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St. Paul A.M.E. Church (1820) Lexington, Kentucky

St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church dates its existence back to 1820.  In that year a group of people rented a stable from Charles Wilkins, located upon the present site of the church.  The first meetings were held by William Smith, a local preacher, who had charge of the congregation for a number of years and built up a large membership.

The lot was purchased in 1827 at which time the Methodist Episcopal Church (African) was standing. It was enlarged about the year 1850, and in 1877 it was remodeled into its present style and appearance.  This church was a mission of the Hill Street Methodist Church.  It was presided over and its welfare looked after by the Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.  At the close of the Civil War the Negro Methodists of the city withdrew from this conference and formed an independent church.

Upon the admission of this Church in 1866 to the African Methodist Episcopal Conference of Ohio, Rev. Grafton Graham was sent as its Pastor.  St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church is said to be the oldest existing house of worship in Lexington, Kentucky.

(SOURCE: CLAY LANCASTER, HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, VESTIGES OF THE VENERABLE CITY)

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