Brown’s Chapel and the Black Lodge are the two newest properties of the Friends of Arrow Rock, gifts to us in 1996 from Ted and Virginia Fisher. These are two of the last three public buildings that remain of a once vital African-American
Community in Arrow Rock. (The third building is the former school, now a private residence.) Arrow Rock was predominately settled by southern immigrants who brought with them their slaves. Following emancipation, the first community building to be erected was a church probably as early as 1869. We believe this first church building also served as the first black school with 65 students.
Originally built just north of the town limits, Brown’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church was moved to its present location in 1883 by Zack Bush. Oral tradition tells us they moved it with a team of mules. In the 1920s Brown’s Chapel hosted the annual Association meeting with up to 300 people attending the week long meeting.
Brown’s Chapel was rededicated September 20, 1998, with 125 people in attendance at the Homecoming Celebration. In honor of Arrow Rock’s African-American heritage Homecoming and Juneteenth events will continue; contact the Friends of Arrow Rock Office, 660-837-3231, for the current schedule.