Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-385
Location: LH-385

(Description ID: 595722)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Warren Chapel A. M. E. Church  


Agency History
Scope and Content

The records of the Fremont, Ohio, Warren Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church were donated in 2013 by Charles J. Weiker. 

Agency History
Around 1859, Mrs. Eliza Hughes , a faith healer and ordained preacher of Genoa, Ohio began holding services in the homes of the few African Americans who had settled in Fremont, Ohio.  The Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church of Fremont, Ohio was organized in 1862 through her efforts; with parishioners, both white and colored, attending services. By 1867, she had moved to Fremont and married Abraham Carr. The fledgling congregation was made up primarily of the family members of Thomas Vincent Curtis. Curtis was one of the earliest African American pioneer families in Sandusky County, Ohio, having settled in the area in 1833.

Thomas G. Reese, a son-in-law of Thomas Vincent Curtis was the driving force behind the construction of a church building. On July 8, 1868, the trustees of Fremont’s Christian Methodist Church, William J. Green, Joshua M. Dotson, Orlando Curtis, Abraham Carr and Charles Moore, sold property located at what is today [2013] 607 Second Street to the trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Fremont for $1.00. The trustees were Absalom Revels, Thomas Vincent Curtis, and Orlando Curtis.

The church, erected that same year, was a small frame building that set close to the ground on a stone foundation. The structure had a tower with a bell installed to welcome all as a call to worship.  The building also had a pot-bellied stove, oil lamps, and outside facilities. Initially the edifice was called Payne Chapel, named after Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne, who was an American bishop, educator, college administrator, and author. He became a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the 19th century. Eventually, the name was changed to Warren Chapel, which was chosen from the Warren A.M.E. Church in Toledo, Ohio. Both churches were named for Reverend Charles W. Warren of Pennsylvania, who became the pastor of the Toledo church. 

 In 1972, a new church building was built on at 304 Mulberry St. in Fremont; and in 2012 its members celebrated the church’s 150th year of worship and service.

Scope and Content
The Fremont, Ohio Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church’s records and history were collected by member Charles Weiker and his family. They contain original documents, records, ledgers, and photographs from 1911 to 2012. The materials are scattered and incomplete, but are perhaps the only extant records of the Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church. Also included are booklets, programs, bulletins, and articles concerning the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) and selected congregation and conference materials.  Following the item-level inventory is a chronological list of ministers who served Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church. This list was compiled by Charles Weiker in 2013.

Ac. 5828
1 ½ linear ft.

Notebook Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church - Fremont, Ohio: Historical Facts & Photographs, compiled by Charles J. Weiker, 2012


1. Ledger 1911-1946

Ledger purchased by Rev. S.S. Atkins on August 21, 1911, for the A.M.E. Church Fremont, Ohio with random entries from 1911 through 1946.

2. Membership and Deceased

Handwritten notes of Samuel J. Weiker, pertaining to a blue spruce tree planting at the new church and the dedication to honor deceased as well as living members and pastors, ca. 1972  

Warren A.M.E. Church Membership Roster, dtd. December 17, 1972 , 3 pp. 

3. Warren 91st Program 

Ninety-First Anniversary and Annual Rally Week of Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church 607 Second St. Fremont, Ohio, May 15 through May 21, 1950 by Rev. F.H. Shipes, Minister [Souvenir program]                                                                                                 

4. Building Committee Records

            Building Committee of A.M.E. Church, by Samuel J. Weiker

Three architectural drawings of the proposed structure and its environs, 1972

Envelope containing additional detailed documentationof the construction of Warren Chapel's building completed in 1972. 

Original handwritten document re: 1972 church building and the 8 pastors and 2 supply ministers who served since 1972, dtd. January 24, 2008.

5. Warren Financial Papers

 General Budget Summary Our Financial Commitment 1984 - 1988 Celebrating Our Bicentennial Year 1787 – 1987 [Booklet]

6. Photographs

Pastor Elijah Artis, Toledo, Ohio, dtd. 1895. [Minister at Warren Chapel A.M.E. in Fremont, Ohio from 1914 to 1917].

Group photograph of the membership of Warren Chapel A.M.E. Church taken in an unidentified hall. Identified members:

Back row - left to right: Howard Pettiford, _____, _____, Philip Weiker, Sarah E. Weiker Willey, Theodore Weiker, Gardner Willey, _______,  Charles F. Weiker, _______ , _____, Evelyn D. Weiker.  

