3041].

For more see A History of Kentucky Baptists, Vol. 2, by J. A. Spencer; A Brief History of the First Baptist Church (Black), by H. E. Nutter (1940), a Baptist History Homepage website; "Under the law...," Lexington Observer and Reporter, 10/2/1867, p. 3; "Five thousand people," The Kentucky Leader, 4/18/1892, p. 7; Kentucky Place Names, by R. M. Rennick; and "A Hamlet and a Railroad Town" at the African Americans in the Bluegrass website. For a photograph of Rev.  Braxton, see the First Baptist Church Souvenir Bulletin in the Sallie Price Collection at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center

Deed Book - Braxton Property on Leestown Road, Lexington, Kentucky.  Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Deed Book 43, p. 561, 1/16/1867,  7 acres
  • Deed book 43, p. 425, 4/10/1867,  4 acres
  • Deed Book 45, p. 160, 2/22/1868,  3 acres
  • Deed Book 47, p.   62,   4/1/1869,  7 acres
  • Deed Book 53, p. 295, 5/20/1874, 19 acres
  • Deed Book 53, p. 393                     2 acres 

Braxton family members buried in African Cemetery No.2. Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Frederick Braxton d. 1/31/1876
  • Mollie Braxton d. 3/11/1876
  • Kesiah (Keziah) Braxton d. 9/14/1898
  • Cary W. Braxton d. 3/31/1913
  • Mary Ellen Prior Braxton [wife of Cary W.] d. 11/9/1924
  • Charles (Charly) Jefferson Braxton d. 6/5/1923
  • Charles C. Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 3/2/1917
  • Katherine Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1880 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Nora Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1888 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Margaret Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Fred Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Maria Edmonds Braxton [wife of Charles J.] d. 7/26/1931
  • Merritt Braxton d. 1/1/1901

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bracktown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Braxton, Frederick [Bracktown] [Main Street Baptist Church],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-11-03 15:26:01