When the Civil War started in 1861, the future of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church had already recorded at least a decade of service to free Blacks in the community of “Good Hope”, the earliest settlement in the “Anacostia” area of Washington, D.C. Following the war, Allen Chapel became the focal point and center of activity for a growing congregation. It attracted many former slaves who purchased small plots of land and settled around Good Hope Hill.
Rev. A.W. Wayman and later Rev. J.H. Shorter of Israel A.M.E. Church (now C.M.E.) provided early leadership, and by 1860, the church was organized and firmly established on Hampton Road, which was renamed Alabama Ave. in 1924.
At least one structure was destroyed by fire. The sturdy “little white church” served the congregation from the 1920’s until the Rev. James Williamson led them into the new brick sanctuary in 1963 located at 2498 Alabama Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
In 1989 the church completed construction on the present multipurpose building, which is used continuously for church activities and community events. In 1991 the Church proudly dedicated the newly reconstructed sanctuary that we use today.