Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Docents led by Mrs. Jacobs, church historian welcomed a tour from Empowerment Temple AME, our Second District connectional church family in the #BaltimoreConference.
Metropolitan #AME is the oldest continuously operating black church in #DC. The AME Church is a black denomination founded in 1787 by Bishop #RichardAllen. The congregation was established in 1872 with the merger of Israel Bethel AME, founded in 1821, and Union Bethel AME created in 1838. The new #church was officially sanctioned by the #Baltimore Conference and given the name: Metropolitan.
National AME leaders mandated that the new #church should be located “in close proximity” to the #USCapitol and the #WhiteHouse. The circular Episcopacy Window features ordained bishops from 1787 through 1886. A replica of this window is featured in the #SlaveryToFreedom exhibit at #NMAAHC w historic pulpit & chairs. Because of its location, annual AME Conferences across the country were asked to donate funds for its completion. #Stainedglass windows were dedicated to each conference that donated funding. Construction of the present church edifice started in 1881 & was completed in 1886.
Metropolitan continued its tradition of leadership into the post-Civil War period. Many noted individuals have addressed its congregation #IdaBWells and #BookerTWashington. The first #AfricanAmerican U.S. Senator to serve a full term, former Mississippi Senator #BlancheKelsoBruce, and poet #PaulLaurenceDunbar were members. On January 9, 1894, Frederick Douglass delivered his final speech before his death entitled “The Lessons of the Hour,” in which he admonished the United States to end racial prejudice. #POTUS #BarackObama & family worshiped here the morning of his January 20, 2013 swearing in ceremony for his second term.
It's fun to host AME tour groups because there's always #history, leadership, congregational & family level connections to discuss. Each time I volunteer, I learn something new. For this tour, I was assigned to the pews where #FrederickDouglass #CharlesHWesley & #GwenIfill sat in worship.
#DCTourism #CulturalTourism #IAmAME #BlackExcellence #BlackHistory