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The First African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 1522 14th Avenue, is the oldest black church in Seattle. It was established in 1886, under the leadership of Seaborn J. Collins, with the formation of a Sunday School held in various homes. In 1890, it was transformed into a church with charter members I. I. Walker, John T. Gayton, Mr. And Mrs. Milton Roy, Fred Lawrence, and Charles H. Harvey. On August 13, 1891, the church was incorporated with Reverend L. S. Blakeney as the first pastor. Known as the Jones Street Church and later as Lee’s Chapel, a large house on Jones Street (later 14th Avenue) was the site of worship.
In 1912, the present structure was built with memorial windows imported from Italy. Because of an influx of black people to Seattle during World War II, it was necessary to remodel and enlarge the church in 1955. Benjamin F. McAdoo, an outstanding black architect, was hired to oversee the enlargement of the sanctuary and a new wing for religious education. In 1962, Reverend John H. Adams was assigned to the church; his leadership in the community as well as in the church was instrumental in making many changes in civil and human rights in the city. In 1984, the church was designated a landmark by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.
HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History. http://www.historylink.org . First African Methodist Episcopal Church (Seattle) (accessed December 1998)