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614 N 3rd St,

Richmond, VA 23219

In the year 1850, a decade before the first cannons boomed to mark the beginning of the Civil War, Third Street Church had its earliest beginning…It was at this time that a small group of freed slaves organized themselves into a religious congregation worshiping in the gallery of the white Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church South.  They continued worship through the ensuing six years.

In the year of 1856, this flourishing little Methodist body with the help of slave artisans and laborers and the Methodist Episcopal Church South erected Third Street Church.  The land was purchased in 1852 and under the jurisdiction of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South the pulpit was supplied by White ministers. 

In 1867 with the advancing of the African Methodist Episcopal Church southward, the Third Street Church adopted the discipline and style of the A.M.E. connection and joined the Virginia Annual Conference. The church adopted the name of Third Street Bethel AME Church on May 10, 1867 at the first organizing session of the Virginia Annual Conference.

Because of its historic values, Third Street Bethel AME Church was placed on the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 being the first black church in Richmond, Virginia to receive that designation.

This custom-made 24-karat gold plated brass replica of the original structure of Third Street Church has been produced for the preservation of our History. 

Third St. Bethel AME Church 


Rev. Reuben J. Boyd, Jr. 

Pastor, Third St. Bethel AME Church

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