African American Heritage: Frogtown Area Churches

While none of Saint Paul’s historic African-American churches are in what we know today as Frogtown proper, churches in adjacent neighborhoods served Frogtown’s African-American community. These were the churches Frogtowners could walk to.

The churches with the longest histories are Pilgrim Baptist, Saint Peter Claver, Saint James African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Mount Olivet Baptist and Saint Philip’s Episcopal.

Other historically African-American churches were south of University Avenue and north of Interstate 94, but none had the longevity and history of serving Frogtown’s community.

Pilgrim Baptist Church

- 743 Central Avenue - Pilgrim Baptist Church was started in 1863 by Rev. Robert T. Hickman and his prayer group, who called themselves “Pilgrims.” Its current building at 743 Central Av. dates from 1928 and is on the National Register of…

Saint Peter Claver Catholic Church

- 375 N. Oxford Street - Saint Peter Claver was founded in 1892, thanks to the efforts of Archbishop John Ireland. The church has its roots in a congregation that worshipped downtown, starting in 1888. In 1892, one of the founding members, Colonel…

Saint James A.M.E. Church

- 624 W. Central Avenue - Saint James AME Church was organized in 1876 in a one-room house near Seventh and Robert streets. The church had its ups and downs with membership but finally found a site for its own building near Jay and Fuller streets…

St. Philip's Episcopal Church

- 475 MacKubin Street - The St. Philip's Episcopal Church traces its origins to 1868 and a congregation organized as Saint Mark’s. After founding Pastor Rev. T. H. N. Gerry died the group disbanded a year later. Saint Philip’s was founded…

Mount Olivet Baptist Church

- 451 W. Central Avenue - Mount Olivet Baptist Church, 451 W. Central Av., was founded in March 1922. It was first named Saint Paul Independent Baptist Church. It was later changed to Mount Olivet Baptist Church. Its first services were in the home…

Camphor United Methodist Church

- 585 Fuller Avenue - Camphor United Methodist Church, 585 Fuller Ave., was founded in 1919. The congregation worshiped in a number of locations, including the former Danish Norwegian Methodist Church located at 13th and Broadway streets downtown.…