Second Baptist Church of Detroit is a historic and still-functioning church that is featured in my middle grade historical fiction novel, The Candle Star. Organized in 1836, a year before Michigan became a state, it is the oldest Black congregation in the state. Shortly after it’s founding, the members became active in the Underground Railroad, helping runaways over the Detroit River and into Canada.
Second Baptist started the first Detroit school for Black children in 1937. It has also produced many prominent social activists, from early abolitionists to presidents of the Detroit NAACP and even a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The congregation moved to it’s present location in 1857, just two years before The Candle Star takes place.
The church offers very informative lecture and walking tours. Click here for information.