Deacon Gregory Bailey of Salem Missionary Baptist Church shared with us a slide presentation originally prepared for the Historical Society. Salem, established in 1834, is the 2nd oldest church in Lilburn after Camp Creek Primitive Baptist, established in 1832. Salem is the oldest African American Church in Gwinnett County and 6th oldest in the state. The oldest African Baptist church in Georgia is First African Baptist in Savannah, established in 1773.
Gwinnett did not have large plantations, but more so large farms. Georgia Law prohibited gatherings of over 6 slaves at a time. The Carroll family owned 1000 acres in Lilburn and had 4 to 45 slaves. John Carroll of the Carroll Plantation, established in 1820, was the nephew of a Jesuit Priest in Georgetown. John instructed his slaves to build a meeting place for his slaves and those of neighbors to worship. This was the beginning of what would become Salem Missionary Baptist Church.
The church has a museum called Heritage Hall. This museum is getting a professional organization and update and will become the regional museum of African American history in Gwinnett.
The church is located at the corner of Killian Hill Rd and Poplar St. Deacon Bailey is the community service director.