St. Petersburg, Florida
The Purpose of this Project
Methodist Town will serve as the second phase of the African American Heritage Trail. Developed and executed by the African American Heritage Association of St. Petersburg, Inc., (AAHASP) the first phase of the trail is situated in Midtown, the city's largest historic African American neighborhood.
The trail, which is accessible by trolley tour or by foot, is comprised of 19 markers. Each marker tells the rich, layered history of the city's African American community and how the community influenced the city's growth and culture. The trail itself preserves that history — a history that is largely missing from St. Petersburg's newspapers and records.
"Our stories matter and we must tell them," Gwen Reese, president of the AAHASP often says when she leads a tour.
The story of Methodist Town is set to be told through a physical trail as well. This website serves as the community's digital archive. Within these pages, you'll get to know the Methodist Town community, its history, and its residents through interviews, articles, photos, documents, and more.
Methodist Town: A brief description
Methodist Town is one of four historic, African American neighborhoods located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The community grew up around the church for which it was named, the Historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Bethel AME), and spanned just a few city blocks.
From Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street (9th Street North) to 12th Lane North, and 5th Avenue North to 2nd Avenue North, thousands of residents lived and worked alongside one another.
The neighborhood was established in the late 1800s, a community within a community. Its residents were bound together by family, community, work, and religion.
Methodist Town is a small community, spanning 5th Ave North to 2nd Ave North and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St (9th St North) to about 12th Lane North.
You will notice only 4 landmarks are mappable today. Through research, we found approximately 20 possible landmarks, but most of them were destroyed as the city continued to grow.