Church History


Brief Historical Overview of

Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church


Since 1897, Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church has used its rich history to develop into one of the most progressive and spiritually sound institutions in the Mid-Atlantic. Payne remains a truly historic people of Faith, Family, and Fellowship who have laid a tremendous foundation for future generations to come.

1897 - Payne Memorial inherited a great legacy in its name – Bishop Daniel A. Payne. Bishop James A. Handy became the 1st pastor of Payne on the 2nd Sunday in July of 1897 for 2 months. The Reverend W. C. Price became the 2nd pastor of Payne as interim pastor. The Reverend James G. Martin became the 3rd pastor of Payne and served to the end of the conference year 1898.


1898 - The Reverend A. D. Holder became the 4th pastor of Payne and served one eventful year.


1899 – The Reverend M. W. Travers became the 5th pastor of Payne from 1899 to 1902.


1902 – The Reverend W. E. Arnold became the 6th pastor of Payne and served one year.


1903 – The Reverend John W. Beckett became the 7th pastor of Payne and served for only one term due to failing health.


1904 – The Reverend L. M. Beckett became the 8th pastor of Payne.


1906 – The Reverend J. C. Waters became the 9th pastor of Payne for 2 years.


1908 – The Reverend P. M. Wortham became the 10th pastor of Payne.


1912 – The Reverend James G. Martin, who was the 3rd pastor, became the 11th pastor of Payne for an additional five years.             Payne was incorporated and the trustees of Payne purchased a church on the corner of Calhoun Street and Patterson Avenue (now known as Laurens Street) for $41, 700. A lovely parsonage was secured at 1342 Calhoun Street.


1917 – The Reverend C. N. Murray became the 12th pastor of Payne and served from 1917 to 1920 until his death. More than $1,000 was raised and at that time the parsonage mortgage was burned.


1920 – The Reverend C. A. Williams completed the Reverend Murray’s term and was later appointed as the 13th pastor of Payne until 1921.


1921 – The Reverend James G. Martin was called for the third time to serve as the 14th pastor of Payne serving 3 additional years.

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