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'Freedom seekers': New Albany church once helped Kentucky slaves find freedom

A common misconception about the Underground Railroad is that there were literally tunnels underground, but for Second Baptist Church, that was actually true.

Alden German (WHAS)

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Published: 4:59 PM EST February 10, 2023
Updated: 10:49 AM EST February 13, 2023

In a city as old as Louisville, history surrounds us. It's seen every day in the buildings, but often the story behind those walls gets lost to time. The same holds true in southern Indiana, where one church was once well-known for helping runaway slaves in their life-or-death struggle for freedom.

Second Baptist Church in New Albany opened in 1852, back then it was called Second Presbyterian Church – and is known locally today as the Town Clock Church. 

It’s served multiple roles: a place of worship, a navigational point for 19th century steam ships – and a symbol of freedom for slaves.

“This would be one of the first sets of allies of a real story of allies of Black individuals who were helping the freedom seekers take refuge in this church from a hostile environment of slavery in Kentucky,” Chancea Roberts said.

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