During times of slavery and segregation, African American churches became a comfort zone to members teaching them that all people were equal in God's eyes.
St. Paul United Methodist Church on Pierre Avenue is the oldest church for African Americans in Shreveport.
Established in 1865 the congregation was erected from First United Methodist Church.
"In 1864 it showed X number of slaves x number of free coloreds x number of whites" said St. Paul member Alvin Kirk.
After slavery ended, more black churches formed throughout the ArkLaTex.
The oldest Baptist church for African Americans in the city is Antioch Baptist Church located on Texas Avenue.
From the 1800's the black church evolved as a place where African Americans not only came together to worship, but as an area for social, political and civic action.
"The church has always been the back bone of the community. As a matter of fact in the church were people who were the movers and shakers of the city," said Pastor Webster West.
Today the black church still stands as a focal point of the community, focusing on modern day social issues that affect African Americans.
"I think that our black churches in this city and we have one on nearly every corner and some corners we have two. We need to do more to help our children to be the best that they can be. To give them hope and inspiration that they can make it in life."
Since its beginnings, black churches remain the most powerful and respected institution in the black community.
From modern day sermons at the pulpit. To spiritual song and dance. These are all trademarks of black churches that date back to several decades.