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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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St. Peter AME Zion Church

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

James Walker Hood, NC Historical Marker C-33. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives & History. St. Peter AME Zion Church, a brick Gothic Revival church in New Bern, traces its origins to St. Andrew's Chapel, built in 1802. In 1863 James W. Hood, an African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) missionary-later a bishop and, from 1868 to 1871, the assistant North Carolina state superintendent of public instruction, with the major responsibility of founding and supervising schools for blacks-came to New Bern and Beaufort, both of which were under Union control and had a considerable population of African American Methodists. Under his leadership, St. Andrew's Chapel and Purvis Chapel in Beaufort affiliated in 1864 with the AME Zion Church, which initially had been formed in 1796 and chartered five years later by a group of blacks who withdrew from the biracial John Street Methodist Church in New York City. St. Andrew's Chapel was the first church in the state and in the South to join the AME Zion Church. In 1879 the congregation changed its name to St. Peter and built a new frame church. After the church burned in 1922, it was rebuilt in stages from 1923 until 1940.


Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, A Guide to the Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996).

Peter B. Sandbeck, The Historic Architecture of New Bern and Craven County, North Carolina (1988).

Additional Resources:

Jame Walker Hood NC Historical Marker:

St. Andrew's Chapel NC Historical Marker:

James Walker Hood Papers, DocSouth, UNC Libraries:

Image Credit:

James Walker Hood, NC Historical Marker C-33. Image courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives & History. Available from

Origin - location: 

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