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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

104-0181 Mount Zion Baptist Church

Mount Zion Baptist Church
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/19/1991

NRHP Listing Date 10/15/1992

NPS property number 92001388

Mount Zion Baptist Church evokes the struggle by Charlottesville’s African Americans to establish a viable community following emancipation. Blacks required institutions that were truly their own, and the churches filled that need by serving not only as houses of worship but social centers, theaters, and meeting places dealing with the affairs of the black community. The Mount Zion congregation was organized in 1867 and met in private houses until a Ridge Street house was donated to serve as a permanent home. It was replaced by a wooden church in 1875. The congregation outgrew the building and replaced it with the present brick structure in 1884. Embellished in the 1890s with its steeple, stained-glass windows, and pipe organ, the church became a symbol of the growing importance of Charlottesville’s black community. Local tradition assigns its design to George Wallace Spooner, a local architect.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated February 8, 2019