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St. Mark A.M.E.
*On this date in 1869, we celebrate St. Mark A.M.E. Church, Milwaukee. This is the first Black church in Milwaukee, WI.
In 1868 Ezekiel and Catherine Gillespie, Louis and Matilda Hughes, Charles and Sarah Dorsey, James Johnson and Catherine Paget gathered to organize a Church of Allen in Milwaukee. On January 9, 1869, Rev. Theodore Crosby arrived in Milwaukee to begin the organization for the new church. The first church was a rented room on 1 Spring Street (Wisconsin Avenue). On April 5, 1869, at the request of Rev. Crosby, Bishop William P. Quinn came to Milwaukee, and the church was organized.
It was initially called First African Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years the members worshiped in rented locations throughout the city. In 1869, First African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased its first building and a four-room parsonage (below).
The properties were located on a 50' x 75' site at Fourth and Cedar Street, now Kilbourn. A historical maker bears witness to this history. First African Methodist Episcopal Church to St. Mark A.M.E. Church, also called The Church of the Anvil, is currently located at 1616 W Atkinson Avenue, where she continues to carry out the work of Christ as charged to the original Free African Society. Over one hundred and fifty years later, the First Church of Allen in Milwaukee continues to seek out and save the lost and minister to humanity's social, spiritual, and physical development.