The roots of this congregation can be traced to 1845, when a group of local residents met to formally organize Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church. With several churches established in the area by free African Americans during the mid-19th century, the town of Camden became an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Trustees of the church obtained land at this location in the late 1840s, and construction began on a house of worship. Adjoining property was purchased in 1848 from George Jones to establish a burial ground for the congregation, which was enlarged in 1863 with land conveyed by John Jones. The present sanctuary was completed in 1889 after fire destroyed the original structure. In 1923, the cemetery expanded once again with land bought from William Gaynes. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Sarah Denison at (302) 744-5016 or via email at Sarah.Denison@state.de.us.
LOCATION: 20 Center Street, Camden