The Church was established as the African Ecclesiastical Society by Simeon Jocelyn and 24 former slaves. The Society met at various homes throughout the New Haven area until establishing itself in a building on Temple Street in New Haven.
The Church was formally established as a Congregational Church, with Mr. Jocelyn serving as the first minister.
J.W.C. Pennington began his tenure as the church’s minister. Mr. Pennington was born into slavery, but became extremely well education, earning his doctorate of divinity from the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
Amos Beaman served as minister during this period
The Temple Street building renovations were completed on May 23, 1845.
Minister Beaman was a Temperance lecturer, an anti-slavery agitator, agent of the underground railroad, and tireless advocate for Negro suffrage in Connecticut.
The Church began to explore locations for a new building and the property on Dixwell Avenue was pursued.
The Church moved to 100 Dixwell Avenue in New Haven, with the dedication taking place in December 1886
Rev. Dr. Edwin R. Edmonds served as the Church’s minister, establishing the Dixwell day care center and Dixwell children’s creative arts center.
In 1967, the church moved again to its current location at 217 Dixwell Avenue.