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First Baptist Church Chatham

135 King Street East, Chatham [map]
Telephone: 519-352-9553
Email: bapthistory@teksavvy.com

Directions

From Windsor/Detroit, take Highway 401 east to Exit 81 (Bloomfield Road) to Richmond Street. Turn right on Richmond Street, crossing over Queen Street (Richmond Street becomes Park Street). At William Street, turn left and proceed two blocks to King Street. Turn right on King Street. The church is on your left.

From Toronto/London, take Highway 401 west to Exit 40 (Communication Road). Turn right and head towards Chatham. Turn left onto Park Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks and make an immediate right on Hyslop Street. Turn left on Park Street and an immediate right on Duke Street. Turn left on King Street. The church is on your right.

Description

On May 10, 1858, American abolitionist John Brown held the last in a series of clandestine meetings here at First Baptist Church Chatham. Brown planned to establish an independent republic within the United States and wage guerilla warfare to liberate the South from slavery. He came to Upper Canada to recruit Blacks who had fled here in the wake of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. On October 16, 1859, John Brown and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia, and held it against counterattack for two days.

Brown, executed as a traitor, became a martyr and a hero. His action escalated the tensions between the North and South that led to the Civil War in 1861. While continuing to honour the legacy of the founding congregation of 1841, we welcome you to join us for a Sunday service at 10:45 a.m.

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