Beneath a Virginia parking lot rest the bones of an old Black church and, perhaps, its worshipers

Dandridge and other archaeologists from Colonial Williamsburg last week began excavating the site of the old First Baptist Church, one of the oldest such churches in the country, which had buildings there in 1856, though perhaps as early as 1818, and was organized in 1776.

It is the earliest African American church in Williamsburg, experts said.

Oral tradition holds that the site may also contain the remains of past church members.

As the archaeologists began to dig on a warm morning last week…

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