St. Paul's A. M. E. Church

Stewart Ellison, attributed builder (1880s-1890s); Harry P. S. Keller, architect (1909)

1884-1901; 1909-1910 [rebuilt]

Raleigh, Wake County
Street Address:

402 W. Edenton St., Raleigh, NC





Images Published In:

Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Piedmont North Carolina (2003).


The imposing brick edifice in Gothic Revival style is the home of the city’s oldest independent black congregation, which began when black members of Edenton Street Methodist Church held separate services as early as the 1840s; they moved to this site in 1853, worshiping in a frame church (formerly Christ Church) that was moved to the site. After the Civil War, the church—known as the “African” church”—hosted the 1865 and 1866 state Freedmen’s Conventions, and soon allied with the A. M. E. denomination. The congregation built a large brick church over several years, as funds permitted, only to see it go up in flames in July, 1909, just a few years after it was completed. Raleigh citizens contributed to its rebuilding, from designs by Henry P. S. Keller. (See the Manufacturers’ Record, Sept. 9, 1909, where the congregation was advertising for bids for “edifice plans by H. P. S. Keller.”) The rebuilding evidently incorporated the surviving brick walls.