Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church
A Place of Worship and Center of African American History
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church has been a center for the African Methodist Church and the African American community in Philadelphia since the late 18th century. The Church grew out of the pastoral mission of Bishop Richard Allen in the 1780s. The congregation’s current church, Mother Bethel A.M.E., is a National Historic Landmark constructed in 1890. It is the fourth church built on the site, which was first purchased in 1791 and is said to be the oldest parcel of land in the country continuously owned by African Americans.
We have worked with the leaders of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church for over a decade on long-term planning for restoration and expansion of their facilities. We initially provided a Historic Structure Report and then designed the project’s first phase, which included an exterior restoration encompassing a complete roof replacement, reconstruction of portions of the steeple, and restoration of the extraordinary stained glass windows. The congregation, private donors, and numerous grants, including a Save America’s Treasures Grant, funded this project. Ongoing work includes site improvements and the installation of a memorial park honoring Richard Allen.
Mother Bethel continues to serve as an active participant on the world stage, advancing the spiritual, social, and civic causes germane to African Americans and others.
MEP/FP Engineer: Bruce E. Brooks & Associates; Structural Engineer: Keast & Hood; Civil Engineer: Sci-Tek; Photography: Tom Crane