Remembering Bishop William
May 7, 1935 – Jan. 11, 2021
On behalf of the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition, we are saddened by the passing of Bishop Henderson. Bishop Henderson started the Buffalo Niagara Freedom Station Coalition with the intention of preserving the historic Michigan Street Baptist Church and bringing attention to the other treasures on Michigan Avenue. Our community owes him a debt of gratitude and we feel a profound sense of commitment to see that his vision comes to fruition. A man of great character, he will be missed by all who knew him. Our hearts are with his family at this difficult time.
Chair of BNFSC
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK , they’d tell tales
of Courage, Perseverance, and Sacrifice.
From escaped slaves traveling along the Underground Railroad
to activists laying the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement,
the MICHIGAN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH
has hosted and witnessed countless heroes united by an
UNWAVERING PURSUIT OF PROGRESS.
Today, the next chapter of the church is being written—one that
uncovers its rightful place in America’s history. With your help,
we can restore the Michigan Street Baptist Church and preserve
its mission for generations to come.
“ THE MICHIGAN STREET
is the first Black church in the City of Buffalo
BUILT BY BLACKS,
owned by Blacks,
WORSHIPPED BY BLACKS. ”
~ Bishop William Henderson
Visit the Michigan Street Baptist Church
In 2001, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization called the BUFFALO NIAGARA FREEDOM STATION COALITION was formed with a focused mission: to preserve and promote the heritage of the Historic Michigan Street Baptist Church. The coalition is charged with the use and care of the property, planning and implementing its restoration, and conducting its educational and tourism activities.
The church was listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER of HISTORIC PLACES in 1974. Elevating the church’s status to the National Park Service’s National Historic Landmark program would open the door to future public funding.