MACON,Ga. (AP) — There are two First Baptist Churches in Macon — one black and one white. They sit almost back-to-back, separated by a small park, in a hilltop historic district overlooking downtown.
About 170 years ago, they were one congregation, albeit a church of masters and slaves. Then the fight over abolition and slavery started tearing badly at religious groups and moving the country toward Civil War. The Macon church, like many others at the time, decided it was time to separate by race.