Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, the first AME church in Alabama, was the site of preparations for the march to Montgomery on March 7, 1965, a day that became known as Bloody Sunday.
The church also served as a refuge for injured marchers. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997, the church is still in use today. It was added to the 2022 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
The recent discovery of severe termite damage forced Brown Chapel to close its doors to its active congregation and visiting public for the foreseeable future, impacting the church’s ability to serve its community, and leaving this National Historic Landmark and internationally known civil rights site of pilgrimage unable to serve as a community resource, welcome guests, or host national events.
Although Brown Chapel has received funding and support from the National Park Service, the church needs significant additional funding to repair and re-open the building, which typically hosts thousands of visitors per year in addition to offering weekly worship services and outreach programs such as community food distribution and COVID-19 support. The Historic Brown Chapel AME Church Preservation Society, Incorporated, is seeking partnerships, resources, and support to ensure this sacred site can continue to serve its community and the nation as a beacon of hope for change and equality.