Little Bethel Historical Association
History of the Little Bethel Church

Legal documents recorded and maintained in the Monroe County courthouse at Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania provide structural trail for the history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, best known as the Little Bethel AME Church beginning in 1855. The original lot was situated on Analomink Ave. (currently 3rd street) in Stroudsburg between land owned by Adam Kirk, a mulatto and that owned by John Hohanschield. It is thought to have been situated on the east side of the street or across from the current structure.

Little bethel was to have its beginning in trust for the colored people of Stroudsburg to use as an (A.M.E.) meeting place and school. The Trustees, Sydenham Walton and John Stokes, both Quakers and Richard Staples, a Methodist, purchased the lot from Adam Kirk and Elisabeth Kirk, his wife, for the sum of $30.00.

The A.M.E. structure that stands today was built in 1868 on land purchased by Richard Staples and his wife, Mary Staples, for the sum of $125.00. The parcel was bounded by Analomink Ave. (currently 3rd St.), land owned by Stephen Henry, Public Road (currently N. 5th St.) and land owned by James Ray. It was deeded to Samuel Huff, Ira Huff and John Quago, all mulattos and Trustees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church of Stroudsburg.

The Trustees' petition to the Monroe county Court for incorporation in 1867 was approved. These individuals were initially accountable for insuring the successful implementation of the corporation's regulations. Little Bethel functioned proudly under these initial trustees. Having had its initiation as a denomination in 1791 by Richard Allen and others of the Free African Society ideology in Philadelphia.

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