St. John Baptist Church

It stands as a reminder of the pivotal role of the church in African-American communities.


St. John Baptist Church, built in 1868, is believed to be the oldest African-American church in this region. It was built by Rev. Basile Dorsey, a black preacher and landowner in the village named for him, Dorseyville. St. John Baptist Church is a basilican plan building five bays deep with a second story gallery on three sides of the interior. The basic form and appearance of St. John Baptist Church is related to rural Greek Revival churches of the mid-19th century, possessing a clapboarded structure with tall windows, a partial entablature and a forward facing gable. However, unlike this prototype, St. John has a three-stage entrance tower at its center, which is largely Italianate in detailing. Although the church has experienced some change over the years, almost all modifications have been on the interior or to the rear. The exterior looks much as it did when the building was completed. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and is still used for services each week.

Friday: Closed

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