Campbell AME Church dates back to 1850 when members of the local free black community organized Allen Chapel near Good Hope Village (now Garfield). Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church, as it is now known, remains the oldest black church in Hillsdale. With the arrival of the Barry Farm Freedmen's settlement (later renamed Hillsdale) after the Civil War, Allen Chapel grew so large that a group split off in 1867 and formed Mount Zion AME Church on Mount Zion Hill (now Douglass Road). A couple of decades later the church moved to a more accessible location, on Nichols Avenue (today's Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue). The congregation dedicated its new building in 1890 -- in a ceremony attended by Frederick Douglass -- and renamed the church for AME Bishop Jabez Campbell. After the building burned a few years later, the church moved to its present location, on property donated by a church member. The current building was completed in 1938.

Under the leadership of Rev. Samuel Everette Guiles, Campbell AME hosted meetings and strategy sessions held by Consolidated Parent Group and the NAACP related to fighting school segregation. The Campbell Civic Club was organized to support these efforts, which led to the Bolling v. Sharpe case.

Among the members of Campbell AME Church were Barbara and Adrienne Jennings, two of the plaintiffs in Bolling v. Sharpe, which became a part of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954). All of the Bolling plaintiffs came from the Hillsdale community.


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