Historic First Baptist Church

727 Scotland Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

The First Baptist Church of Williamsburg was organized in 1776, with a quest by a group of courageous slaves and free blacks who wanted to worship God in their own way. First led by Rev. Moses, a free black itinerant preacher, they built a brush arbor* at Green Spring Plantation to gather secretly in song and prayer. Organized as Baptists by 1781 under Rev. Gowan Pamphlet, an enslaved man in Williamsburg, worshippers moved to Raccoon Chase. A member of the Cole family, Williamsburg landowners, offered the group the use of his carriage house on Nassau Street for a meeting place. The African Baptist Church, as it became known before the Civil War, dedicated a new brick church near the carriage house on Nassau Street in 1856, the congregation’s church home for the next 100 years. In 1863, the church was renamed the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. The present church at 727 Scotland Street has served the congregation since 1956.