Bethel AME (Corydon)

A short time after the 1814 census, Harrison County saw the arrival of around 100 African Americans, many of which took the name ‘Mitchem’. While these were not the first blacks to arrive in Harrison, their settlement made up much of the county’s Black demographic before the Civil War. St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church of Corydon is well representative of Indiana’s role in pre-Civil War Black migration. Their continued operation services the local history and community, representing Indiana’s history with segregated services and discrimination.

St. Paul AME has stood at the corner of Maple and High Streets since 1975. Yet, the history of AME in Corydon goes back to 1843, when free Blacks and former slaves established the congregation. From 1840-45, Corydon was recorded as having around 12 congregants. By 1851 St. Paul AME served both as a church and school and in 1878 they constructed a framed building. St. Paul dedicated their congregation in honor of William Paul Quinn, one of the most influential Indiana Methodist Bishops. The ‘South Hill’ location attracted many African American immigrants to Corydon.

St. Paul AME shared operations with the Leora Brown School. Built in 1891, the institution served as a hub for African American education in a period when they were barred from public schools. Segregated schooling was legally sanctioned from 1869 to 1949. A traditional steepled brick building, St. Paul AME church is a relatively new construction. St. Paul AME has been a State Historical Site since 2003.



Private Property