Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Montgomery 1st Baptist Church
First Baptist Church was the site of many mass meetings during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 through 1956. Martin Luther King's good friend Reverend Ralph Abernathy was Pastor of this church at this time and was instrumental in the selection of Dr. King to lead the committee in charge of the boycott.
The building we see here was built brick by brick by parishioners after the bus boycott. When the boycott ended this church and three others were damaged so badly by bombing attacks that they had to be rebuilt. The original church was formed in 1867 on this site and at one time was the largest black church in the United States.
On May 17,1961 Dr, King, injured freedom riders who had been beaten by white mobs, and 1,500 protesters were trapped inside the church by rioting whites who threw bricks and bombed a car. The police did nothing to help. It was only when the National Guard arrived at midnight that the congregation was able to go home. During their frightening hours in the church, they just kept singing.