Bethel A.M.E. Church

Bethel A.M.E. Church (HM3OD)

Location: Baltimore, MD 21217
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 18.119', W 76° 37.723'

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The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal congregatoin is the oldest independent black institution in Baltimore. Its origins date back to the late 18th century, when blacks withdrew from the parent Methodist Church in protest against racially segregated seating and lack of representation in church hierarchy. To exercise control over their own spiritual affairs, the dissenting blacks formed a "Free African Society," congregating for prayers and meetings in private homes. They soon adopted the name "Bethel," (a Hebrew word meaning house of God), and in 1817, acquired their first church building, the old German Lutheran Churhc on Fish Street (now Saratoga).

Bethel's first pastor was Daniel Coker, an eminent orator and educator who late became the first recognized missionary of the Church when he joined the colonization party that went to Liberia in 1820. In 1816 an organizing conference in Philadelphia formally established the national indpendent African Methodist Episcopal Church. Coker was elected the first bishop; he declined the post, however, and Richard Allen was appointed the following day. Fourteen of the former pastors of Bethel have gone on to become bishops of the Church.

In 1910 Bethel moved to this church, originally constructed in 1868 for St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church. It was one of several churches designed in "Norman Gothic" style by the Baltimore architects N.H. Hutton and John Murdoch.
HM NumberHM3OD
Series This marker is part of the Maryland: Baltimore City Historical Markers series
Placed ByThe City of Baltimore, Bethel A.M.E. Church, Sponsor, and William Donald Schaefer, Mayor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 12:46pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 359564 N 4351553
Decimal Degrees39.30198333, -76.62871667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 18.119', W 76° 37.723'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 18' 7.14" N, 76° 37' 43.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 500-514 W Lanvale St, Baltimore MD 21217, US
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