SAN BERNARDINO, CA- St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church will celebrate its 112th Anniversary of serving the San Bernardino Community at the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, June 26. The guest Preacher will be Rev. Dr. Cecil (Chip) Murray followed by a luncheon and concert featuring The Starlights at 12:30 p.m.
St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded and organized on Easter Sunday in the year of our Lord, 1904, by Presiding Elder Reverend James H. Wilson, in a Holiness Church Tent. A Caucasian minister and his wife were conducting revival services in the 700 block of Fifth Street. Mr. Inghram was granted permission by the Holiness Minister to allow Reverend Wilson to come down and organize the church. He not only permitted it but also asked Reverend Wilson to come and deliver the Easter Sunday message to his congregation. The type of town San Bernardino was in 1904 made it quite difficult to establish a Negro Church. There were 300 Negroes in San Bernardino County, the largest county by area in the United States. As we write this history in 1970, we have a Negro population of 17,000 in the city of San Bernardino.” Today, the African-American population of San Bernardino City is 30,161.
The actual beginning of the church membership is very humble. The required 12 members to establish a church were: Henry D. Inghram, his wife Mary Ella Inghram, their children Henry, Ben, Howard, and infant daughter Ruth Rebecca; Mrs. Martha Bush and her son Earnest. From that required twelve, the church has moved from 6th and Harris Street to their current location at 1355 West 21st Street in San Bernardino.
The church has nurtured the first African-American Superintendent of Schools and the first African American physician for the City of San Bernardino. From those “first” they have cultivated doctors, nurses, lawyers, educators, law enforcement officers, artists and singers. These are the children of St. Paul AME Church, proud members of St. Paul AME Church.
Once again, they invite you to join them in celebration of 112 years of service to God our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, The Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family.