AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - An Augusta congregation is marking its 225th anniversary as the nation's oldest continuously meeting black church.
The Augusta Chronicle reports that Springfield Baptist Church was founded in 1787 by free and enslaved blacks, and served as Augusta's only Baptist church until 1817.
The Rev. Al Sharpton addressed about 1,000 people on Sunday as part of the congregation's anniversary events.
Sharpton said the community has forgotten where it has come from, and what it took to get to where the church is today.
Sharpton also noted the church's historic role in the founding of Morehouse College, which originated in the basement of Springfield as the Augusta Baptist Institute in 1867. The school moved to Atlanta in 1879 as the Atlanta Baptist Institute and was later renamed Morehouse College.