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Bridge Street AWME Church

About this listing

The oldest African-American congregation in Brooklyn

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Bedford- Stuyvesant
Institution, Highlights in Central Brooklyn, African/ American, Place of Worship

Place Matters Profile

Established in 1818, the Bridge Street African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal (AWME) Church is home to the oldest African-American congregation in Brooklyn. Long a refuge and a resource in its neighborhood, the church now also has a community development affiliate organization, the Bridge Street Development Corporation.

Originally known simply as the African Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal (AWME) Church, the Bridge Street AWME Church was founded in downtown Brooklyn and moved to Bridge Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1854. In 1938, it moved for the final time to its current location in a gothic-style church on Stuyvesant Avenue.

The church's early history as a community resource includes the establishment in 1827 of an African Free School called Colored School No. 1, and its purported role as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It also served as a refuge for Blacks fleeing the 1863 draft riots in Manhattan.

In 1995, the church's then-pastor Rev. Fred...

Read More


Citzens Committee for New York City. The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.

On The Web

Columbia U.'s Mapping the African American Past "Bridge Street AWME Church"


Anonymous Nominator

Nominated through the Central Brooklyn Community Focus project.

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