Seattle's First African Methodist Episcopal Church is founded in 1886.

  • By Hellen Lacy
  • Posted 11/06/1998
  • Essay 236
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In 1886, a Seattle group of African Methodist Episcopalians, served by traveling missionaries, begin meeting in each other's homes. Under the leadership of Seaborn J. Collins, they establish a Sunday School for children.

The formal organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church took place early in 1890 at the Seattle home of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Lawrence. Among those present were S. J. Collins, I. I. Walker, John T. Gayton, Charles H. Harvey, and Milton and Lucretia Roy.

Today Seattle's First A.M.E. Church is the oldest congregation in the Pacific Northwest to be founded by African Americans. It carries out vibrant social and religious programs and has (in 2004) some 1,500 members.


Esther Hall Mumford. Seattle's Black Victorians 1852-1901, (Seattle: Ananse Press, 1980), 147; FAME Website accessed July 30, 2004 (

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