The African Meeting House
of the Museum of
African American History
The African Meeting House on Beacon Hill was built in 1806 in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th-century African American community. It is today a showcase of Black community organization in the formative years of the new republic.
The African Meeting House is the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States. Thomas Paul, an African American preacher from New Hampshire, led worship meetings for blacks at Faneuil Hall. Rev. Paul, with twenty of his members, officially formed the First African Baptist Church on August 8, 1805. In the same year, land was purchased for a building in the West End. The African Meeting House, as it came to be commonly called, was completed the next year.
The $9.5-million-dollar historic restoration, complete with new elevator and stair tower making it accessible for all, has returned the African Meeting House to its 1855 appearance, with elegantly curved pews and pulpit, period wainscoting and wall finishes, cast-iron posts and golden chandelier. This National Historic Landmark, now open to the public after being closed six years, welcomes visitors with Words Spoken at the Meeting House etched on granite panels towering in the new courtyard entryway.
This year we are excited to start our partnership with both the Museum of African American History and the African Meeting House to present partnership concerts showcasing New England Conservatory students!