About Us

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.  On May 14, 2020 the Church will have served as a beacon in the North Topeka Community for 140 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 of Education decision. Mrs. Linda Brown-Thompson served the St. Mark's Church as pianist for more than 40 years until her death in 2018. Mrs. Carolyn Campbell was elected as the first African American Education Commission for the State of Kansas and is a long 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-chair 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 during the 2021 Church Anniversary Celebration, where we look to at last unveil the renovation project.  Look for our upcoming publication entitled:  "Under the Bridge."

 

Our Ministerial Staff:

St. Mark's AME Church

801 NW Harrison Street

Topeka, Kansas

Sister Kristen Sexton

Licentiate

Sister Alicia Barber

Evangelist

Rev. Shirley D. Heermance
Rev. Theodore R. Evans

Associate

Retired Presiding Elder

Civil Rights Grant 
St. Mark's
Renovation
Project

 

 

We know that it has been a long time coming, but it appears that we will soon have the renovation work underway this year (2020)! We have survived a number of unforeseen and out of our control set-backs along the way, but we have not lost sight.  We are grateful to the National Park's Grant, Treanor Architects of Topeka, Kansas and all those who have provided other necessary  services to move the project to the point for which we have arrived.  We are excited with the prospect to having "boots on the ground" soon! Continue to pray for us.  When the renovation is at last complete please look for your invitation to come celebrate with us.

Rev. Shirley D. Heermance, Pastor

Historic St. Mark's AME Church

(785) 232-0709

stmarksamec-topeka.com

801 NW Harrison Street

Topeka, Kansas 66608

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