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The church also served as neighborhood centers where free black people could celebrate their African heritage without intrusion by white detractors. Since the church was part of the community and wanted to provide education; they educated the freed and enslaved Blacks.
In a process of self-segregation, practically all blacks left white churches so that few racially integrated congregations remained (apart from some Catholic churches in Louisiana).
After Emancipation in 1863, Freedmen organized their own churches, chiefly Baptist, followed by Methodists.
Other Protestant denominations, and Catholics, played smaller roles.
Free blacks also established Black churches in the South before 1860.
After the Great Awakening, many blacks joined the Baptist Church, which allowed for their participation, including roles as elders and preachers.