Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

(From Kansas City: Mecca of the New Negro by Sonny Gibson, pp. 161 & 162)

Southeast corner of Tenth and Charlotte Streets

In 1866, Miss Jane Shelby (now Mrs. Cane) having been converted, was desirous of seeing an African Methodist Episcopal church in Kansas City, there being neither Methodist nor baptist church for Negroes here.

The Rev. Clarke Moore, who organized the Second Baptist Church, was asked by Miss Shelby to assist her in finding someone to organize a Methodist church. He sent to Leavenworth for a Rev. Mr. Anderson, a Baptist minister, the Rev. John Loving, a Methodist minister at Quindaro and some others were asked to assist. They organized a Methodist and a Baptist church. The Methodist Society had no pastor, but invited the Rev. Schuyler Washington and the Rev. John Loving to preach for them whenever they could until they got a regular pastor.

Cleared of Debt

The property was cleared of debt while the Rev. Moses Dixon was pastor. He was succeeded by the Rev. T. W. Anderson and the Rev. James W. Hubbard. The succession of pastors for the next fifteen years was rapid.

In 1894, during the pastorate of the Rev. H. B. Parks, the church again was cleared of debt. Under the Rev. F. Jesse Peck (18961900) the church was remodeled and improved at a cost of $12,700. The congregation met in Turners Hall at the corner of Twelfth and Oak Streets while the work was being done.

Dr. William H. Thomas (191419) started his ministry with the determination that the obligations of the church, which amounted then to about $10,000, must be paid. The church was out of debt in less than a year. Allen Chapel has continued to attract the highest type of minister from this and other conferences. Dr. Felix Isascs, D.D. (191922), and he by the Rev. I. M. Wittenberg. D.D. (192225). Since the coming of the present pastor, Dr. C. S. Williams, the church has now a fully equiped kitchen and a swimming pool. Two ministers from Allen Chapel have been elevated to the episcopacy, Bishop Embry and Bishop Parks. The membership is 1600. The Sunday school enrollment is 120. Miss Bessie Lee is superintendent.

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