Located in Gainesville’s historic Pleasant Street Neighborhood, Old Mount Carmel Baptist Church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2021 for its importance in the vernacular tradition of African American churches, as well as its association with the Civil Rights Movement.
During the midcentury, the church served as a religious and social hub for the African American community and a strategic center where local, state and national organizations planned legal and other nonviolent actions for the Civil Rights Movement in Alachua County and North Central Florida.
The building was the command post for the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, hosting discussions about the desegregation of the county school system and supporting local students involved in the 1971 Black Thursday sit-in to improve racial equity at the University of Florida.
Currently, the building is in disrepair, having suffered roof damage and water infiltration. In addition, new residential construction and gentrification threaten the building’s historic setting and continued use as a community gathering space. The nominator hopes that preserving the building will help educate the community about the building’s Civil Rights heritage and bolster equity activism in the historic Pleasant Street Neighborhood and across the city.
For more information, contact: Home | Florida Trust For Historic Preservation