Rev. Archibald Carey, Sr. a political activist, writer, orator, and
religious leader, used his talents to help Chicago’s African American
community. Carey was a minister for African
Methodist Episcopal (AME) Churches in Georgia, Florida and finally, Chicago.
Archibald James Carey Sr. was born in Atlanta,
Georgia born on August 25 1868. The son of Anna Bell Carey and Jefferson
Alexander Carey, he grew up in a religious family where his father and
grandfather both ministered for the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). Carey’s father was also president of the Black
Republican organization in Atlanta during Reconstruction. In 1877, Carey experienced a spiritual
transformation to Christianity and became a member of the AME church at the age
In 1888, twenty year old Carey graduated from Atlanta University and became
a licensed preacher. Two years later on December 18, 1890, Carey married
Elizabeth Hill Davis, the daughter of Madison Davis, a leading black Georgia
state legislator during Reconstruction. The couple had five children, Madison,
Archibald Jr, Eloise, Dorothy and Annabell.
Archibald Carey’s first pastoral assignment was at Bethel AME Church in
Atlanta, Georgia in 1891. He served four years there and then was appointed to pastor
Mount Zion AME Church in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1898 Carey moved north to pastor
Quinn Chapel AME church in Chicago, the oldest black church in the city. He
built a strong reputation as both a powerful and talented preacher and speaker
and maintained political connections with the Republican Party for which he
His political connections led to his appointment in 1915 by Illinois
Governor Edward Dunne to head the fiftieth anniversary state celebration of
emancipation. He later served as chaplain of the all-black Illinois 8th
Regiment during World War I.
Although Dunne was a Democrat whom Carey had supported in 1912, he was most
identified with powerful Republican Mayor Bill Thompson who was elected with
his support in 1915. Thompson appointed
Carey as the chief examiner of claims for the city of Chicago. He was also appointed to the Chicago civil
service commission where he used his influence to promote the hiring of African
American police officers.
Archibald Carey, Sr. passed away in Chicago at the age of sixty two on March