St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church, located in the Historic North Topeka, Kansas was established in the year 1880. The origin of St. Mark's is rooted in two remarkable events recorded in the annals of African American history: 1) the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest Black organized, incorporated, religious denomination; and 2) the Exodus of the former slaves from the South to Kansas between 1877 and 1880, often called the "Great Exodus." Many Black emigrants were particularly attracted to Kansas due to its history as a free state and the land of abolitionist. The most remarkable migration of Black Americans into Kansas occurred in a two-month period between March and May of 1879. These "Exodusters" came primarily from Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and later, Texas, several hundred settled in North Topeka. Bringing their Christian faith with them, many originally gathered in house to house fashion for prayer and Bible Study. In 1880 St. Mark's was established as an AME Church and entered into the Kansas Conference. The Church has served as a beacon in the North Topeka Community for 137 years, overcoming perils of the past which included prejudices and racial hostilities, and survived the 1903 and 1951 Kaw River floods. St. Mark's was the first pastoral charge for the Rev. Vinton Randolph Anderson the 92nd Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was elected in 1991 to serve as the President of the World Council of Churches. The Rev. Oliver Brown was assigned to St. Mark's, also as his first pastoral assignment in 1953, and was serving still at the time of the Brown v Board decision. Mrs. Linda Brown-Thompson served the St. Mark's Church as pianist for more than 30 years and is still a member of the congregation. Mrs. Carolyn Campbell was elected as the first African American Education Commission for the State of Kansas and is a long standing member of standing member of St. Mark's, along with others like the Honorable Joe Johnson, the first African American judge on the Shawnee County Bench, Mr. Terry Crowder who served as Vice-char of the Kansas Human rights Commission, and Sgt. At Arms Foster Chisholm, who is the first African American appointed to the position. The Church historically and currently houses champions who give and who are giving of themselves as political and civic leaders, educators, doctors, lawyers, missionaries, and more all in the spirit of the AME Church mission of liberation and reconciliation. We look forward to sharing the complete St. Mark's Church AME Church story in 2017. Look for our upcoming publication entitled: "Under the Bridge."
St. Mark's AME Church
801 NW Harrison Street
Sister Kristen Sexton
Sister Alicia Barber
Our Ministerial Staff:
Rev. Shirley D. Heermance
Rev. Theodore R. Evans
Retired Presiding Elder
First Celebration of Civil Rights Grant Award
Please watch this page for information concerning Second Award Ceremony
To be held on Sunday May 20, 2018 * 11:00 A.M.
On Sunday February 19, 2017 the St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church located at 801 NW Harrison Street in Topeka, Kansas Celebrated being awarded a grant from the National Park Service's African American Civil Rights Initiative. Our project was chosen from 164 applications in a very competitive process, 1 of 39 projects in over 20 states, and the only to be awarded in the state of Kansas. Please watch this page for updates.
"This material was produced with assistance from the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior."
Rev. Shirley D. Heermance, Pastor
St. Mark's African Methodist Episcopal Church
Service and Event Schedule
Sunday Church School: 9:30 am
Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 am
Communion Service: Each First Sunday - 11:00 am
Youth Service: Each Fourth Sunday - 11:00 am
Missionary Service: Each Fifth Sunday - 11:00 am
Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study: 12 Noon