John Jasper Memorial Room
Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia
[The text below was composed in 1996 by Benjamin Ross, Church Historian for Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, for the registry form for Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church to be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. The images are courtesy of Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church and Melinda Gales.]
The Church is unique among African-American churches nation-wide for its John Jasper Memorial Room and museum. This museum (located on the lower level of the building) was opened to the public in 1926, making Sixth Mount Zion one of the country's earliest churches to begin and maintain a preservation and conservation program.
The John Jasper Memorial Room houses many of the church's priceless memorabilia, photographs, clothing and other artifacts dating back to the mid 19th century. Among the collection is the Jasper pulpit furniture and podium, a Prince Albert black coat and felt hat. Throughout the years, the church has been called upon by museums and other similar institutions to participate in exhibits in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City.
The church authorized the development of an archives in 1993. The archives is found on the upper level; of the building and is supplied with acid-free boxes, folders and other state-of-the-art preservation materials.
The church is called upon frequently to share its rich history with the general public. Scores of visitors, students, researchers and tour groups come to Sixth Mount Zion to view its facilities and exhibits. The church is an integral part of the Jackson Ward Heritage Tours which relies on Sixth Mount Zion to provide the spiritual component of the tour in conjunction with other aspects of Jackson Ward.
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