Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Devon, the oldest continuous African-American congregation of any denomination on the entire Main Line, was included in the Spring 2013 Lecture Series on May 9th.
Bob Wise and Seth Hinshaw of Wise Preservation Planning LLC presented an evening of Mt. Zion AME Church history. The cornerstone dates to 1861, with Mt. Zion roots dating to the Free African Society, a group of slaves and former slaves in the Philadelphia area. There are 20 members of the Civil War Colored Veterans buried in the adjacent cemetery.
The lecture in Mt. Zion’s historic 1861 chapel provided the perfect place for the lecture. Bob and Seth provided a wonderful history lesson of the church and its importance in history. Twenty years before the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education forced the policy of separate but unequal onto the national agenda, the families of 200+ African American children in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships boycotted their own segregated schools. The families whose children were ordered into dilapidated school buildings for black students, fought the “school fight” and Mt. Zion AME Church was the central meeting place as they planned their battle – and won.