Black Churches of Virginia

Special Series by VPM News Focal Point


VPM News Focal Point's Black Churches of Virginia series explores the evolving legacy of historic African American churches and celebrates the singular beauty and power of Black church culture, sharing the stories and experiences of churches, gospel artists, and leaders in Richmond, Petersburg, Hanover, Prince Edward, King & Queen, and Cumberland Counties.

Virginia's Black churches are not only living repositories of Black history; they are evidence of how African Americans contributed to the birth and building of the state and nation. After more than 150 years of service, many of these congregations labor on, battling present-day civil and human rights injustices, developing today's leaders, sustaining their members' faith, and enriching Virginia's social and cultural landscape. 

Produced and reported by Samantha Willis. Director of Photography, Martin Montgomery.



Cora Armstrong
Rev. Cora Armstrong performing at the 12th annual Gospel Music Fest in Richmond’s Dogwood Dell Amphitheatre.
Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church
Sixth Mount Zion Church after I-95 split Jackson Ward, a historically Black neighborhood, into two.
Sixth Mouth Zion Church
Producer Samantha Willis and cameraman Phillip Newsome interview Rev. Tyrone Nelson of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in historic Jackson Ward.
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