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Celebrating 80 Years - 1963, Payne Chapel

Tags: #Celebrating80Years


#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and the people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


What today serves as a brewery and event center was originally built as an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in 1897. The Carter Payne Chapel at Weber and Costilla was built on land donated by Colorado Springs founder General William Jackson Palmer. And while the AME congregation it once housed has moved to another location, the building remains as an important reminder of Colorado Springs history.


Grantee Spotlight:  Payne Chapel

The African Methodist Episcopal Church movement began in 1787 Philadelphia as a response to racial discrimination, and in 1794 the first African Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated in that city. As black Methodists throughout the mid-Atlantic sought a similar religious autonomy, they came together with the Philadelphia congregation to form the AME as a new Wesleyan denomination.

The AME continued to spread throughout the United States as the country expanded, and according to Rev. Margaret Redmond of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Pueblo, “If you look at the history of the AME churches, they were planted at the intersection of roads leading into town. As America was moving westward, black people could always find a place to sleep, eat and to find jobs at the churches.”

Today, there are 4,000 AME churches worldwide, with membership in 39 countries on five continents. The Carter Payne Chapel in downtown Colorado Springs was built as an AME church in 1897 on land donated by city founder General William Jackson Palmer.

Between 1951 and 1977 El Pomar provided a number of small grants toward a variety of projects at Payne Chapel, including: the purchase of an organ, repair and renovation, support for the general fund, and funding toward a new kitchen facility.


El Pomar in 1963:

El Pomar continued to provide substantial funding toward scholarships and capital projects in 1963, with a total of $1.46 million granted throughout the Pikes Peak region.


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Image from: The Carter Payne

Spotlight by Corey Baron