Winston-Salem officials are preparing to unveil a historic marker commemorating the country's first and only African American Moravian Church. 

St. Philips Moravian Church was established in 1822 to serve enslaved people living in and around Salem, as the town was known at the time.

According to a news release, the congregation had been meeting at local farms before moving into the log church.

A marker commemorating the church will be unveiled at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 30.

Martha Hartley, director of Moravian Research at Old Salem Museums and Gardens, says the occasion is a necessary reminder that people of African descent have been part of the community's history since the establishment of the Moravian settlement.

"We have to remember that our history is not always readily visible, and this unveiling is certainly a testament to that, because who would have known that this place in an urban area was once a farm in the early 1800s, and was one of the outlying farms where these early services were held for the enslaved population around Salem," says Hartley. 

The gathering will be on the campus of Carolina University at the site where the congregation held its first service.

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