the heartbeat of African American communities

The Rev. James Speed leads Allen Temple AME Church in positively impacting the community. Photo by Will Crooks.

The monstrosity of slavery birthed something more powerful than slaveowners could’ve ever anticipated. The church.

Black churches rose among the horrors of slavery to allow African-Americans a safe place of spiritual equality and self-expression. Today, churches in Greenville continue to be the nucleus of black communities.

Community impact

The church plays many roles in the 21st-century black community. The Rev. Darian Blue, senior pastor of Nicholtown Missionary Baptist Church, says the church today continues to act, in a sense, as a shelter from injustice and discrimination. 

“While some black churches have moved outside of the communities … it is still a…

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