St. Philips African Moravian Church
911 South Church Street
Constructed 1861 with 1890 addition, restored 2004
Ticket required, open during operating hours
Historic St. Philips Church is the oldest African American church still standing in the state of North Carolina and one of the earliest in the entire country. Built for the African American congregation, the church matched most of the other churches in the area built at the same time with the large brick, Greek Revival style. The church was expanded in 1890 with the need to add more classroom space downstairs and above in the balcony. The church extended out into the graveyard, which later caused structural issues on the front walls.
The congregation moved out of the building in the 1952, and the church sat vacant until restored for use as part of Old Salem Museums & Gardens tours. The steeple, which had been removed in the 1920s was part of the exterior restoration. The original pews and other details are back in place inside the building.
It was from the pulpit of this brick church that on Sunday, May 21, 1865, a Union Cavalry Chaplain announced freedom to the enslaved community in and around the town of Salem, now Winston-Salem.