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Church History




We have come this far by faith, leaning and depending on the Lord. Hilliard Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church began on Houston Street, which was known as, "Red Budge Road" in Montgomery, Alabama in the early 1870's. The founding members were Mrs. Tena Cobb, Mrs. Mary Harvey, Mrs. Harriett Williams, Mrs. Marguerite Horton, Mr. Lima Cobb, and Mrs. Amelia Hurd.  The founding members began worshipping in a two-room house.

Subsequently, the congregation grew and the initial house of worship was abandoned. A lot was purchased located on Yougene Street between Hall and Smythe Street. The Lord graciously added to the numbers and many souls were saved. The congregation continued to flourish and grow. In 1872, Hilliard Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church was formerly organized and the pastor was Rev. William Worthy. On March 30, 1879, the original plat on Hall and High Streets was purchased from one of the church members, Mrs. Harriet Williams, the church moved from Yougene Street to its present location.

In 1897, Hilliard Chapel was rebuilt and the pastor was Reverend A.L. Trimble.

In 1909, the Church was rebuilt again under the leadership of Reverend M.S. Phinny. 

At the origination of Hilliard Chapel, there was only one District. It was called the Montgomery District. Eventually, the Montgomery District was divided into two districts the East Montgomery District and the West Montgomery District. Hilliard Chapel, because of its location, became a part of the East Montgomery District. Over the years, Hilliard Chapel has hosted many annual and district conferences, along with many special programs for the community.

In 1963, the church became incorporated in order to build the present building. Reverend Frank Felder was pastor and Reverend S.J. Thomas was Presiding Elder.  On September 6, 1970, the church mortgage was formally burned.  Reverend J.H. Chandler was pastor and Bishop Alfred G. Dunston was present and presided over the entire ceremony.

In March, 1975, the church kitchen was completed. Hilliard Chapel had additional property on Highland Avenue and currently has property on Iris Court.

Over the next several years Hilliard Chapel remained a vital institution in the Centennial Hill community.

On October 20, 2013 at Jericho A.M.E. Zion Church during the Central Alabama Annual Conference, Bishop Dennis V. Proctor appointed Hilliard Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church its first female pastor, Reverend Catrina R. Waters.

On February 1, 2014, Reverend Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd became the first female President of Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. Boyd was a member of Hilliard Chapel as a child and through her college years. She was a member of the choir and served as the church's organist for many years until she graduated from Alabama State University.


Hilliard Chapel Former Pastors

And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?

As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15


Reverend William Worthy

Reverend D.H. Davis

Reverend L.Y. Powell

Reverend M.P. Sawyer

Reverend D.H. Holmes

 Reverend Simmon

Reverend McCampbell

Reverend Gardner

Reverend W.J. Murphy

Reverend S.M. Epps

Reverend Springfield

Reverend Belton

Reverend Charles Robinson, Sr.

Reverend Belser

Reverend Kelley

Reverend E. N. French

Reverend Watts

Reverend Prentiss

Reverend Frank Felder

Reverend Chandler

Reverend Morgan McCampbell, Jr.

Reverend W.J. Neal

Reverend C.J. Crowe

Reverend Jesse Mack

Presiding Elder J.E. Fields

Reverend Dr. Michael Bush

Reverend Emmett O. Major

Reverend Albert J. Lewis, Sr.

AME Zion Church
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