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Original edifice until 1999

Watch a Commemorative Video on Brown Chapel AME Church Entitled "Walking By Faith" 

Church History


IN 1843, Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church came into existence as a mission without a name.  This was 22 years before the slaves were freed and 56 years after Richard Allen led the exit from the Methodist Church in Philadelphia to found the first church in America for blacks.  The vision of the courageous founders was to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience and without discrimination.  In Michigan, it was frontier days for the inward call for peace and solitude was commonplace and many sought the elusive freedom from oppression and freedoms of religion. 


As the Second oldest active A.M.E. Church in Michigan, it is likely that Brown Chapel at Adams and Buffalo assisted in the safe travel through Ypsilanti visit the underground railroad of many slaves on their way to the “Promised Land” of Canada. 


Jerry Hatter, the 43rd pastor, was first appointed in 1991 and has led the congregation to greater spiritual heights through the development of new ministries as well as into the new church building at 1043 W. Michigan Avenue, on November 28, 1999. 


Pastor Jerry Hatter and his family led the Brown Chapel AME Church Family faithfully for 29 years, leaving a wonderful legacy and impact on the city of Ypsilanti and the Michigan Conference of the AME Church.  Pastor Jerry Hatter retired from the pastorate at the Michigan Annual Conference in August 2020.  


On August 21st, 2020, Bishop John F. White assigned the husband and wife team of Rev. Donald L. Phillips III and Rev. Dr. Teleah Phillips to serve as the 44th pastors of Brown Chapel AME Church.  This historic assignment as a team is only the second clergy couple receiving dual appointments in the Michigan Conference, and the first woman to serve in a pastoral role at Brown Chapel.  Together, along with their 5 children; Tyland, Taylor, Tristen, Tatum & Trenton, they brought new energy and vision in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic. “The Global Church with the Local Touch” expanded and updated its media ministry to engage the local  and global virtual community.  The Brotherhood Banquet went “virtual” and was able to reach more people and give more support for grassroot organizations and nonprofits.  The church found ways to be generous and continue to be good stewards of resources.  A continued focus on family, access, and generosity has led to growth in our faith, family, and community, by His grace and for His glory.


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