*The oldest African-American church in Michigan is celebrating its 175th anniversary this month with a series of events and services that kicked off last Sunday.

Founded in 1836, Second Baptist Church of Detroit has a long, storied history: It helped hide runaway slaves, fought for civil rights and today continues to battle for social and racial justice.

“We’re proud of our history of fighting for freedom, equality and justice. … It’s at the very heart of being a Christian,” said the Rev. Kevin Turman, church pastor. “We’ve tried to be effective inheritors of the legacy given to us by those who started the church.”

Located in Greektown, the congregation was established by African Americans who broke off from First Baptist Church in Detroit because of racially segregated seating.

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