African M. E. Church and Parsonage, Portsmouth
African Americans, religion
African American Methodists in Portsmouth constructed their own church in 1857. The building was used by escaping slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. Required by Virginia law to have a white minister, the congregation called its first African American pastor, Rev. James A. Handy, in 1864. In 1871 the congregation affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and became known as the Emanuel A.M.E. Church.
A. M. Turner
Edward Pollock, comp., Sketch Book of Portsmouth, Va., Its People and its Trade (Portsmouth, 1886), 157.
Portsmouth, Va.: Edward Pollock
Library of Virginia