St. Paul AME Church History
On October 9th, 1872, in a small cottage on Park Street, the foundation for what was to become St Paul AME Church was to be laid by seventeen Christian soldiers. Annie Allen, Archie Brown, Amanda Carter, Jennie Carter, Nan Cothorn, Jefferson Mash, Mary Mash, Dudley Miller, G.W. Turner and Sarah Turner.
Organized under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Annual Conference, Rev.George Benson was appointed the first pastor. On September 29, 1879, the church was officially incorporated under the pastorate of Rev J.W. White, with the Rev. Henry McCraven, H.J. Lewis and Jefferson Mash as incorporators. The incorporation was renewed on July 19, 1929, signed by Mother Annie Allen, Rev McCraven and the Rev. George W. Williams.
2nd & Center St 1882 - 1918
2nd & Center St post renovations
1209 Crocker St 1918 -1971
In 1918, under the leadership of Rev. S.L. Birt, styled as "The Master Builder", new land was purchased at 12th & Crocker Streets upon which a very large and most beautiful church edifice was erected. The little church was said to be "the best church ever built by Negroes between Chicago and Denver." Rev. Birt led the congregational church march from the old church to the new.
The St Paul Family- 1926
Rev. H.L.P. Jones Pastor
Rt. Rev. A.L. Gaines Bishop
The St Paul Family- circa 1965