What role did religion play in the lives of former slaves after the American Civil War?

Unable to participate in political life and without decent jobs after the Civil War, many blacks turned to religion for comfort.

The Civil War also brought about a separation of white and black churches in the South. Most white southerners did not welcome African Americans into their church congregations.

Those who did required blacks to sit in the areas where slaves had sat, and did not allow them to participate in the church’s social or business affairs.

As a result, in 1866 black Baptist congregations in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida organized an association of their own. In 1880, a convention of black Baptist churches was held in Montgomery, Alabama.

Black Presbyterians in the South also began to form their own churches.

In 1870, the Colored Methodist Church in America was organized.