OUR HISTORY

 

This small, Greek Revival style church was built in 1867 on Main Street to provide the town of Chico with one of its first organized church edifices. The church held the congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church South at this location until growth brought a demand for a larger building. In 1907 the church building was given to the Black community and was moved to 6th and Flume streets, land deeded to the St. Andrew's African Methodist Episcopal Church by John Bidwell in 1871.

 The church building was once again moved in 1957 to its present location at 9th and Linden Streets when Trinity Methodist Church purchased the property to expand their church facilitates located on the same block. The white clapboard church with its Gothic windows is a fine reminder of Chico's early religious structures

The church on Linden Street has long been a place of solace for local African-Americans, in good times and bad. A sign hanging inside the chapel proudly proclaims “108 years of service,” though the church building itself and the AME’s presence in Chico individually predate that number. The building was constructed in 1867 on Main Street, according to the city of Chico Historic Resources Inventory. It has been moved twice and is registered with the state of California as a historical point of interest.

 The larger AME Church organization has likewise been pivotal in American history. It was officially founded by the Rev. Richard Allen in 1816, though its roots go deeper, to 1787, when Allen and others formed the Free African Society to counter racial discrimination and slavery in the newly independent United States. It has grown into the largest protestant organization founded by black people in the world, with an estimated 2.5 million members.

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