Charleston, Calhoun St, Emanuel AME
Charleston, SC. Meeting Street. Rear view of north side of Emanuel AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church taken from Henrietta Street on 14 February 2009.
This is considered the mother church of the AME denomination, the first church heirarchy in America to be led by Blacks, in this case free persons of color, even as slavery still existed. The AME church was created before 1820 to be totally separate from those other Protestant church denominations, including the traditional Methodists on which they were patterned, led and governed by White religious and lay leaders.
The residential neighborhood that surrounded it from the middle of the 19th century has been largely demolished to make way for surface parking lots. Where once a majority of the members of this church lived in the immediate neighborhood, very few today live within even the downtown regions of the old city. It has become a commuter church for most of its congregants.