Saint Phillips African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is located at 1330 South Ashe Street, in the heart of the historic Warnersville community. The church was organized in 1908 and rebuilt in 1966. Pastor James Robertson, Jr. has his name carved on the cornerstone. Likely, he was pastor in 1966, at the time the above church was built. The Warnersville community itself was established in 1867, about the time the AMEZ movement was taking hold in the USA and about a half of a century before the above church was organized.
According to AME's website, the religion began in 1796 and the Black denomination being chartered in 1801. Zion was added in 1848 to distinguish the group from the Philadelphia Black Methodist movement. Since its beginning, the AMEZ church has worked to nurture the whole person-- mind, body, spirit. The crux of the ministry is spirituality, sharing the gospel, racial justice, peace and harmony. Also, the denomination emphasizes education of its members. An early member is quoted as saying "In order to succeed in American society as productive citizens, we [the newly freed slaves] need to become an educated citizenry" (reference).
We wish this church had its history available online as it has been in the heart of a community that was the first to allow people of color to own their own homes, build their own churches, run their own businesses and educate children. The community attracted many African American professionals. Today, many of the businesses are gone, but St. Phillips Church is here in all of its glory. Look at those stained glass windows that make you feel as if you are sitting in heavenly clouds when you are inside. If you are local, Rev. .J. Shuford, Jr. delivers his message Sundays at 11:00.