Monday, February 11, 2013

The Frederick Douglas Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

On Thursday, February 14th, Rev. Michael Bell will be presenting a History of the Frederick Douglas A.M.E. Zion Church as part of our African-American History Month lecture series.  Elmira’s A.M.E. Zion Church has over 100 years of history within our community.  Listen to Rev. Bell as he shares the history of his church on the birthday of its namesake.  The lecture will be held at 7:00pm at the Chemung Valley History Museum.  It is free and open to the public.
A.M.E. Zion Church in Elmira
The Church was established by a group of escaped slaves who had found refuge in Elmira.  The founding was inspired by an anti-slavery lecture given here in 1840 by Frederick Douglass, also an escaped slave, after whom the Church was named.  Early religious services were held in private homes but as the mission quickly grew and more space was needed, a church was built.  The primary goals of the Douglass Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church are to promote Christianity, good will, and to serve the needs of the community in every capacity.

Historic Marker erected in 2010
1894 Handbill
126th Anniversary Booklet
Commemorative Plate, 1967


  1. Sounds like a good program. The Star-Gazette might mention it.

  2. This church is mention in the movie "Freedom." The movie is based on a true story of a family of slaves that came thru Elmira and ended up in Canada. There were some artist liberties taken in the movie such as saying Fredrick Douglas pastored this church. Although that is an exaggeration, the movie was still based on a true story.