Stop 5-Mother Midway A.M.E. Church

Established in 1865

During and immediately after the Civil War, many African American churches were formed in Florida which were usually independent community-based congregations organized by a lay minister. The first formal religious organization established by Freedmen under the umbrella of a national denomination was in June of 1865 when ex-slave, William G. Stewart, was appointed as pastor of Florida by the South Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The day after arriving in Jacksonville on June 9, 1865, Reverend Steward met with a group from a small settlement east of Jacksonville known as Midway to organize the first AME Church in Florida.

Still located in East Jacksonville, the Mother Midway A.M.E. Church is recognized as the “mother” of both the Florida Conference of the A.M.E. Church organized in 1867 and the East Florida Conference established in 1877.

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