Date(s) - February 24, 2019
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
887 Keefer Street
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African Methodist Episcopal Church (Fountain Chapel), in collaboration with African Descent Society British Columbia, is pleased to announce the celebration of African Methodist episcopal Church 1918 – 2018.
The 1958 urban renewal projects and construction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts in the Downtown Eastside, by the city council of Vancouver destroyed the church and African community.
What: Celebration of restoration of African Fountain Chapel in Vancouver
Where: 897 Keefer Street Vancouver
When: February 24, Sunday, 11 am to 4:30 pm
This year marks the 100th anniversary of a church which was central to the African community in Vancouver for decades. That history will be marked by the Grand Re-opening and Celebration of African Fountain Chapel Vancouver (AME) and the 5th annual Strathcona African Heritage Month Walking Tour.
Walking Tour: 11am-1pm
Start Place: 897 Keefer St.
Celebration at 897 Keefer: 2-4:30pm
The tour will explore various historic sites, buildings, streets and businesses once owned by people of African Descent and the consequences of urban renewal in 1958-72 to our community. Walking sounds, memories and stories told by experienced urban historians during the tour!
The tour leaves 897 Keefer St at 11:15am, looping around Strathcona, Hogan’s Alley, Chinatown, and returning back the the church for the celebration 2-4pm.
Civil rights lawyer Julialynne Walker, president of Pan African Congress of North America and acclaimed international civil rights speaker from the United States, whose life story is nothing short of magical as a defender of human rights and social justice will be among the many guest speakers. Other guest speakers are Hon. Jean Augustine and Vancouver City Councillors Rebecca Bligh and Michael Wiebe.
Members of Parliament, MLAs, Councillors, civil rights, community activists and religious leaders will be attending this event on the 24th February, 2019.
Grand restoration and celebration of 100 years of African Fountain Chapel Church in a historical Strathcona first African Descent Community is responsibility of all community and the City to fulfill the need for relevant historical and heritage first place of worship for people of African descent in Vancouver since 1918 to 1976 onwards. A place in the community which allowed community members walk to worship services without facing prejudices, discrimination and hardship issues and only church purchased by people of African descent in Vancouver
Today, many families of African descent struggle to find cultural and spiritual places of their own for worship; rent and acquisition of new places of worship to call home is very hard in Vancouver. Members of African Descent Community, with support from the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, came together to reopen the church with help of community members.
This is a great evangelistic and outreach ministry restoration as spread of good news of Jesus to the community as well as extending the mission of feeding the poor, community outreach, social justices, poverty advocacy, homelessness and so many other social issues affecting people of African descent and other communities in Vancouver.
The presence of people of African descent in the Strathcona area of Vancouver has a history that dates to the early 1900s.
In 1918, the African descent people all came together to raise money purchase this church through matching fund from African Methodist Episcopal Church of America. The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Fountain Chapel church at 823 Jackson Avenue signalled the formation of a well-organized black community.
The church was the product of fundraising efforts initiated by prominent members of this growing community such as Nora Hendrix, who was honoured on the Black History Month Canada Post stamp in 2014.
Recognized as a heritage site by the Vancouver Heritage Commission as 1994/11/2, listed in the Canadian register: 2008/12/12. The Fountain Chapel is an important heritage value to located at Jackson and Prior Street of Vancouver Strathcona neighbourhood where it stand as a symbol of racism and discrimination of negro removal by city-wide urban renewal back in 1958.
AME was abandoned by members of the community in 1972 following construction of Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaduct.
For more information:
1. Pastor Andrew Mutuma
African Methodist Episcopal Church
2. Yasin Kiraga Misago
African Descent Society British Columbia