Willie Brenc

Student Historian

Willie Brenc is a 2013 graduate of the University of Washington (B.A. Political Science and History). In fall 2014 he began  attending Stanford Law School. As an undergraduate, Willie studied a variety of topics and conducted intensive research projects on affirmative action and United States-South Africa relations.

First Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri (1817- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" First Baptist Church in St. Louis, founded as First African Baptist Church, is the oldest continuously operating black church in Missouri. The precursor to the church was founded by John Peck and James Welch, two white Baptist missionaries sent west in … Read MoreFirst Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri (1817- )

St. Philips Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1822- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" St. Philips Moravian Church is the oldest continuously operating black church in North Carolina. St. Philips is also the only historically black Moravian church in the United States. The Moravians were a Christian sect established by immigrants from the Moravia region … Read MoreSt. Philips Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1822- )

St. Augustine Catholic Church, New Orleans, Louisiana (1841- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" St. Augustine Catholic Church of New Orleans was the first black church in Louisiana and the first black Catholic church in the United States. In the 1830s a group of free African-American New Orleanians began organizing to create a Catholic church … Read MoreSt. Augustine Catholic Church, New Orleans, Louisiana (1841- )

African Zion Baptist Church [Malden] (1852- )

"Image Ownership: Public Domain" The African Zion Baptist Church is the first African American church in what is now West Virginia (West Virginia was a part of Virginia until 1863) and was the church of Booker T. Washington. The church is located in Malden, West … Read MoreAfrican Zion Baptist Church [Malden] (1852- )

St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church [Milwaukee] (1869- )

St Mark AME Church, First Church Building, ca. 1870 Image Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first African American church in Wisconsin, was founded in Milwaukee as the First African Methodist Episcopal Church by Ezekiel Gillespie and … Read MoreSt. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church [Milwaukee] (1869- )

The Grandfather Clause (1898–1915)

Harper’s Weekly Editorial on  The Grandfather Clause Image Ownership: Public Domain The Grandfather Clause was a statute enacted by many American southern states in the wake of Reconstruction (1865-1877) that allowed potential white voters to circumvent literacy tests, poll taxes, and other tactics designed to … Read MoreThe Grandfather Clause (1898–1915)