The Second Baptist Church in Boulder was founded in 1908. At 111 years, it’s thought to be oldest African American church in Northern Colorado. The church used to be located at 19th and Canyon in Boulder but moved to its current location on Baseline.
Glenda Robinson, one of the Associate Pastors at the church, says that when it was originally founded the church was also a gathering place for the African American community. That legacy continued through the 1960s and the civil rights era and up to today.
The NAACP Boulder chapter holds their monthly meetings at the church on the first Monday of each month. Robinson and other NAACP members recently spoke to Boulder City Council about the March incident where an African American student from Naropa was surrounded by more than 8 police officers, some with weapons drawn, when he was picking up trash in his yard.
Robinson has personal experience of the violence experienced by African Americans at the hands of police. “My sister and I lost a nephew to that kind of situation. He was a football star, running back at Long Beach State, Ron Settles was his name. In 1980 he was driving down the streets of Signal Hill California, stopped for speeding, they said he was going 35 in a 25-mile speed zone…he ended up dead. And so I’m all too familiar. And so I had a chance to stay to Zayd Atkinson “thank God you’re still here.””
Glenda Robinson says her vision is for the Second Baptist Church to once again become a community center focused on social justice issues. “I would like to see this return and be restored as a community center where all people worship.”