Mount Sinai Baptist Church

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


Mount Sinai Baptist Church is primarily a Gothic Revival brick building, featuring the characteristic pointed-arch windows and towers as well as some elements of the Victorian style. It was built in rural western Nansemond County (now the city of Suffolk) in 1921 for an African American congregation formed in 1867 by the Rev. Israel Cross, a former enslaved individual. The current church, which has additions from 1964 and 2000, was constructed by members of the congregation who were local brick masons, and designed by German-born architect Richard Herman Riedel. Mount Sinai would have been an impressive statement on the landscape, as most rural churches erected in Nansemond County at this time were made of wood. It reflects the relative prosperity of its members, who belonged to a trade, as opposed to the more common farmhands often making up a rural church’s congregation. A cemetery sits to the south of the Mount Sinai Baptist Church, containing graves dating from 1920 to the present.

Last Updated: January 31, 2024

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

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Nomination Form


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(MPD) Multiple Property Document