Friday, August 28, 2015

Bethel AME in downtown Indianapolis fights to keep legacy alive

By Olivia Lewis
Like many churches nationwide, Bethel AME, located at 414 W. Vermont St. in Indianapolis, suffers from a deteriorating building, has an aging and condensed congregation, and is amid a financial crisis.
INDIANA---A historic African-American church in Downtown Indianapolis was once the center of the black community, but due to financial burdens, a shrinking congregation and a deteriorating building, its future is uncertain. Before IUPUI expanded on the Westside, before the Canal Street Apartments and before the Canal Walk, there was a thriving African-American community in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis. “All of a sudden there’s this big building (the apartment complex) that’s blocking the front door of our church,” said Olivia McGee-Lockhart, the historian of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis. [link]