Middle row - left to right: _______, Joe Toney, Catherine Smith Toney, _______, ______, _______, _________, ________, Albert Ellison, Mary 'Mate' Morgan Ellison, _______, _________, Thomas Weiker.

Front row - left to right: Martha Jane Laughinghouse Weiker

Group photograph of membership of Warren Chapel A.M.E. and guests, dtd. October 18, 1957, Hotel Fremont, Fremont, Ohio 

Group photograph of unidentified congregation, n.d. 

Panoramic photograph: 45th Session of Annual Ohio Conference, dtd. October 13 – 17, 1926, St. James A.M.E. Church, Cleveland, Ohio 

Sunday School group photograph, dtd., December 7, 1941, St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Lima, Ohio  Partial identification list.[2 copies] 

Photograph of Bea Fox, daughter of Rev. Fox, minister at St. Paul A.M.E., Lima, Ohio. [postcard, n. d.; 2 copies] 

Photograph of St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Lima, Ohio, n.d. 

Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. S.B. (Spurgeon) Jones and family, Cleveland, Ohio, n.d. (Member of the Cleveland Colored Quintet). 

Photograph of the Cleveland Colored Quintet, n.d.

Standing left to right: Mr. Lacy, Mr. Parker, Mr. Jones, ____?_____, Mr. Hodges and Mr. Talbert. Seated left to right: Mrs. Lacy.

7. Sunday School Teacher Treasury Records 1954 -1955

8. Sunday School Teacher Treasury Records 1958 – 1959

9. Sunday School Teacher Treasury Records 1960 – 1961

10. Sunday School Teacher Treasury Records 1966 - 1967 

11. Ohio and Pennsylvania Programs 

“Old People's Reunion and Young People's Evening at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio on Sunday, August 31, 1913” [Flyer]

“A Notable Church Event - Corner Stone Laying - St. Paul A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio on August 12, 1917 - 3:30 p.m” [Bulletin]

“The 68th Annual Commencement - Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio - June 7th to June 11, 1931 - Educational District - Diamond Jubilee” [Program].

“Concert at African M.E. Church (St. Paul A.M.E. Church) - Lima, Ohio on June 27, 1937” [Flyer]

“Thomas Page in Recital on August 20, 1937 8:30 p.m”. [Lima, Ohio],  Flyer]

Image of St. Paul A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio.

“Good Friday Services at St. Paul A.M.E Church - Lima, Ohio - April 7, 1939” [Bulletin]

Bulletin for December 20, 1942 services from St. Paul A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio.

Bulletin for November 8, 1942 services from St. Paul A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio.

Easter Program of the Senior Choir at St. Paul A.M.E. Church - Lima, Ohio - on April 25, 1943 [Flyer]

Dr. E.C. Hatcher, 1952 [campaign piece for position of bishop]

Bulletin for Sunday July 19, 1970, services from St. John A.M.E. Church, Cleveland, Ohio - Rev. M.C. Pollock, Pastor.

94th Anniversary Mason Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Findlay, Ohio, September 1884 - September 1978 [Program] 

Annual Choir Day, The Cathedral Choir Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, Sunday, June 22, 1980 [Program] 

Second Festival of Negro Music, Eden Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, Saturday, June 24, n.y. [Pamphlet]

12. Conference Booklets  

The A.M.E. Church, Minutes of the Fiftieth Annual Session of the North Ohio Conference of the Third Episcopal District Held in St. John's A.M.E. Church,  Cleveland, Ohio,- September 23rd to 27th, 1931 [Program booklet] 

Minutes of the Fifty-second Annual Session of the North Ohio Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Held in St. Paul A.M.E. Church ,  Lima, Ohio, October 4th to 8th, 1933 

Fifty-First Session Cleveland District Conference, Park Street A.M.E. Marion, Ohio, Thursday and Friday April 25th and 26th, 1934 [Program pamphlet]

North Ohio Conference Edition October 21-27, 1963, St. James A.M.E. Church, Cleveland, Ohio, 1963 

Souvenir Program Thirty-Seventh Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church , Cincinnati, Ohio, May 6-18, 1964

