Visit the historic St. John African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Sunday, September 18th from 1 – 3 at this special open house event. Originally called Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, this was the location of the first church to serve African Americans in Worthington. After holding prayer meetings in homes in the early 1890s, Peter Banks along with D.H. Taborn, Charles Kiner, J.T. Horton and James Birkhead, organized a community church in 1896. Rapid growth led to meetings being held in the Worthington Town Hall by 1897.
On September 24th, 1897, a lot was purchased from Millie Alston, and a house moved to serve as Bethel Chapel. By 1914, a new church building was constructed by local carpenter Chester Hard. It was dedicated as St John A.M.E. Church, and has been an important religious and social focal point for the Black community in Worthington for over a century.
St. John A.M.E. Church owns this building but has worshiped at a larger church since 2004.