Allen Chapel, Cheyenne

By Samantha Case

August 31, 2016

The African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) is the oldest organization established by African Americans in the United States. The A.M.E. church has existed for 229 years in the U.S., and The Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cheyenne, WY, established in 1878, has been holding services for 138 years.

Lucy Phillips and a small group of other African Americans founded the Allen Chapel A.M.E. church. Phillips, who arrived in Cheyenne in 1867, began attending the First Methodist Church but soon felt an urgent need to form a local black church.1 Eight years after Phillips arrived in Cheyenne, in 1875, she and others also attending the First Methodist Church decided to form their own congregation.

In 1878, the first black church in Wyoming was organized and built with the help of Reverend Whitlock and several other members.1 This new church created a gathering place for the black community, which beforehand had not been available, at least within a designated building. However, it wasn’t long until the rapid growth of the church forced it to relocate, and Phillips gave the property located on the corner of 18th and Thomas for the construction of a larger church that would better meet the needs of the growing congregation.  It certainly met the needs of the congregation better than the first location; the church remained in this location for almost ten years from 1885 to 1981. In 1981 the church found a new location where it currently resides: a small, brick church at 917 West 21st St with two large, white crosses painted on the outside.

Phillips served as one of the most influential and dedicated individuals to the Allen Chapel A.M.E church during her life. Until her death at age 106, Phillips served as a member and missionary of the church. In a newspaper titled The Wyoming Press in Evanston, WY from 1910, the death of Phillips was mentioned in a brief section that reads, “Mrs. Lucy Phillips, or ‘Grandma Phillips,’ as she was better known, died Thursday at the age of 106 years. She was the oldest resident of Wyoming. She was born in slavery in Woodford County, Kentucky, April 22nd, 1804.” Today, Phillips is remembered as “The Mother of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church,” the church that remains one of the longest standing historical markers of the black experience in Wyoming.


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  • byDoc Settles
    Posted August 31, 2016 3:57 pm 0Likes

    would luv to know more of AME Church historic congregation attendees, i.e. BG Benjamin O. Davis St., COL Charles Young, Medal of Honor Vernon Baker, Pvt Sammy Davis Jr. Color Sgt Ishmal Palmer, Corpl William Witt, Corpl James Settlers were all stationed at Fort Russell/Fort Warren.

  • byDoc Settles
    Posted November 1, 2016 9:58 am 0Likes

    Worthy of a Wyoming historic documentary film… No dought Benjamin O. Davis & family attended AME church during his 1912 duty assignment to Fort DA Russell near Cheyenne. Doc Settles

  • byDiana Embray
    Posted January 19, 2021 1:22 am 0Likes

    Hello My Name is Diana Embray my late father-in-Law The Rev Lawrence Elmer Embray was once the Pastor for your Church with his Wife Mary Lucile Embray. My Husband was a little boy when he was there. He has followed in the Calling. I was wondering if in you historic files you wouldn’t happen to have a picture of them. You see my husband has no pictures of them at all . If you find anything can you please email me at Thank you and God Bless you all if you can. Just a wife trying to put a smile on her husband face.

  • byG. Rudolph
    Posted January 19, 2023 12:35 am 0Likes

    96 years not 10 year as indicated

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