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First African Methodist Episcopal Church

A Sunday School class from First African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church posed for this photograph in 1946. Located at 801 N. Eddy Street in South Bend, the church was founded in 1907. It grew out of Olivet A.M.E. Church and was originally called Taylor’s A.M.E. Zion Church, named for the Rev. A.M. Taylor, who had served as a pastor for Olivet A.M.E. Church services were first held in a structure which had once been a house on the corner of Eddy and Campeau Streets. A campaign to raise funds for a new church building began in 1923, with construction getting underway in 1924, and official dedication taking place in 1925. At times facing harassment and attacks on its building by the Ku Klux Klan, First A.M.E. Zion Church thrived. Through the years it became one of several local centers for groups organizing to support Civil Rights.

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