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Bethel AME Church in Little Rock celebrated 160 years



Little Rock, Arkansas – Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a historic landmark in Little Rock, celebrated a significant milestone yesterday – its 160th anniversary. This significant event marks a long-standing presence and influence in the Little Rock community.

Founded towards the end of the Civil War by Nathan Warren, Bethel AME Church has been a beacon of hope and resilience. Located on West 16th Street downtown, the church has played a pivotal role in the city’s history, especially in the African American community.

Pastor Truman Tolefree reflected on this rich history with immense pride and joy. He expressed deep gratitude for the journey the church has traversed and the blessings it has received over the years. His words, “Just looking back over the trail…over which we have come and the ways that God has blessed us,” encapsulate the sentiment of the entire congregation.

Bethel AME’s influence extends beyond its spiritual guidance. The church’s past members have included notable figures such as African American attorney Scipio Africanus Jones, civil rights activist Daisy Bates, and several members of the Little Rock Nine. These individuals have been instrumental in shaping the course of African American history and civil rights in the United States.

Additionally, the church’s members played a crucial role in the founding of Shorter College, further demonstrating Bethel AME’s commitment to education and community development.

As Bethel AME Church celebrates this landmark anniversary, it not only looks back at its past achievements but also forward to continuing its legacy of faith, empowerment, and community service in Little Rock and beyond.

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