British Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Catharines

The British Methodist Episcopal Church, Salem Chapel was founded in 1820 by African-American freedom seekers in St. Catharines, Ontario. It is located at 92 Geneva St., in the heart of Old St. Catharines. The church is a valued historical site due to its design, and its important associations with abolitionist activity.The church has a congregation of approximately 20 people, and a Sunday worship service takes place at 11:00 am. Guided tours of the church and museum, which displays original documents, artifacts, and a rare book collection, all associated with the anti-slavery movement, are available by appointment.HistoryThe Salem Chapel was an important centre of abolitionist and civil rights activity, and was the cornerstone of a growing community of African-American refugees from the United States. The most famous and celebrated member of the church was Harriet Tubman, who lived in the area from 1851-1858, and led many fugitives to freedom via the Underground Railroad (UGGR) to St. Catharines, Ontario.As of 1851, the church was known as Bethel Chapel, AME Church, and resided in a small log building which was constructed by black freedom seekers. In 1853 it was decided that a larger building was needed in order to respond to the growing Methodist population settling in the area.Passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in the United States in 1850 caused some ex-slave preachers to fear travel to church conferences in the U.S., which might expose them to capture. Reverend Benjamin Stewart of Chatham suggested churches in the United Canadas form a separate organization, and this was adopted at the AME Church's 1856 conference in Philadelphia. The name British Methodist Episcopal Church was selected to recognize British America as a safe haven from slavery.
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British Methodist Episcopal Church Reviews
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  • September 20, 2017
    A wonderful example of late 20 century Anglican Churches. Very special and welcoming. The staff were very friendly indeed.  more »
  • July 19, 2017
    I wanted to see this church for a long time. We went there finally on Father’s Day. The preacher focused on the Holy Spirit. I was looking from my pew, looking for all the historical features in this ...  more »
  • May 24, 2017
    It's great to visit this church and see all the history there. I loved the bust of Harriet Tubman in the courtyard and the way they let kids help out with the service. The church itself is really tiny...  more »

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6 days in St. Catharines & Alexandria Bay BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM CANADA December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States, Toronto & St. Catharines BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in United States, Toronto & St. Catharines BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in United States, Toronto & St. Catharines BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States, Toronto & St. Catharines BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States, St. Catharines & Toronto BY A USER FROM GERMANY September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM CANADA September, romantic, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 7 days in St. Catharines BY A USER FROM CANADA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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