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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

AME Zion Church

Seneca Village Community

 
 
AME Zion Church wayside image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
1. AME Zion Church wayside
Inscription.  
Near this sign was the African Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion), built in 1853. It was one of three churches in the Seneca Village. Although AME Zion was the last church to construct a building in the village, it had a much longer affiliation with the community. The church was one of the earliest purchasers of land here, initially for a burial ground.

The AME Zion’s involvement in Seneca Village demonstrates hoe this remote settlement had highly significant connections to the African-American community living downtown. AME Zion was New York City’s first African-American church, founded in 1796 by members of the John Street Methodist Church who wanted to form an independent congregation. Initially, they met in a rented hall until 1800, when they established their first “mother” church on Leonard Street. The congregation grew rapidly and established satellite churches not only in Seneca Village but also in other eastern churches and towns. In the early 20th century, the mother church moved uptown to Harlem, where it still holds services today.
 
Erected 2020 by Central Park Conservancy
AME Zion Church wayside site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
2. AME Zion Church wayside site
Like most Seneca Village sites, there are no physical remains or representations to be had.
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Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1853.
 
Location. 40° 47.034′ N, 73° 58.084′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker can be reached from West 85th Street 0.2 miles east of Central Park West. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Central Park, New York NY 10024, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. African Union Church (a few steps from this marker); Seneca Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Seneca Village Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Seneca Village Landscape (within shouting distance of this marker); Searching for Seneca Village (within shouting distance of this marker); Geology (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wilson House (within shouting distance of this marker); All Angels’ Church (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Also see . . .
1. Seneca Village. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on April 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. Seneca Village Site. Central Park Conservancy website entry:
Links to several related sub-topics (Submitted on April 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
3. Inset
"The first AME Zion Church, shown on this map from 1852, was located at Church Street and Leonard Street in the city’s Fifth Ward (present-day Tribeca), near where the city’s African-American population was concentrated."

3. Seneca Village, New York City. National Park Service entry (Submitted on April 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
4. Inset
"This article from 1853 in the New-York Daily Tribune announces the laying of the cornerstone for the AME Zion Church in Seneca Village. The coverage of this event in a major newspaper reflected the prominence of this religious institution in the African-American community and in the city."
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, June 17, 2020
5. Inset
"By the time AME Zion constructed their church in Seneca Village, the congregation had grown considerably. They had rebuilt their original church and constructed two other churches in Manhattan, including one in Harlem, and numerous others along the east coast. Around 1864, the mother church had outgrown its second building on Church Street and was using the large building shown here, located in what is now the West Village."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 19, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.

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May. 11, 2021