Mission Statement

Why we exist:

Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Cathedral of Southeast, Washington, D.C. is a community of faith empowered by the Holy Spirit to give excellent witness of the transforming power of God in Jesus Christ for our families, our community, and our world. We aspire to be an ever-growing family of Christ’s disciples who connect communities in faith for destiny.

Mission & Values

What we stand for:

  • qxif-circle Authentic Worship
  • qxif-circle Strategic Evangelism
  • qxif-circle Valuable Relationships
  • qxif-circle Passionate Spiritual Development
  • qxif-circleChristian Servanthood
  • qxif-circle Holistic Stewardship

Reverend Dr. Michael E. Bell, Sr.

Reverend Dr. Michael E. Bell, Sr., is the Pastor of Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Southeast, Washington, D.C. A devoted husband to Lena Michelle Bell and the proud father of Michael Jr., Kristen Nicole and Dominique Emanuel, he cherishes strong family bonds. Pastor Bell is also a grandfather of five joyful children (four boys and one girl) who bring love and laughter to family and friends.

A lifelong learner, Pastor Bell began his undergraduate schooling at the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in 1984. He continued his education, receiving a Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University, School of Divinity in 1995. Afterwards, Pastor Bell conducted post-graduate work at the Interdenominational Center in Atlanta, Georgia and the Houston School of Theology in Houston, Texas. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University located in Dallas, Texas. In 1998, recognized for his achievements and character, Pastor Bell was named as one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America.”

In 1985, while a member of Bethel AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland where Bishop John R. Bryant served as pastor, Pastor Bell, a 3rd generation preacher, was called to preach. Following family tradition, he served his community, actively involving   himself in Bethel’s Ministry. His first pastoral assignment was at Bazil A.M.E. Church, in Cockeysville, Maryland. Pastor Bell received three more assignments before being appointed pastor of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, in July 2005, by Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr.
An anointed preacher, Pastor Bell’s gifted style of preaching has carried him across the United States, Bermuda, and Africa. On April 4, 2010, Pastor Bell was granted the distinct honor of preaching before the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, and his family as they worshipped at Allen Chapel for Resurrection Sunday.

Our Story

Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest church in the southeast Washington, DC area.  Recorded history indicates that in 1850 a group wanted a place where they could gather and worship God.  Although the recorded history of Allen dates back only to 1850, we know from facts handed down from generations that a band of pioneer Christians gathered on This spot long before that date

Allen has a rich and deep history, steeped in tradition, focused on the future, and rooted in Christianity, as well as the African Methodist Episcopal doctrine of self-help, self-esteem, and spiritual integrity.

Since 2005, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Michael E. Bell, Sr., Allen has taken on an inspired spiritual renewal.  Beginning with an idea, a consecrated dime, faith, prayer, and struggle, a newly engaged Allen emerged as a guiding symbol of Christian faith.  As a result of the growth and expansion of God’s work, several different ministries have grown to address the needs of the church membership and the community:    Children and Youth Ministries, Young Adult Ministries,    Women’s and Men’s Ministries, Singles, Married, and Couples Ministries, Food Pantry Ministry, Evangelism and Outreach Ministry.

Further, the Sanctuary Choir was organized to continue and maintain the heritage and legacy of traditional church music, such as hymns, anthems, and spirituals.  Pastor Bell’s vision of community activism and evangelism led to the church receiving noteworthy attention and exposure across news media networks as efforts were made to address the national issue of hunger and poverty found in the church’s community.

By the grace of God, and due to Pastor Bell’s prophetic teaching, Allen received over two-thousand accessions, almost sixteen hundred conversions, and performed more than 200 baptisms.  Although his preaching career is filled with several memories crossing decades, his most awe-inspiring experience just may have been the day he preached on Resurrection Sunday, April 2010, to a church filled that included the forty-fourth President of the United States, President Barak Obama; the nation’s First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama; their daughters Sasha and Malia, and Mrs. Marian Robinson, mother of the First Lady.  The Allen Chapel Family was honored and blessed to be able to share this historical event in the life of the Church.

During the 2011-2012 church year, Allen completed a beautification and restoration project in the sanctuary and vestibule before serving as host church for the 2011 Capitol District Conference.

To care for seniors in the District of Columbia, Allen’s mission was to assist in building housing for them.  Ten years in the making, the Senior Housing Project, named the Roundtree Residence, across the street from the church was completed in 2012.

On Sunday, September 9, 2012, the church successfully launched it first “Live-Streaming” worship service to seamlessly share in real-time the worship service with those who are unable to attend and to reach a global audience using various social media platforms.  

In 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, expanded use of technology was employed to reach the masses as social distancing was necessary to stop the spread of the deadly virus.  

Today, the awesome, amazing, and audacious Allen and the dynamic move of the Holy Spirit have indeed manifested themselves in ways that border on the miraculous because the people dare to believe that with God, they can do the impossible.  As this church of Zion moves toward God’s light, only He knows what tomorrow will bring.

Our Staff & Ministers

Rev. Dorothy Walls

Minister to Women
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Rev. Cooper and Rev. Manigault

Ministers to the Missing Link Ministry
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Min. Yvonne T. Davis

Minister to Noon Day Prayer
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Rev. Lolita Turner

Minister to the "Ministry of Hope"
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Rev. Gloria Chandler

Prison Fellowship Ministry, Angel Tree
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Rev. Shirley A. Gravely-Currie

Spiritual Advisor to the Cancer Support Ministry

Min. Ronald Wilson Jr.

Minister of Information Technology and Media
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Rev. Rochelle Toyer

Minister to the Life Recovery Ministry

Administrative Church Staff

Rev. Debra Manigault, Executive Minister
Dennis DeLoach, Technology Minister
Gail Reed, Church Administrator

Ministerial Staff

Rev. Sylvester Barnes
Min. Mark Blair
Rev. Dr. Lubrina Bryant
Rev. Patricia Calloway
Rev. Gloria Chandler
Rev. Yvonne Davis
Rev. Dennis DeLoach
Min. Amber Faulkner
Rev. Shirley Currie Hill
Rev. Michael Johnson
Rev. Doris Kitchings
Rev. Debra Manigault
Rev. Moyer McCoy
Min. Sonja Maldonado*
Rev. Dr. Julianne Robertson, Esq.*
Rev. Carolyn Scales
Min. Richard Seabron
Rev. John Thomas
Rev. Rochelle Toyer
Min. Paul Trantham
Rev. Lolita Turner
Rev. Dorothy Walls
Rev. Ronald Wilson

Building. Bridging. Believing.

Allen Chapel AME Church


2498 Alabama Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20020
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