Mt. Moriah Baptist Church
First Church in Lincoln Heights
Organized in 1925, the congregation began worshiping under a temporary shelter, called a "brush arbor" and was the first church established in Lincoln Heights, Ohio. A bad storm destroyed the bush harbor and the early church records that were stored there.
Lincoln Heights was founded as an unincorporated area in the 1920s by developers as a suburban enclave for Black homeowners working in nearby industries. It lacked fire, police, streetlights, and paved roads, and only some houses had electricity. Homes were attractive to Black families who were victims of predatory housing practices like zoning restrictions and redlining in other communities. The church's permanent building was constructed in 1927 on land donated by the Livingston Land Company.
In 1945, Lincoln Heights was incorporated, making it the first all-Black, self-governing city north of the Mason-Dixon line. By 1965, the church was able to liquidate mortgages, settle liens, purchase pews, repair the roof, and build an addition. The congregation also supported the construction of the Oak Park Apartment complex, which provides low cost housing in Lincoln Heights. The apartment complex was opened in May 1972.
There have been several groups that have split off from Mt. Moriah and formed other churches in Lincoln Heights. The first group left in 1926 and formed Byrd Street Baptist Church. A second group left in 1951 and established Tabernacle Baptist Church.