Where faith and life merged
Coppin Chapel and Life Community AME Church merged to form Crossroads AME Church. With Godly insight, bold faith, divine determination, both congregations understood they were better together.
The Merger of Two Churches:
Coppin Chapel and Life Community AME Churches
Coppin Chapel and Life Community celebrate their historical roots through the AME Church which grew out of the Free African Society which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME Church.
Today, the African Methodist Episcopal Church has membership in twenty Episcopal Districts in thirty-nine countries on five continents. The work of the Church is administered by twenty-one active bishops and nine General Officers who manage the departments of the Church.
Indiana is in the Fourth Episcopal District which also includes Canada, Chicago, Illinois, and Michigan. The majority of churches in the fourth district are located in the Chicago, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan Conferences.
Coppin Chapel initially began with 10 members in 1917 and managed to grow to the capacity of 250 members. The church building expanded and grew with each assigned pastor who embraced the appointment with their special gifts, business expertise and a love and desire to see the church grow. Coppin was the pinnacle spot in the black community that not only offered spiritual fulfilment; but was an active community partner, provided educational enrichment, youth leadership training through scouting and recreation through the use of the gym.
Life Community’s road has been unique as it was a result of an already merged congregation. One church, Way of Life, a church plant recently started and another church, Robinson Community, made up of a few members who refused to leave when the then pastor decided to leave the denomination and start an independent church along with most of the members. These two churches merged to make Life Community building upon the legacy of what was at 46th and College and move into a new era of Christian servanthood.