Then & Now: Clinton Zion AME Church, Rockville

In 1867, several of Rockville’s African American families left Jerusalem Methodist Episcopal Church to start the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Zion Church under the leadership of Reverend Charles Pipkins. In 1890, Pipkins and his congregation cut timbers and erected. a frame church on Middle Lane. Taken approximately 100 years apart, these photos show the Clinton Zion A.M.E. Church then and now.

Clinton Zion A.M.E. Church (THEN): In 1904, the congregation moved to the brick church seen in this black & white photograph located on North Washington Street and today’s Beall Avenue. The church was named Clinton A.M.E. Zion in honor of Reverend George Wylie Clinton (1859-1921), a prominent member and editor of the church’s periodical, Star of Zion.

Zion A.M.E. Church, Rockville, Md

Zion A.M.E. Church, Rockville, Maryland. Photo by Lewis Reed, ca. 1912.

Clinton Zion A.M.E. Church (NOW): The congregation sold the brick church in 1955 to make way for a shopping center, dedicating their present church on Elizabeth Avenue in Lincoln Park in the fall of 1956. The growth of Clinton was the impetus for the most recent expansion effort. Construction of the new sanctuary began in 1989 and the newly renovated edifice was dedicated on Sunday, May 13, 1990.

Zion A.M.E. Church, Rockville, Md

Zion A.M.E. Church, Rockville, Maryland. 2012

Source: Clinton AME Zion Church

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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