Baptists and the American Civil War: July 24, 1865

preliminary_emancipationThe formation of African American Baptist churches in the South continues unabated.

Among the many congregations established this month is the Beards Chapel Baptist Church of Robertson County, Tennessee.

Black churches, however, are often used for more than worship services. In Macon, Georgia, one of the South’s newest Freedmen schools operates out of an African American Baptist meeting house.

In upstate South Carolina, meanwhile, news of emancipation finally reaches black citizens this day as federal troops march into the area. The soldiers travel from plantation to plantation, informing yet enslaved blacks and their masters of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Many white Southerners are also seeking redemption. Today James P. Boyce, one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is pardoned by Andrew Johnson.

Sources: Yolanda G. Reid & Rick S. Gregory, Robertson County, Tennessee, p. 182 (link); Titus Brown, Faithful, Firm, and True: African American Education in the South, Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, pp. 3-4 (link); W. J. Megginson, African American Life in South Carolina’s Upper Piedmont, 1780-1900, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2002, p. 202 (link); Andrew Johnson, The Papers of Andrew Johnson, pp. 431-432 (link)