African Meetinghouse

Also known as: First African Baptist Church, African Baptist Church Society
8 Smith Court, Boston, Massachusetts


Street View 


This brick meeting house was built in 1806 for the congregation of the "African Baptist Church", which had been founded a year earlier. Built by black labor, it was the first black church in Boston and is also the oldest existing African-American church building in the United States. William Lloyd Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society here in 1832, and many leading abolitionists spoke from its pulpit. The Meeting House, restored to its 1850s appearance, is now the Museum of Afro American History and the heart of the Boston African American National Historic Site. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, May 30, 1974

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 7, 1971
Reference number
Architectural style
Areas of significance
Ethnic Heritage - Black; Architecture; Religion; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874; 1800-1824; 1825-1849
Significant years
1806; 1900