Oldest Black church in upstate NY located in Albany
NewsChannel 13’s coverage of Black History Month continues with a story about the oldest Black church in upstate New York being located in Albany.
The Israel A.M.E. Church has been on Hamilton Street for nearly 200 years.
A.M.E. stands for African Methodist Episcopal Church. The founder of the Christian denomination, Bishop Richard Allen, faced segregation at the Methodist church. So, he split off and built the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in 1793.
Then, in 1828, Rev. William Cornish was tasked with bringing A.M.E. to Albany. The church was later a station on the Underground Railroad. Renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman was among the conductors who helped free slaves using space in a tunnel provided by the church.
Now the church is known for its food pantry and soup kitchen, which feeds thousands of people every year.