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St. Joseph African Methodist Episcopal Church (“St. Joseph”) was established in 1869, as a congregation affiliated with the connectional African Methodist Episcopal Church (“AMEC”), the oldest predominately black, Protestant denomination in existence. The AMEC traces its origins back to the Free African Society of 1787, a faith-based, self-help organization that led to the establishment of the AMEC with Richard Allen becoming its first elected and consecrated bishop. The AMEC is geographically comprised of 20 Episcopal Districts, each of which operates under the leadership of a bishop. St. Joseph is within the AMEC’s 2nd Episcopal District and is under the servant leadership of Bishop James L. Davis.
Members and pastors of St. Joseph have served in various leadership roles throughout the AMEC, as well as in academic, political, business, and civic leadership in the city of Durham. In more than 150-years of faithful service and active civic engagement, St. Joseph has enjoyed the steady leadership of 31 dedicated pastors. Our current servant leader is the Reverend Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine.