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Chestnut Street United Presbyterian Church
714 Chestnut St.
Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 762-1074

This tiny church, built in 1858 and originally a mission chapel of First Presbyterian Church, is a remarkable example of Stick Style, or Carpenter Gothic, architecture. Its exterior details include decorative bargeboards with repeating acorn pendants, board-and-batten construction, a louvered bell tower (with carillon) and paired Gothic windows. When the congregation, then slaves, formed in 1858 under the auspices of the larger church, the chapel was surrendered by the church to the new, African-American congregation, which purchased the building in 1867. The congregation's many distinguished members have included the first African-American president of Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University), the publisher of Wilmington's first African-American newspaper, a member of the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers, the first African-American graduate of MIT and North Carolina's first African-American physician.


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