In Colonial Williamsburg, a neglected Christian past is being restored.

by Daniel Silliman on December 21, 2020


They dug up broken bits of lamp, the foot of a porcelain doll, a piece of what was once a bowl, and brick fragments from the Baptist church where African Americans worshiped while they were still enslaved. They excavated down to the foundation. Carefully clearing away the earth, they exposed the cross-stacked bricks at the base, dusted them off, and called Connie Matthews Harshaw. Harshaw stood at the edge of the dig. A member of the historic black First Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia, she had pushed for this project before anyone knew if they would find anything worthwhile. She had come a long way by faith. Now the archaeologists had something to show her.