A look at the significance of local historically black churches

Friendship Baptist Church has historical roots in the city of Columbus.
Friendship Baptist Church has historical roots in the city of Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — News 3 is celebrating black history month taking a local look at the rich tradition of churches in Columbus. The Liberty District houses many historically black churches, arts venues, and educational facilities alike. Some of the oldest churches in the district date back to the 1800’s.

Friendship Baptist Church has historical roots in the city of Columbus.
Friendship Baptist Church has historical roots in the city of Columbus.

Spires line the sky and tell the stories of those stinging from their pain. Columbus was founded in 1828. Slaves toiled hard to produce for the city. Soon after emancipation and the end of the Civil War, the influence of many blacks grew in Columbus and across the South.

Callie Hecht with Historic Columbus leads several black history tours each year. She says the church provided a safe haven for blacks away from a majority prejudiced society.

“It brought people together in the 1800’s, and it brings people together today,” Hecht said. “It was where they could come sing songs and be happy about a time in their lives that was really hard.”

Hecht adds that civil rights activists frequently met in churches to plan sit-ins and other protests around the city. She says black churches still stand as learning centers for people of all cultures. She tells News 3 that there’s still a strong local interest in Columbus to learn about the city’s black history.

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