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Bethel AME Church

Originally named St. Paul’s Methodist Church, the Bethel African Methodist Church was established in 1890 by Reverend A.C. Augustus. It began in a small frame building at the corner of Third Avenue and Browne Street in 1901 and later moved to Fifth Ave and Pine Street. In 1971, the church was demolished to make way for a larger replacement, constructed by Clarence Freeman, a dedicated member. Notably, Bethel AME Church was the second Black church in Eastern Washington State, following Calvary Baptist Church in Spokane. These churches served as vital spiritual, social, and political hubs for the Black community, fostering a legacy of Black pioneers. 

The church played a significant role in the community by organizing Sunday schools that nurtured children for future citizenship and leadership. 

An exceptional feature of the church was its exquisite stained-glass windows, purchased by the charter members and their names were noted on them. When the church was relocated, these windows found a new home within the new building. 

Rev. Richard Allen, the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, lends his name to the Richard Allen apartments, situated directly behind the Church. 

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