There is a strong lineage of Black churches in Providence.
Churches provide space for community building, mutual
aid and ritual. Christ Church was an early Black Episcopal
church organized by a group of free Black men. They fi rst
hired pastor Alexander Crummell, who faced opposition
from state church leaders and went on to a long career
outside Rhode Island. The church’s Pond Street building
burned, so the congregation joined St. Stephen’s in the
1850s. This is currently the site of the Barker Playhouse.