Ebenezer A.M.E. Church
Circa 1885, 1939
Raymond, Hinds County
Built in 1885, the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church replaced a frame Methodist church on the site originally used by all denominations for worship on Main Street in downtown Raymond, re-using much of the lumber from the older church for its construction. In 1939, the growing Methodist congregation again built a larger sanctuary, and transferred stewardship of the 1885 church building to the African American Ebenezer A.M.E. congregation. At that time it was moved to its present location on Dry Grove Road and continues to serve the Ebenezer A.M.E. parishioners today.
This modest frame church originally featured towers that pierced the roof on the main façade and flanked a gothic-inspired pointed arched window. When it was re-located in 1939, the towers were capped at the roofline, the pointed arched window replaced by entrance doors and the side entrances sided over. It retains, however, its original massing, proportions, and dignified round window with simple quatrefoil tracery on the façade.
In addition to its significance to the Ebenezer A.M.E. congregation, the church is also closely associated with the history of the Raymond Methodist Church. The shared heritage that began in 1939 with the transfer of the building provides an exceptional opportunity for a diverse preservation collaboration that could also include the Friends of Raymond, Inc. and the Raymond Historic Preservation Commission.
2017 Update – No Progress
The future of the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church has been uncertain, threatened by a declining congregation and the resultant drop in revenue needed to conduct much-needed maintenance on the building. While the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church is still standing, which is, of course, a preservation victory, the exterior was recently clad in plywood, covering the original clapboard siding.