NoeHill Travels in the American West: Nevada

National Register of Historic Places in Washoe County

National Register #01000587: Bethel AME Church in Reno 15 March 2016
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National Register #01000587
Bethel AME Church
220 Bell Street
Built 1910

The building was constructed in 1910 by Reno's African Methodist Episcopal (AME) congregation, which had been established just three years earlier. The most prominent features of the little church were the four Gothic stained glass windows and an oculus over the vestibule.

The original church building, which exists beneath the surface of the brick expansion undertaken in 1941, was a small clapboard building. The 1941 version of the building is the one that exists today.

The church is significant for its role in the history of African Americans in Reno and for its role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It is one of only a few extant buildings in Nevada associated with African-Americans.

In 1993, the congregation sold this building and moved to a larger facility in Sparks.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination form submitted in 2001.

When we photographed the building in March 2016, it housed a branch of the Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, which was founded in 1925 and is the oldest Spanish-speaking Oneness Pentecostal denomination in the United States.

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