African Methodist Episcopal
"The Freedom Church"
Celebrating 227 Years
Rev. Dr. Malcolm J. Byrd
Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has a long, proud history of serving the community of Harlem. Founded in 1796 by black parishioners from John Street Methodist Church who wanted to speak out against slavery, Mother A.M.E. Zion Church began as an anti-slavery institution and became a church. It is the oldest African American church in the state of New York. It is also known for being a grand depot for the Underground Railroad. Between 700 - 800 former slaves escaped through the church's network including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Madame C.J. Walker and many others who fought for the social, political, and spiritual freedom of African Americans.
Our current building designed in the early 1920s by of of the nation's first registered African American architects, George W. Foster, was named a New York City Landmark on July 13, 1993.
Today, Mother A.M.E. Zion is still considered to be the Mother Church of the A.M.E. Zion Church Denomination. We strive not only to serve our community, but to continue our legacy of black excellence, political empowerment, and spiritual enlightenment.