Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church
101 North Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
On December 29, 1864, men and women of African and Native American descent assembled under a grape arbor to worship freely as free people on the very same site where the present church building stands on Merritt Mill Road in Chapel Hill. This occurred during the perilous times of the Civil War, yet with courage and conviction, Kenny Brooks, Green Cordal, Charles Craig, J. Craig, Charles H. Johnson, C.E.H. Johnson, Green Merritt and William Thompson, under the leadership of Jerry Hargraves and Edwin Allen, organized a Black Methodist Church.
In 1870, Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was inducted into the African Methodist Episcopal Church system, headquartered in Philadelphia. Land for the church was purchased for the sum of $55 on April 15, 1878, and the church building was erected in December 1892.
The St. Paul AME Church celebrated its Sesquicentennial Anniversary in 2014, with the Reverend Thomas O. Nixon presiding, commemorating 150 years in the community as a beacon of hope, progress, revival and freedom for all.