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Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church records

Identifier: 00190

Scope and Contents

The Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church records contain meeting minutes, financial reports, parish records, and histories of the parish. Volume 1 contains minutes starting in 1882. It also contains a copy of the 1856 constitution that was included when it was found 1889.. Volume 1 also contains lists of members and references dates of death of the members, with the earlies date mentioned being 1879 and added to the volume as they found the information.


  • Creation: 1882 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest all-African American Baptist churches in the United States.

To avoid the discrimination they faced in predominantly white congregations, all-Black churches arose slowly, first meeting in homes and later building small churches. Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church was no different. Prayer meetings were held in homes in Cass County, Michigan until an official church was organized in 1838. The first church building, a log cabin on the northwest corner of their current cemetery, was not built until circa 1850. On January 4, 1848, the church was incorporated under the direction of Reverend David Lett.

Three years later, members of the church created the Michigan Anti-Slavery Baptist Association, which included congregations from Battle Creek, Detroit, Kalamazoo and Niles. From 1923-1934, no regular church services were held but a long history of religious revivals allowed Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church to continue its existence. Even after a fire in 1966, the Church was rebuilt in 1968 and still stands today.

The Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church Sunday School was created in 1879 with five teachers and seventy scholars. The church is also home to a library that was created in 1969.


1 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Chain Lake Missionary Baptist Church Records
4 Published And Cataloged
K. Kuszynski
December 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US