Methodism had its beginning in Fort
Worth with the coming of Rev. Moody,
a wandering circuit rider, and five
other people. The organization
took place in 1870. No church
building or property was owned in
Fort Worth at the time of the
original organization; therefore,
services were held irregularly in
the homes of members. Among
the five who gathered with Rev.
Moody was Mrs. Emily Patterson,
great-grandmother of Dr. James E.
Guinn III and Dr. Edward W. Guinn,
both of Fort Worth.
formal meeting place was a one room frame house located in the 1000
block of East Second Street. A few months later the meeting place
was a shanty with boxed-in walls and a cobblestone floor. In 1873
a small one-room brick building was the place of worship. The
membership increased, interest in the church mounted and a large red
brick building was constructed for their worshipping place.
In 1887 the
church started a major construction project and was having a financial
struggle under the leadership of Rev. W. E. Reed. The obligations
of the church were met on June 6, 1891 and release of the Deed of Trust
indicate that the property on which the church is presently located was
purchased on March 2, 1878. The trustees were George Reed, R.
Lawson, and H. Thomas. The pastor was Rev. George Taylor.
There was a
prevailing conviction in the mind of the founders of the church that
eventually a majestically imposing structure would be its permanent
place of worship. With this in mind, the members later decided to
raze the large red brick building on the corner of First and Elm Streets
and build a new church in its location.
In 1912 the
membership temporarily moved to Second and Crump Streets. The
members worshipped in a tent for two years until the present church was
erected. The contract for the construction of this new edifice was
awarded to William Reed and Sons of Fort Worth. The completion
date was set for two years later.
pressed brick church was built during the pastorate of Rev. R. S.
Jenkins on the lot that had been purchased in 1878. On
Sunday morning, December 22, 1912, more than one hundred persons, whose
names are carved in a white marble slab in the north vestibule and whose
names are etched in the art glass windows, unselfishly gave $25 each.
That effort was the beginning of the founders' dream that ended with a
majestic, modified Gothic structure which the church currently occupies.
The building of the new $20,000 Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church and its
dedication on July 22, 1914 were the crowning accomplishments of Rev.
The laying of the cornerstone was a very memorable event which
culminated the long and arduous efforts to provide a suitable temple in
which to worship Almighty God. It brought great joy to those who
had given of their money, time and labor to this project. Pastor
R. S. Jenkins, along with advice of members and the architects, planned
superstructure, as it now stands, is a beautiful pressed brick.
The church is perpendicular Gothic, an architectural form taken by most
noted cathedrals and churches of the world. The front of the
church faces east while the chancel, which includes the choir, faces
west. Upon entering the church, one faces the audience in the
sanctuary. This was a special design requested by Rev. Jenkins.
is 48 by 100 feet and has a seating capacity of 1350. It has a
main auditorium, a gallery, a basement, and nine extra rooms.
These rooms are used by the boards, committees, and the auxiliaries.
The eclectic beauty of the interior sanctuary gives one a wonderful
feeling of devotion and tranquility. In addition, the evening
sunlight, which shines through the stained glass windows, greatly
enhances the serene beauty of this majestically gothic structure.
this architectural masterpiece, Allen Chapel was privileged to have the
tubular pneumatic 1911 Estey Pipe Organ installed in the sanctuary on
July 3, 1923. The pipe organ, as pictured below, is one of the most beautiful musical
instruments in this country. It consists of many sets of pipes
which are sounded by compressed air and played by means of several
keyboards. A fitting addition to this beautiful church, the organ
was purchased during the pastorate of Rev. George Sims whose leadership
followed Rev. R. S. Jenkins.
organist was Mrs. Mattie Daniels Loudd. She served under the
direction of ten (10) pastors and professionally manipulated this
extraordinary musical instrument for more than 42 years. She
was senior choir organist and was elected organist for the 10th
Episcopal District of the North Texas Annual Conference where she served
until her homegoing in 1985.
Mr. Elvis E.
Guinn and Mr. Frank Jones (both deceased) have the distinction of having
served on the official staff for sixty years each and both united with
the church in the old brick building before the present church was
Finally, the history of the
church would not be complete without the story of the Sunday School.
From the best records available, the Allen Chapel Sunday School was
organized in the 1870s and classes were held in the sanctuary. Mr. E. M.
Wilson (deceased) most recently served as superintendent the longest
tenure which spanned 49 years.
n September 1982, Allen Chapel
African Methodist Episcopal Church
became a State Historical Marker
Site and in September 1983, the
church received the Texas Historical
Building Medallions below which the
State designates as a Texas