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In the late 18th century, white Baptist and Methodist churches that had welcomed African converts to Christianity began to segregate blacks during worship services. Formerly loyal black members left these churches and created their own houses of worship. Andrew Brian in Savannah, Georgia; Absalom Jones and Richard Allen in Philadelphia; and Peter Williams in New York were just a few of the founding fathers of the black church in America.
The churches became focal points of black social and civic life, providing spiritual refuge as well as a forum for political organization, economic cooperation, resistance, and rebellion.