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Turner Chapel AME Church is now a locally designated historic district. Fort Wayne City Council and Mayor Tom Henry completed the designation for the church, located at 836 E. Jefferson Blvd., in October 2019.

Calvary Turner actual banner photo cropped smallThe building was constructed in 1927 and is significant for its association with Turner Chapel African Methodist Church, the first African American congregation in Fort Wayne. It is also associated with Civil Rights activities by the church in the 1960s. The building’s distinctive characteristics represent an outstanding example of Gothic Revival church architecture. It was built in 1927 by the Calvary United Brethren Church congregation, and purchased by Turner Chapel AME in 1963.

Recognizing the significance of the property, a “Petition for Historic Property or District Designation” was prepared by the owner, Turner Chapel of African Methodist Episcopal Church, Inc. The petition was submitted by Rev. Kenneth Christmon and Rev. Samuel L. Summer.

Enthusiastic congregation members attended both the Historic Preservation Commission public hearing and the committee session of Common Council. The congregation is working to raise money through a capital campaign to maintain the church; they hope the designation will help possible donors understand the significance of the structure.