Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


St. Paul was founded in 1905 during weekly meetings at the home of John F. Thomas.  The first site of the church was in a tent on a vacant lot owned by one of the members of the congregation.  The church was named the African Methodist Episcopal Church Mission of Elmwood.


On October the 30th in 1905 the congregation purchased the Elmwood Methodist Episcopal church consisting of a frame church and a lot a t 85th Street and Tinicum Avenue for eleven hundred dollars. 

 On May 5, 1913 AME Elmwood sold their property to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the sum of six hundred dollars.  The money acquired was enough to purchase two lots at 8th Street and Bartrum Avenue and move the frame church to its new location.

 In 1917 a one-story brick church was erected and the congregation decided to formally change the church name to Elmwood AME church.  Later in 1927 construction for a new edifice began but differences with the Connectional AME church resulted in three hundred members leaving to form an independent church.  The church was left with a mere thirty members, which constituted a mission.

 The church struggled through the depression but rebounded to see the construction of their church completed in 1933

 In 1943 the church was renamed St. Paul AME Church Elmwood but unfortunately the new name could not stop urban development.  The surrounding area as St. Paul knew it had vanished.

 Although St. Paul eked out a survival plan it has yet again been targeted by urban renewal.  This time being bought out by the city and forced to move and worship at the AME headquarters at 3801 Market Street, Philadelphia    The new edifice is in the process of being built at the location at 84th and Lindbergh Street, Philadelphia.


 Cummings C, Frank, Dixon H. John, Wynn A. Henry, Scott-Singletons M. Thelma, and Green A. P. Patricia. 

The First Episcopal Districtís Historical Review of 200 years of African Methodism. Greenlick & Ronald Weinman1987  

Interview with Present Pastor, Rev. Eugene Mcduffy, December, 2005.