If These Walls Could Tell: Second Baptist Church

Indiana Landmarks and Storytelling Arts of Indiana present a tale of landmark revival in New Albany.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

4 to 5 p.m.
Second Baptist Church, 300 E. Main St., New Albany

As part of the If These Walls Could Tell storytelling series, Indianapolis storyteller Celestine Bloomfield presents the restoration saga of New Albany’s Second Baptist Church, aka Town Clock Church, on Sunday, March 15, in New Albany. Second Baptist Church won the Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration in 2018 for its transformation of the Underground Railroad landmark.

Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Indiana Landmarks commissioned the story, “Timeless: The Story of Town Clock Church,” for If These Walls Could Tell, an annual program sponsored by Frank and Katrina Basile. The original storytelling series focuses on a historic place in Indiana and the people who built, lived in, worked at, patronized and restored the landmark.

The performance takes place from 4-5 p.m. at Second Baptist Church, 300 E. Main St
New Albany. Tickets cost $10 and are available by calling 812-945-3814.

Second Presbyterian Church, a predominantly white congregation, built the church from 1849 to 1852. The evangelical congregation ministered to African American residents as well as those escaping slavery in the south, a dangerous business. While Indiana was a free state, in New Albany the city’s major industries depended on trade with the south and pro-slavery forces dominated. The steeple, visible across the Ohio River in Louisville, acted as a beacon to escaping slaves, steering them to a place where they could get medical care and assistance traveling further north. The Presbyterians sold the building in 1889 to Second Baptist, an African American congregation familiar with the building’s history as a haven. In “Timeless: The Story of Town Clock Church,” Bloomfield invites you to meet Sarah Lucas, Amanda Finney, Elizabeth McIntosh, Rose Carter and others instrumental to the church’s story.

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