St John an Historical Landmark

Bethel A.M.E Church was the first African American church in Worthington.  Black residents joined Worthington’s

established churches as early as 1847 or worshipped

together in their homes.  Pastor Barks with D.H. Tabom, Charles Kiner, J.T. Horton and James Birkhead organized the A.M.E. congregation in 1896.  Rapid growth moved their meetings to the Worthington Town Hall by 1897.  A lot was purchased from Milly Alston on September 24, 1897, and a house relocated to serve as Bethel Chapel.  Local carpenter Chester Hard constructed a new building that was

dedicated as St. John A.M.E. in 1914.  The church has served as the religious and social hub of Worthington’s Black

community for more than a century.  While St. John A.M.E. Church retains their original location, worship moved to 7700 Crosswoods Drive in 2004.