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2521 N. Armistead Ave
Hampton, VA 23666

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) was organized in August 1864, in what was then known as Camp Hamilton, New Tabb’s Field by Father Peter Sheppard. Father Peter Sheppard, who was a local preacher in St. John A.M.E. Church, Norfolk, Virginia, and six lay persons, Sisters Caroline Segal, Sarah Parker, Brothers Merrit Thomas, James Segal, Thad Peeden and Randall Gooden were instrumental in organizing the new church. The group built a house of worship on Oak Street, now Wine Street, in the City of Hampton. After several years of ardent and persistent labor, a lot was purchased, and the first brick church was erected on Lincoln Street in 1887.


Bethel has entertained six sessions of the Virginia Annual Conference: the 13th in 1879, the 46th in 1912, the 95th in 1961, the 104th in1970, the 120th in 1986 and the 139th in 2005. Twenty-seven Bishops, numerous Presiding Elders and 47 Pastors have served Bethel over its years. Bethel experienced many varied accomplishments during its 143 years of continuous service as the only A.M.E. Church in the city of Hampton. The most noted are the many souls that have been saved, the high spiritual elevation of the church and the many members called to Ordained Ministry.


Our 47th Pastor, The Reverend André P. Jefferson, Sr., came to us in July of the 2001/2002 Conference Year. He came with an attitude of love, compassion and inclusion. He is a man of God who declares Jesus is his reason for living. He has established as the focus for this year “Arise and Build” (1 Chronicles 22:9, Nehemiah 2:20). Consecration, Preparation, and Dedication will lead to Celebration! New members continue to join this congregation and inactive members are reuniting with the church. Bethel is known as "The Church with a Smile." Our doors are open for community meetings and special attention is given to the needy, senior citizens, youth and families. Now in our 156th year, Bethel is called by God to live out our Church Motto: "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, The Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family"

Bethel AME Church - Hampton


Rev. Andre' P. Jefferson, Sr.

Pastor, Bethel AME Church - Hampton

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