Council of Bishops African Methodist Episcopal Church, Summer Session, St. John A.M.E. Church,  Cleveland, Ohio, June 18-21, 1973 

99th North Ohio Annual Conference African Methodist Episcopal Church held at Greater Avery A.M.E. Church, Cleveland, Ohio, October 22-26, 1980 [2 copies]

African Methodist Episcopal Church Quadrennial Report: 1980 - 1984 by the Faithful Fifteenth Episcopal District Southern and Southwestern Africa Forty-Second Session General Conference, Kansas City, Missouri,- July 8 - 15, 1984; Bishop John E. Hunter, Presiding Prelate and Mrs. Delorez A. Hunter, Episcopal Supervisor

13. Newspaper Articles

“Rumley's Demise: Rural-Urban Movement: Early Shelby Village Now Farmland.” (Includes photograph of Lewis Chapel A.M.E. Church: 1837- 1970), The Lima News  dtd. Sunday, October 25, 1970 Page B-11.

“Sunday School Class Holds Party,” St. Paul A.M.E. Church, The Lima News, ca. 1941

 Newspaper article re: Bishop Reverdy C. Ransome. [n. d., publication source unknown]

“History of The African Methodist Episcopal Church” Toledo Blade, dtd. Sunday, October 25, 1987 Sec. B Page 3 

Newspaper article re: Rt. Rev. Daniel Alexander Payne. [n. d., publication source unknown]

14. History Booklets

80th Anniversary of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Organized 1872, Des Moines, Iowa, March 31st through April 6, 1952; John E. Hunter, Minister

On This Rock... The Mother Church of African Methodism, 1976, The African Methodist Episcopal Church Alphabet by Rev. Bernard Conner, 1984

Mid-Year Convocation, African Methodist Episcopal Church Third Episcopal District Host Church: Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, Columbus, Ohio, April 2-4, 1986 

The Church Members Guide, Revised Edition, 1985, Mid-Year Convocation, The Third Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church, The Clarion Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 7-8, 1988

            Frederick Douglass Home, Trustees and Frederick Douglass Memorial Committee,

            [Pamphlet, n.d.]

15. First AME Church 

First African Methodist Episcopal Church , Gary, Indiana, 50th Anniversary; The Reverend John E. Hunter, Pastor.

PASTORS OF WARREN CHAPEL A.M.E CHURCH [compiled by Charles Weiker]  
Mrs. Eliza Hughes Carr    1859 - The founder and 1st pastor
Edward Claybrooks    between 1873-1878
George Stevens    1879-1880
M.M. Smith    1889-1890
A.W. Steward    1893-1898
Jonas Montgomery    1904-1905
Charles James    1911
J. Bass   1911
Elijah Artis (of Toledo)    1914-1917
R.S. Webster    1918-1919
W.S. Amos    1920-1921
Jasper E. Baker    1922-1925
Harvey A. Beasley    1926-1927
M.J. Ingraham    1928
Alonzo T. Connor    1929-1930
John H. Massie    1931
John D. White    1932-1934
Samuel D. Caliman    1935-1936
David E. Johnson    1937-1938
William S. Becks    1939-1942
Arthur H. Baxter    1943-1947
Willis C. Barksdale    1947-1949
Forrest H. Shipes    1950-1952
Caninous S. Hinton 1953-1959
____?_____ Garrett    1959
Woodie L. Hafley    1960-1962
Robert T. Davis    1963
Harold E. Sheffield    1963-1975 - The last pastor at the old 1868 church building and the first pastor at the new 1972 church building.
S.M. Butler    1976-1982
Richard Cox    1983
Thomas Darden (Supply Pastor)
Martin J. Hall   1984-1996
Kathy Merritt    1997
Thomas Hayes (of Sandusky - Supply Pastor)
Kristopher Johnson    1999-2000
Charlotte Evans    2001-2003   
Thomas Fant    2004-2009
Rose Stewart    2010-  
*Research Explanation Addendum:
*Ministers and their terms of service unlisted are due to incomplete records
*Pastors Caldwell and Rollins, although named; with first names unknown; appear on earlier lists; but without time periods of their service.
*Thomas G. Reese, who was instrumental in the continued progression of the church's founding, is listed in a 1950 Historical Sketch compiled by Pastor Shipes for the church's 91st anniversary, as also being a minister at Warren Chapel with no dates.