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 first 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.