Historical Significance

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Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Incorporated Foundation received from the
National Park Service (NPS)-African American Civil Rights Grants, totaling 1.3 million dollars for
restoration and repair work to Brown Chapel AME Church.

WHY BROWN CHAPEL A.M.E. CHURCH MATTERS

Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first AME church in Alabama, was the site of preparations for the march to Montgomery on March 7, 1965, a day that became known as Bloody Sunday. The church also served as a refuge for injured marchers. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997, the church is still in use today.

How Can You Help Restore?

We need your help in restoring Brown Chapel. Time and sharing the building with the world has left a beautiful building in need of repair.  Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Inc. (Foundation) has received National Park Service African American Civil Rights grants, but this is not sufficient to repair and restore all the damage to the structure.  Please help restore Brown Chapel AME Church by giving today to the Foundation!

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A National Historic Landmark

Historic Brown Chapel AME Church, circa 1908 was built and designed by architect A. J. Farley in a Romanesque Revival style.  The Church was declared a National Historic Landmark on February 4, 1982.  Brown Chapel is affectionately called the “Mother Church” served as the meeting place in 1965 where marches and protest were planned against voter disenfranchisement of African Americans.  On March 7, 1965, marchers including the late John Lewis, later Congressman Lewis, left the Brown Chapel AME Church and attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge but they were beaten back.  This day would be known as “Bloody Sunday” and is credited with leading to the signing of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  The Church stands proud of its heritage and commitment to serving the community through its ministries and Church services.

Termite Damage

Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Inc.

Since our inception, we’ve worked around the clock to preserve our church and heritage. Every contribution goes toward maintaining its beauty and historical significance. Making a positive monetary difference is needed, and very much appreciated.

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Structural Damage

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Water Damage

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Water damage coming through
the stained glass windows

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Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Inc. 

The Foundation needs more money to complete the work desperately needed!

The main issues discovered so far are the following:

1. Termite treatment for the entire building required.
2. Regrading to prevent water from ponding adjacent to the building.
3. Structural repairs due to termite damage which will include the following areas:
a. Crawlspace floor joists and beams.
b. North balcony: Replace beam and floor joists which involves removing wood floor and risers.
c. Replace several rafters at second floor rooms between balconies.
d. Repair several main roof trusses in attic.
e. Repair termite damage to wood trim, wainscot, etc. at various places in sanctuary and stair towers.
4. Repoint brick at towers, parapet walls and in various other locations.
5. Replace roof.
6. Replace aluminum sheeting and wood siding on wood towers and replace wood louvers and frames.
7. Install new roofing inside towers at both levels of louvers.
8. Install new electrical service to the building, upgrade wiring and existing light fixtures, add emergency lighting and exit lights, and add additional outlets in the building and on exterior.
9. Replace lexan covering over stained glass windows with laminated safety glass in aluminum frames with new flashing.
10. Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms.
11. Replace the HVAC systems