Columbia University IRAAS
Mar 22 11

Saint Luke’s and the AME Church: A History That’s One in the Same

Saint Luke’s AME Church on 152nd and Amsterdam can easily go unnoticed from the street. The church was closed when I walked by but the sign above one of the entrances caught my attention. It read: “The African Methodist Episcopal Church Self-Help Program”. It only said Saint Luke’s at the bottom in much smaller letters. After attempting to find out more information online, I came up empty. I am not sure if going to an AME Church itself is considered its own form of religious “self-help” or if there is more to this program. I also wanted to see if I could discover more about the history of the church, but the website only discusses the origins of the AME Church and not Saint Luke’s specifically. There was actually more information about the Reverend Melvin E. Wilson than about Saint Luke’s itself. The website states its mission in reference to the entire mission of the AME Church, which seeks “to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people”. I think this points to the fact that Saint Luke’s sees itself within a greater community and wants to maintain its ties with the AME Church and its storied history.

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