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The Meridian Baptist Seminary

 The Baptist Seminary was founded in 1896 as an educational institution for African Americans. Initially classes were held in the basement of New Hope Baptist Church. In 1905 a  two-story building was erected at 19th and 31st Ave. Originally the Baptist Seminary  offered a traditional high school curriculum for black students, along with college preparatory and vocational programs.  In 1920 the wooden building was replaced with a brick structure  built by black carpenters. It began offering two-year high school transfer certificates in 1949.  It hosted several Freedom Schools during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. It was described as "the palace of the Freedom School circuit" after hosting the Freedom Summer Convention on August 8, 1964, the day after the funeral of James Chaney,  one of three civil rights workers  (Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman) who were murdered near Philadelphia after they left Meridian to investigate a church fire bombing. It closed in 1972. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places January 8, 1979. It burned September 16, 2007. It was delisted July 16, 2008 after the fire. It was the first school in MS to offer high school   diplomas to African-Americans.

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