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Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church

Piney Grove, Pebble Hill Plantation

The current building was completed in the summer of 1936 but the site’s history as a place of worship began earlier.  African American families who lived and worked on The Pebble Hill property started The Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church in 1885 as a “hush harbor” congregation.  This uniquely southern, African American practice had its roots in the antebellum period when the enslaved sought out secluded places, deep in the woods, to practice their faith hidden from their masters.  Two earlier houses of worship at this site were lost to fire before Pebble Hill’s owner, Elisabeth Ireland Poe, commissioned the design and construction of the present church.  

Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church embodies many of the architectural elements expressed in the Greek Revival style which was widespread in the United States in the early-to-mid 19th century.  The building’s construction date of the mid-1930s, however, more accurately positions it in the classical revival movement of the early 20th century.

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