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Thursday, October 8, 2015

In the News: Capers Memorial C.M.E. Church added to Nashville Nine

Capers Memorial C.M.E. Church - Nashville

Capers Memorial C.M.E. Church has been added to the Historic Nashville Inc. yearly list of endangered historic sites, the Nashville Nine.

See the entire list here.

From the press release:

319 15th Avenue North, constructed in 1925
This historic African-American church was built in 1925 and designed by McKissack & McKissack, a noted African-American architectural firm based in Nashville. The church is significant for both its history and architecture. The church is currently threatened with deferred maintenance and water infiltration damage.

According to the historical marker:

The oldest known African-American congregation in Nashville, Capers Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in a brick house near Sulphur Springs in 1832, as the "African Mission" of McKendree Methodist Episcopal Church. When the congregation moved in 1851, Capers became the first local church edifice erected solely for Blacks. During the Civil War, the building was used as a military hospital by the Union Army. In 1870, Capers became a member of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church Conference. Capers assisted in the founding of Lane College (1878), Bethlehem Center (1911), and the Missionary Connectional Council (1918), of which women's suffrage activist, Dr. Mattie E. Coleman was first president. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, its present Neoclassical building was designed and built by McKissack & McKissack Architects, the founders of which were lifetime members of the congregation.

This church building is also stop #14 on the Nashville Civil Rights Walking & Auto tour:

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