Historic Markers Across Florida

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church

Marker ID: FLHM F-784
Location: 429 NW 4th St., Gainesville, FL
County: Alachua
Coordinates: N 29° 39.334    W 082° 19.709
  29.65556666    -82.32848333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVP8F


Mt. Carmel Baptist Church

The congregation of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church first met on May 4, 1896. The church's original members worshipped in the St. Paul CME Church, and together the congregations bought a parcel of land in 1900 to build a new church. Its construction continued piecemeal until the church was completed in 1943. Led by NAACP leader, the Rev. Thomas A. Wright, high school and college students, and church elders met at Mt. Carmel to organize for school integration and the appointment of black city officials from 1962 until Wright's retirement in 2006. They were aided by the strategy and power of University of Florida professors Ruth McQuown and Marshall Jones. In 1963, a Civil Rights march for desegregated public facilities and businesses began here. Students from the all-black Lincoln High School, including Joel Buchanan, Sandra Ezell, and LaVon Wright, met at Mt. Carmel to catch rides to Gainesville High School during the school's integration from 1964-1970. Wright advocated for the role of community youth in moving equality forward, and his nonviolent protests in St. Augustine and Gainesville mobilized other black communities across the state to work toward desegregation in the second half of the 20th century.

F-784 Prayers By Faith Ministries and the
Florida Department of State