DETROIT - The Second Baptist Church of Detroit says they are holding a two-day celebration to honor the 177th Anniversary of the oldest African American church in Michigan.
The church said it was founded in 1836, one year before Michigan became a state, by thirteen former slaves and free men and women.
The celebration began Saturday as Rev. Dr. Julia M. Robinson presented a lecture called "Home of Strangers: Detroit's Second Baptist and the Great Migration."
Robinson's lecture was about the little known story of how the church helped hundreds of black southern migrants find housing, employment, and faith during the Great Migration.
The church said Robinson will return Sunday at 10:30 am to deliver the sermon. Her message, "Establishing the Kingdom of God: A Legacy of Faith..." is said to be spiritually uplifting, said the church.
"We are blessed and excited to have such an outstanding speaker and scholar to help us to celebrate our 177th anniversary," said Bobbie R. Fowlkes-Davis, Anniversary Chairperson.
Since 1836, the church says it has achieved many milestones, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father, Rev. King, Sr., speaking at the church, abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaking from its pulpit, and establishing one of the first schools for African Americans in Detroit.
"We are proud of Second Baptist Church's long history of actively fighting for freedom, equality and justice for African Americans," said Rev. Dr. Kevin M. Turman, Pastor. "We invite all citizens to attend this momentous occasion."
The public is welcomed to attend these free events. Refreshments will be served following the program.
The church says free validated parking will be available at 1001 Brush Street, between Monroe and E. Lafayette. Second Baptist Church of Detroit is located at 441 Monroe near Greektown in downtown Detroit.
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