Fayette Area Historical Initiative hosts ‘The History & Legacy of African American Churches’

Published: Feb. 26, 2023 at 6:00 PM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Fayette Area Historical Initiative (FAHI) is celebrating Black History Month with the community in many ways.

FAHI partnered with Patrick & Henry Community College Sunday to host The History & Legacy of African-American Churches.

Local musicians performed live gospel music at the Walker Theatre, and Reverend Matthew Brown shared the history behind the African-American churches in Martinsville.

“The African American church plays a huge role in Black history,” said Deshanta Hairston, Executive Director of FAHI. “Before schools were available to African American students, they would attend school in the church in the basements, and a lot of reverends and pastors were responsible for the push for education in the African American community.”

This was the first Black History Month celebration of its kind, but they hope to make it an annual event.

Artifacts from historical African American churches are on display at the Fayette Area Historical Initiative Museum.