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Second Baptist Church is the oldest black church in the Midwest, and the first in Detroit. Thirteen people who were escaped or freed slaves petitioned the legislature for a church on this day in 1836. They left the white-dominated First Baptist Church, due to consistent racial discrimination. The new church would go on to play a significant role in helping to free slaves through the Underground Railroad. Second Baptist Church estimates that its members helped nearly 5,000 people escape to freedom in Canada. This prominent church is still serving the Detroit community today.