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AHS, “Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church ,” Amherst Historic, accessed February 4, 2023, https://amhersthistoric.org/items/show/38.
- #41 Woodside Avenue - GOODWIN MEMORIAL A.M.E. ZION CHURCH
Goodwin Church is the oldest Black church in Amherst. It grew out of an earlier chapel that was built in 1869 by Amherst College on the site of the present Newport House dorm on Route 9. Congregants determined they wanted their own self-governed church apart from Amherst College. The group formed the Union Church after their petition to the Congregational Church Conference for a new church failed and members met in Town Hall. They organized and elected officers: Clerk, Albert Bias; Deacons - Robert Till and Moses Goodwin; Superintendent and Treasurer, Charles V.R. Gaulden; Trustees - Robert Till and Moses Goodwin.
A group of Zion Chapel members formed a new congregation in 1905, affiliating with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, an independent Black congregation founded in 1822 (often called “The Freedom Church”). The new congregation constructed the current building in 1910, and it has been an active congregation ever since.
The church was renamed after Moses and Anna Goodwin who were crucial organizers of its foundation.
Published on Mar 11, 2022. Last updated on Apr 9, 2022.