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Grant AME Church
*Grant AME Church of Albuquerque, New Mexico is celebrated on this date in 1883. This is the oldest Black church in Albuquerque and the first Black church in New Mexico; organized during the state’s territorial period. In 1882 William Slaughter, Allen Carter, and Edward Clark organized the New Mexico Colored Religious Society which the following year became the Colored Methodist Mission. The Mission was in a small wood-frame structure at the rear of the lot at 201 1st Street, SW.
The following year the New Mexico Township Company donated land to the AME to build a church. This property was located on the corner of 3rd St and Coal Avenue, and the congregation became known as the Coal Avenue Methodist Church. In 1905, the church changed its name to Grant Chapel AME in honor of Bishop Alexander Grant. Bishop Grant was a former slave, who after the American Civil War became a preacher.
Grant Chapel moved again in the 1950s to 734 Arno St SE and took with it the cornerstone from the original building. In 1952 the church moved to 409 Santa Fe SE. A final move in 1990 has Grant Chapel in its current location at 7920 Claremont Ave NE. The church, in its very early days, served as a headquarters for Black soldiers stationed at Fort Wingate and in Santa Fe whenever they visited Albuquerque.
During the 20th century American Civil Rights era, the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP, the Urban League, and the National Council of Negro Women all met in the church. In September 1990, Grant Chapel moved to its present location at 1720 Claremont NE. The church is part of the AME’s Desert Mountain Conference and is connected to ministries in other states and in Canada, Bermuda, and Africa. Grant Chapel AME, with approximately 250 parishioners today, continues to provide religious and social networks for African Americans throughout Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico. Rev. John D. Hill is the current pastor.