Wayman’s History

Wayman AME church is the second oldest African-American church in the city of Racine. Wayman was named after Bishop Alexander Walker Wayman, he was one of the earliest bishops of the AME church.

The first location of Wayman was 1232 Villa Street. The first pastor of the church was Reverend Hand who became the permanent pastor from 1875 to 1882. Wayman moved from Villa Street to 424 N. Memorial Drive which is the present location in 1961.

There has been a total of 33 pastors for Wayman. Rev. Charlene B Mills is now the current pastor for Wayman AME Church.

Richard Allen began his ministry after he was converted in 1777. He later became an ordained preacher in 1780. he went back to Philadelphia and preached at St. George’s Methodist Church. He would preach at early times to large crowds of Africans.

Many Africans were converted under his teaching. They began to attend regular worship service. One Sunday they attempted to pray at the altar and an officer let it be known that it was not a time for pray for African people. The officer attempted to drag them from their knees. Soon after this service they left St. George’s Methodist Church and purchased a black smith shop were they began to have their worship services.

They later moved from the blacksmith shop to a building more adequate for worship services. The new church was named Bethel. This church is now a National Landmark and it is the oldest piece of property owned continuously by African Americans. In 1816 Richard Allen and other representatives came together and from the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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