Sweet Auburn- Big Bethel AME, 5

Sweet Auburn- Big Bethel AME, 5

©2017, Gene Phillips

Sweet Auburn- Big Bethel AME, 5
Exterior entrance shot of the historic Big Bethel AME Church in the Sweet Auburn District of Downtown Atlanta.



Big Bethel A. M. E. Church was founded in 1847, and is the oldest predominantly African American congregation in the Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. Historical records indicate that our congregation, variously Old Bethel, Bethel, the African Methodist Episcopal Tabernacle and finally Big Bethel, was formed prior to the incorporation of Atlanta on December 28, 1847. However, the roots of the congregation of Big Bethel emanated from the population of Terminus, GA that incorporated under the name of Marthasville in 1843. "Thus was established the first colored church in Marthasville and it was Methodist." In 1847, the city officials determined that the township of Marthasville was destined to become the railroad center of the South; thus the name Marthasville was changed to Atlanta.
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