WXXI AM News

Connections: Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church celebrates 190th anniversary

Sep 1, 2017

Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church has a prominent place in Rochester's African American and civil rights history -- one that has been celebrated for 190 years.

Founded in 1827 by an escaped slave, it was a shelter on the Underground Railroad for hundreds of escaped slaves being led to freedom by Harriet Tubman. It was also the spiritual home of Frederick Douglass, who edited and printed the North Star in its basement. Susan B. Anthony also visited the church, giving her last ever public address to its members.

Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church is gearing up for a black tie soirée to celebrate it's 190th anniversary. We talk to organizers of the event about the church's history and why it still has an important role in civil rights advocacy today. In studio:

  • Carmen Allen, head of Memorial AME Zion Church's Community Outreach Ministry, and member of the church's 190th Anniversary Committee
  • Rashid Smith, preacher's steward at Memorial AME Zion Church, and member of the church's 190th Anniversary Committee
  • Delores Radney, chair of special events for the 190th Anniversary celebration, and member of the church's 190th Anniversary Committee