The organizers of Springfield’s African American Heritage Trail project will unveil the Springfield-Greene County African-American Heritage Trail’s third marker at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8.
The ceremony will take place near Gibson Chapel Presbyterian Church, 536 E. Tampa, and will commemorate the southern area of a “church square” that includes two historically African-American churches.
The southern area of the square includes Gibson Chapel, located on corner of Tampa and Washington Ave., was formed as the First Negro Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1865 by a freed slave named Reverend Peter Lair (later spelled Lear) with aid from a white minister. The frame building was constructed on the south side of the Jordan River (Jordan Creek) at the foot of Washington Avenue.
In 1891, a new brick church was built on the corner of Washington Avenue and Pine (now 536 E. Tampa Street). The church was renamed Gibson Chapel after the death of Reverend H. A. Gibson, who worked tirelessly to get the new structure erected.