After Nat Turner's rebellion in 1831, Virginia passed laws to prevent the religious gatherings of enslaved and free blacks without the supervision of white persons. In 1841, under the control of their white patrons, a group of free blacks left Gillfield Baptist Church and formed the Third Baptist Church. Third Baptist remained under white supervision until after the Civil War when the African American congregation gathered at the Old Market Street Church and later purchased an abandoned schoolhouse at Lavender Lane and Rock Street. From 1865 to 1866, African American preacher John Jasper (1812-190), author of the well-known sermon, "The Sun Do Move," served as its pastor. In 1961 the congregation left the Lavender Lane/Rock Street location and moved into the former Wesley Methodist Church building (630 Halifax Street).
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630 Halifax Street