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Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Side 1 Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Side 2

Location: 414 West Vermont Street, Indianapolis (Marion County, Indiana)

Installed: 2009 Indiana Historical Bureau, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, IDNR; and Bethel A.M.E. Church

ID#: 49.2009.2


Side One

A.M.E. Church traces its origins to founding of Free African Society in Philadelphia, 1787. Circa 1836, Augustus Turner, a barber, and other black settlers organized this Indianapolis congregation to worship freely and support their community. Trustees bought land 1840 on Georgia Street for first church.

Side Two

Church held black state conventions, aided fugitive slaves, established a school, and recruited for U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. Arson destroyed Georgia Street church in 1864. Land purchased here in 1865. Church completed in 1870; listed in National Register of Historic Places, 1991.


African American, Buildings & Architecture, Education & Libraries, Military, Religion, Underground Railroad