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Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

140 W 137th St # 6, New York City, NY 10030-2502
+1 212-234-1544
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The history of the Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, its growth and development, is one of the extraordinary stories of American history. In 1796, a handful of Black men, free and enslaved-along with James L. Varick, walked out of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church to establish a separate Black church called "Zion." The growth and development of Zion church mirrors the growth and development of New York itself. Starting in what is now the City Hall area, from its humble beginnings in a stable on Cross Street, Mother Zion has played a critical role in every aspect of African-American life during early New York City history.Many social organizations were founded to assist and improve the condition of the Negro, and Mother Zion Church played a key role in the growth process. William Miller, one of the trustees of Mother Zion, was selected as the first President of the New York African Society for Mutual Relief chartered by New York State in 1810. In 1817, the New York African Bible Society was established from his home.As one of the earliest and most vocal opponents of slavery and a constant champion of abolition, Mother Zion was there. In fact, Mother Zion became an important stop of the "Underground Railroad," hiding slaves behind the pulpit in a secret passageway. "Freedom's Journal," the first Black newspaper published in the United States, operated from the basement of Mother Zion Church from May 4, 1827 to May 2, 1828 for almost a year! Mother Zion's legacy is difficult to surpass, as it has always been a promoter of education and racial self-help for African Americans in this great city. Although our gains as a people have been significant against tremendous odds, the challenges are ever present. The nurturing of great men and women is another of Zion's legacies: Sojourner Truth transferred her membership from the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church to Zion Church in 1827. It was at the altar of Mother Zion that she changed her name to Sojourner Truth and there she was also reunited with her sisters who had been separated during slavery. Sojourner Truth became one of the foremost voices for women's and equal rights and the abolition of slavery. Mother Zion is also known as the "Freedom Church." Throughout its long history, Mother Zion has had many illustrious members who were leaders in our historic fight for freedom. They include Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Paul Robeson, Madame C.J. Walker and many others who fought so valiantly to free African Americans, socially, politically and spiritually. Today, it is the Mother Church of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church denomination located on five continents with a membership of over 1.5 Million. Mother Zion remains actively involved in all aspects of community involvement, and committed to the civil rights struggle, political empowerment and spiritual enhancement.
  • Excellent41%
  • Very good38%
  • Average15%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible3%
22 Apr 2014
“A hospitable church with true worship and preaching!”
11 Dec 2012
“The Freedon Church”
140 W 137th St # 6, New York City, NY 10030-2502
+1 212-234-1544
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Reviews (26)
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Reviewed 22 April 2014

Attending the service on Easter Sunday was a great experience! What a friendly congregation who loves Christ and shares the Gospel<3 The pastor acknowledged the visitors, was thankful for our participation during the service and our offering to the church. The worship was real and...More

5  Thank Synne2013
Reviewed 11 December 2012

This a alternative for the Abyssian Church in the Harley. Very good choir with great voices. Very friendly service and a good sermon!

2  Thank Nany M
Reviewed 8 October 2012

After seeing the crowds lining up across the street we decided to go to mass at this church, it's old and more modest than the Abyssinian, there are only 8-10 people in the choir and the pastor said in the speech that the congregation is...More

4  Thank AndieBuenosAires
Reviewed 8 July 2012

We wanted to experience a real Gospel Worship when in New York and had looked to visit the Abysinnian Church in Harlem. However, there was a line for at least 3 hours, so we decided instead to try the Mother AME Zion Church. We didn't...More

5  Thank KrmiNetherlands
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Be aware...do not expect dancing in the aisles a la Blues Brothers...this is a church after all. But it does have a small choir and some good voices.The service is 2hrs long but we sneaked off early via the rest-room ; ) This is a...More

2  Thank Jim R
Reviewed 1 September 2010

We wanted to experience a real Gospel service when in New York and had looked to visit the Abysinnian Church in Harlem. However, we took on board advice which suggested that visitors were regularly turned away and decided instead to try the Mother AME Zion...More

16  Thank Essexboyz123
As a hub of African American culture, Harlem has
played a vital role in the history of New York City.
Today, the neighbourhood is as vibrant as ever as new
businesses and developments go up next to local
institutions. The heart of the neighbourhood is
bustling 125th Street, where street vendors and
historic landmarks like the Apollo Theater mingle with
big-name stores. Turn down almost any corner, and
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Tegan C
3 July 2016|
Response from KGBunch | Property representative |
11:15 am