THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

RI black history group reprints 1906 church doc

January 29, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society has announced the release of a booklet chronicling a Rhode Island black church's early years that was originally published in 1906.

The "History of the Olney Street Baptist Church," released this week by the society, is a 12-page historical record compiled by A.A. Wheeler, who served as the church historian and assistant superintendent of its Sunday school.

Michael Van Leesten, former society president, says the booklet give unique glimpse of the origins of a center of strength for the black community in Providence during the 19th century.

The booklet is the first of two publications that will be issued by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society to celebrate Black History Month.