Coronavirus brings church split over racial division back together for Easter after nearly 200 years

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina church that split into two congregations nearly 200 years ago is returning as one this Easter weekend.

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First Presbyterian Church and First United Presbyterian Church initially split because of racial inequities in the 19th century. The pandemic has brought them back together.

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First Presbyterian Church formed in 1821 with both black and white members. However, congregants of color were relegated to the balcony or basement, so by the 1860s, black members started their own house of worship -- First United Presbyterian Church.

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Recently, officials at First Presbyterian Church reached out to First United to hold their online Easter service together.