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Beulah AME Church

115 S Main St.

Farmville, VA 23901

Beulah African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church was founded in 1868. Originally, it was known as The Colored Methodist Church of Farmville. The original wooden-framed building was destroyed, by fire in 1898. The cornerstone on the present building was laid in 1901.

A protest against segregated seating and restricted participation in worship at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia was the spark that ultimately gave rise to the AME Church. Richard Allen, a Philadelphia-born slave, and 42 followers marched out of St. Johns in November 1796 to begin creating a church of their own. Richard Allen founded the AME Church in 1816 and became its first bishop.

Beulah AME Church has a long history of struggle for civil rights. Rev. J.W. Beckett, the church's fourth pastor, led black students in demonstrations in the 1890s for the hiring of black teachers in the public schools. The demonstrations called attention to the fact that black teachers were graduating from other black schools and should be given the opportunity to teach their own people. As a result of these efforts, black teachers were hired in the county's public-school system. In 1896, also under Rev. Beckett's tenure, the parsonage, which stands today alongside the church was built.

Beulah AME Church

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Rev. Grayland Snead, Jr.

Pastor, Beulah AME Church