First African Presbyterian Church Cemetery

Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA Add to Map
Memorials 189 added (4% photographed)

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The early Philadelphia death records list some who are buried in an African Presbyterian cemetery. There is a First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, but it is no longer located on the original grounds.

First African Presbyterian Church, founded in 1807, was the first black Presbyterian congregation in the United States. In 1809, First African became a chartered organization. Many of its pastors have been central figures in the history of black Presbyterians.

John Gloucester, a slave and noted preacher born in Tennessee in 1776, arrived in Philadelphia in 1807. His appearance coincided with the search by the Evangelical Society of Philadelphia for a black pastor to lead the black Presbyterian congregation for which it was trying to collect sufficient funds to build a church. While waiting for his freedom and for the funds to materialize, Gloucester began to gather a congregation and to preach in a house on Gaskill Street. His congregation quickly grew too large for the house and he moved it outdoors to the corner of 7th and Shippen (now Bainbridge) Streets, where the First African Presbyterian Church was built and dedicated in May of 1811.


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  • Added: 28 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2455245