Old Fort Church

Old Fort Church

In 1813, a group of African-American Methodists led by Peter Spencer formed an independent denomination that came to be known as the African Union Church.

It was the first incorporated religious body in the United States controlled entirely by African Americans. Early meetings of the Christiana Bridge congregation were likely held at a private residence until 1850 when a brick structure was built for worship.

In 1854 the group was formally incorporated as the African Union Church of Christiana Bridge. Shortly after, a dispute between Elder ministers and trustees of the denomination led to a schism.

The Christiana Bridge congregation followed leaders into the new denomination and in 1868 they were incorporated under the name Union American Church of Christiana. By the end of the 19th century, the decision was made to move the church.

Brick by brick, the congregation disassembled the structure and rebuilt it on property purchased from Louis Taylor. In 1898, the church incorporated again as the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church of Christiana.

When the mortgage was burned, “Old Fort” was added to the church name to commemorate the faithfulness of the congregation.

In 1983, Old Fort UAME was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the White Clay Creek Hundred Multiple Resource Area.