Mt. Zion AME to celebrate 150 years of worship May 20-21

Church is among oldest African American congregations in state
May 14, 2023

Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Dover will commemorate its 150th anniversary with a series of events Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21.

Located on the corner of Queen and Fulton streets, and led by the Rev. Dr. Erika D. Crawford, its pastor, Mt. Zion AME will celebrate its longevity as one of the oldest surviving African American churches in Delaware. The public is welcome to join the church leaders, families and friends at these events.

Mt. Zion will hold a semiformal celebration banquet at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at the Modern Maturity Center. Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased online at or by calling the church at 302-678-9478. No tickets will be sold on event day.

Mt. Zion will begin its day of worship at 9 a.m., Sunday, May 21, with a 1.5-mile march from the church’s original site on the corner of Kirkwood and Reed streets to the present location at 101 N. Queen St. The morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. will culminate the 150th Anniversary celebration with Bishop Julius Harrison McCallister Sr., First Episcopal District presiding prelate, providing the sermon to mark the historic weekend.

Originally established as AME Church of Dover by a certificate of incorporation in 1873, after two decades at a temporary location, the congregation adopted the name Bethel AME Church and erected a worship edifice on Kirkwood Street.

In 1957, the church moved to its present location at Queen and Fulton streets. A new building was constructed that year at the cost of $40,000 (more than $429,000 in today’s dollars) and the membership renamed it Mt. Zion AME Church.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and due to the limitations imposed on corporate worship, Mt. Zion continued most of its programming through several social media platforms and the efforts of its congregation. Currently, Mt. Zion has the largest congregation among AME churches in Kent and Sussex counties.

In conjunction with the 150th Anniversary celebrations, Mt. Zion has begun a building expansion project to accommodate its growing needs.

For more about the church, its expansion, the 150th anniversary celebration and other events, go to

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