San Francisco's oldest African-American church designated as landmark

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SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) San Francisco's oldest African-American church was designated as a city landmark this week.

Mayor Ed Lee today signed legislation designating Third Baptist Church at 1399 McAllister St. as a landmark at a ceremony attended by Board of Supervisors President London Breed, Rev. Amos Brown and community members.

At 99-years-old, Ms. Jane Smith, the eldest member of the congregation, attended the ceremony and sang "Amen" to rejoice the landmark status.  

The landmark designation was approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Third Baptist was founded in 1852 as the First Colored Baptist Church of San Francisco and was the first African American Baptist church west of the Rockies, according to city officials.

It was the only black Baptist church in the city until the 1940s. The church's current building on McAllister Street was built in 1952, and sits within the city's Alamo Square Landmark District.