184 York Street
City Directories and History: 1908 – AME Zion Church, 1940 – AME Zion Church, 1958 – AME Zion Church, 1978 – Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Built in 1914 of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture the builder was a self-taught designer by the name Fred Landers. Many of the materials were donated by church members and the craftsman style cottage just north of the church is the parsonage. Originally, the church was organized in 1866 as one of the earliest African American congregations in Chester County. The church started with the congregation invited Byrd Hampton Taylor of Charlotte, NC to come and help establish the church, he ordained the Rev. D.I. Walker of Chester to begin preaching at the new church. He served in that capacity from 1866 – 1874.
The land on which the church was built was donated by Mr. Hemphill of Chester and the builder served as the chief architect as well, Mr. Fred Landers.
Cornerstone of church building reads; “Metropolitan AME Zion Church Built A.D. 1913-1914, Rev. H.S. McMullen B.O. Pastor.”
The church parsonage at 185 York Street was constructed by congregation member, Mr. Fred Landers for a cost of $2,500. in 1922.
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Jan. 7, 1891 – “The Conference of the AME Zion Church will establish a normal school at Chester with the Rev. E. Hinton incharge. He has bought 14 acres and plans to erect buildings.” (It is unknown if this school was ever built or connected to Metropolitan Church.)
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IMAGE GALLERY – Courtesy of photographer Bill Segars, 2016
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