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First wesleyan 1842
  • Title: First Wesleyan Church of Dayton, Ohio
  • Location: Dayton, OH
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The First Wesleyan Church was the Mother of Dayton’s Black Churches. It was founded in March 1842 by the United Daughters of Zion. Mrs. Harriett E. Wade, Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson, Mrs. Maria Robinson, Mrs. Peggie Anderson, and Mrs. Charity Davis Broady bought a lot on Short Wilkinson Street in November 1840. After a pro slavery mob attack in 1841, Dayton’s black community known as Africatown built a small brick church in June 1842 (photo).First Wesleyan became the epicenter for the Underground Railroad and later served as the first school for Black children. Many of the “old mothers” also took this opportunity to learn.The most beloved memory of the church is the Emancipation Celebration, December 31,1862 when the church bell rang throughout the city to announce the promised end of slavery. In the 1950s, Elder Rita Higgins Lee, a descendant of founder Charity Broady, brought the bell to its current location. 178 years after its founding, the church continues to serve the community.