ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As part of Black History Month, the Ethnic Heritage Museum is honoring Rockford's black religious leaders.
Peter Blakely opened the first African American church in Rockford back in 1891, known as the Alan Chapel. Blakely led the way for other black religious leaders. Sunday, they were celebrated with pictures and artifacts from their legacy. The exhibit explores Rockford's earliest churches, and shows us how these religious leaders made it all possible.
"Not only were they religious leaders, but they took it a step further. One made his mission working with voter registration back in the 50's and 60's. Another started a homeless mission here in Rockford," says David Ruffin, Board of Directors from the Ethnic Heritage Museum.
Providence Baptist Church also held a gospel music concert to celebrate the event.