Last Week’s #ThrowbackThursday a Clue to this Week’s Blue Grass Trust deTour of First African Baptist Church

Last Week’s #TBT Photo

The Streetsweeper successfully guessed that a connection might lie between last week’s #TBT post and this week’s Blue Grass Trust deTour of the First African Baptist Church.

I had significantly cropped the contest photo, displayed above, from the original. In so doing, I actually masked the church from view. In the foreground is a Sunday School class from what was known in its day as the First Baptist Church (Colored) while the background showed the streetscape of Short Street ca. 1911 looking west from Deweese Street. At the time it was highly residential and quite different from its present form.

The uncropped photo follows after the jump.

1911 Photo of First African Baptist Church Sunday School – Lexington, Ky.
Photo: University of Kentucky.

The uncropped photo also shows the church as it originally appeared, prior to the 1926 Collegiate Tudor addition.

Further back in history, this congregation was the largest in the Commonwealth. The church acquired the property in 1833 and the extant structure was erected in 1856. But the congregation itself traces its roots back to 1790 and its first minister, Peter Durrett.

To learn more about this beautiful piece of Lexington’s East End history (and how you can help preserve her), join the Blue Grass Trust deTour tomorrow evening (that’s Wednesday at 5:30). More details are available on Facebook at

Also, be sure to check out Merlene Davis’ column which appeared in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader, “Efforts continue to purchase Lexington’s historic First African Baptist Church.”