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Galveston Methodists split along racial lines

March
18
1848

On this day in 1848, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, purchased a piece of property at 2015 Broadway in Galveston. Soon a church and parsonage were erected and "given to the Slaves as the Negro Methodist Episcopal Church South." Increasing tensions between North and South, exacerbated by the moral debate over slavery, fueled the white congregation's decision to separate its black and white members. After the Civil War the church was reorganized as a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In recognition of the service of Rev. Houston Reedy, who became the pastor in 1870, the congregation renamed the church Reedy Chapel. Also in 1870, the Reedy Chapel AME Church was involved in a lawsuit when the Methodist Episcopal Church, North, took possession of the chapel. Unable to worship at Reedy Chapel, the congregation rented an old soap factory for fifteen dollars a month. After a four-year battle the courts ruled in favor of the AME Church, and Reedy Chapel was restored to them. In 1885 the structure was destroyed by fire. The replacement church still stood in 2004.

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