Skip to content

A Living Sanctuary: Zion Baptist Church & Columbia’s Civil Rights Struggle


By bhadmin April 21, 2020

After the Civil War, African American churches helped the formation of strong communities across the American South. During the Jim Crow era, African American ministers and church members led social and civic organizations that challenged injustice and segregation. Founded in 1865, Zion Baptist Church moved to 801 Washington Street in 1871. As one of the largest African American congregations in Columbia, Zion became a meeting place for a number of clubs and organizations such as the NAACP and the Negro Citizens Committee. During the 1960s, Zion Baptist Church was a safe haven for student activists who participated in downtown demonstrations.