But in 1823, Alexandria Baptist Society (white) granted privilege to Negroes to open their meeting house for worship on Sundays at 313 South Alfred Street. On September 1, 1842 members of the Colored Baptist Society purchased the site on Alfred Street after 18 years of leasing. In 1850, the Colored Baptist Society was granted complete independence from ‘conjoined’ Alexandria Baptist Church (white) and adopted the Alexandria Baptist Church’s Constitution. Membership of the newly independent Colored assembly stood at 83 persons. In 1842 the Alfred Street property was purchased and the name was changed to African Baptist Society. The property has been owned by the church since that time. The first known building constructed by the congregation was built in 1855. The Church had 200 members, and changed its name to the First African Baptist Church. The Church paid off the mortgage on new building in two years.