Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Spruce Street Baptist Church

Marker ID: THC 3A 174
Location: at the Spruce Street Baptist Church on 20th Ave. near Pearl St, Nashville, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 09.471    W 086° 48.256
  36.15785    -86.80426666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMEK7G


Spruce Street Baptist Church was originally a part of the First Colored Baptist Church, founded in 1848 as a “mission” of the First Baptist Church. Nashville’s first black ordained minister, the Rev. Nelson G. Merry, served as pastor. In 1865, the church formally gained its autonomy from the white church. Spruce Street Baptist Church in 1895 became (Cont.)

the second branch of the city’s first black Baptist church to organize a separate assembly. Formerly located near Capitol Hill, under Pastor Dr. A.M. Townsend, the first alumnus of Meharry Medical College to serve on its board of trustees, in 1955 the church body moved into this edifice designed by the architectural firm of McKissack and McKissack.