Langevin, Cicilline Recognize Bicentennial of the Congdon Street Baptist Church

Sep 19, 2019 Issues: Rhode Island

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (RI-02), along with Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01), submitted the following statement to the Congressional Record to commemorate the bicentennial of the Congdon Street Baptist Church in Providence:

“Madam Speaker, I rise with my colleague, Congressman David Cicilline, to celebrate the bicentennial of the Congdon Street Baptist Church. Over the last 200 years, the church has been a pillar of the black community in Providence, serving as a place of worship, education, and fellowship for Rhode Island residents.

From its founding, the church has thrived in the face of adversity. In 1819, under the backdrop of racial segregation and slavery, a small group of residents came together to create a safe space for black members of the Providence community. In 1869, hostile neighbors had the church demolished. Nonetheless, the community rallied together to rebuild the church in 1875, which was added the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Over the years, the church has continued to carry out the mission of its founders – supporting civil rights for the black community. In 1968, the church became a sanctuary for black students at Brown University and Pembroke College during the student walkout, and during the 1960s, members of the congregation marched down Cranston Street with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the fight for equal rights.

On its 200th anniversary, we reflect on the Congdon Street Baptist Church’s incredible history and wish the church another 200 years of success in connecting community members to their faith and one another.”