St. John AME Zion
Our History

St. John's Cornerstone (click to enlarge)

Fork African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was organized on March 19, 1869.  The Quakers donated the stone building and land.  Service was held in that building until a frame building was built on May 31, 1908, under the direction of the Reverend I. T. Conquest, pastor-in-charge.


            Former pastors-in-charge who occupied that building were:


v     Reverend Robinson  1910   

v     Reverend Martin  1912-15

v     Reverend Barton  1916-17

v     Reverend Crump  1917-1918

v     Reverend French  1919

v     Reverend Baker  1920

v     Reverend French  1930   

v     Reverend Sanders  1932-33

v     Reverend Jones  1933   

v     Reverend Fantleroy  1935-39

v     Reverend Proctor  1939-40

v     Reverend J. J. Howard   1940-42


In preparation for World War II, the U.S. government purchased a large tract of land on the West Side of the Penn Central Railroad tracks, which included the land upon which our frame building was situated.  Subsequently, the money received from the sale of the land was used to purchase land on the East Side of the tracks in February, 1942.  The church was erected and dedicated on May 5, 1942 under the pastoral leadership of the Reverend J. J. Howard who was the pastor-in-charge until 1946.  Following the Reverend J. J. Howard in the newly erected edifice were:


v     Reverend N. G. Stevenson  1946

v     Reverend Gilles   1958

v     Reverend Walter Shawler  1958-65

v     Reverend White  1965               

v     Reverend French Myers  1966-69

v     Reverend James S. Stanley  1971-77

v     Reverend Arvin Pegues  1977-78

v     Reverend Cyril O. Eastman  1978-84

v     Reverend William Anderson  1984-87

v     Reverend Alger Warren  1987

v     Reverend Charles Strayhorn  1988-89

v     Reverend Maxwell Minnis  1990

v     Reverend James F. Patterson  1991-92

v     Reverend Samuel W. Whittaker  1992-1998

v     Reverend Larry L. Broussard  1998-2000

v     Rev. Dr. William L. Burton, Jr.  2000-2002

v     Rev. Dr. Wilmer T. Frazier, Jr.  2002-Present


In 1967, Fork African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was renamed St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.  On October 11, 1980, remodeling work began.  We were sometimes met with frustration due to vandals who seemed bent on tearing down at night the work that had taken place during the day.  Although it was not easy, we continued to press on to see the completion of this project.  With the help of God and many hours of prayer, we were victorious, and able to record the completion date of June 11, 1983 as another milestone in the life of St. A.M.E. Zion Church. On May 20, 1984, the edifice was re-dedicated under the leadership of the Reverend Cyril O. Eastman.


Since that glorious spring day in May of 1984, St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church has been the flock of seven additional shepherds and has overcome obstacles seen and unseen.  St. John A.M.E. Zion Church has arisen in the face of adversary to stand tall and firmly rooted on the biblical foundation from whence it came.  The historical richness and its believed role on the Underground Railroad lend itself to the integrity of this vital branch of Zion.  The St. John A.M.E. Zion Church pastor, officers and members are dedicated to our purpose:  "To lift the name of Jesus up, that all men may be drawn unto Him."


            St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is 134 years old, and the Lord is not through with us yet.  Therefore, like a tree planted by the water, it has not, it cannot, it shall not be moved.






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