ABOUT ALBRIGHT-BETHUNE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church has a long, rich history that began in 1915 when an Evangelical Church with a mission to minister to college students was formed. This congregation later merged with the United Brethren in Christ Church and, later, the Methodist Church. St. John’s United Methodist Church was later born through mergers of the two congregations. In July 1993, St. John’s United Methodist Church, a predominantly white congregation, and Bethune Memorial, a predominantly African American church, yoked to form the Jacob Albright-Mary McLeod Bethune United Methodist Church. As part of this yoking, the two congregations shared a pastor and building but maintained separate workshop services. The two congregations later decided to have a single worship service until June 1996 when the St. John’s congregation disbanded.
The namesakes for our church were Jacob Albright, a Pennsylvania German preacher, and Mary McLeod Bethune, an eminent African American educator, civic leader, and advisor to U.S. Presidents. The church bearing her name, Bethune Memorial, was founded in 1985 as United Black Fellowship Church. This predominantly African American congregation met in several locations including the Baptist and Brethren Church, St. John’s, and the Wesley Foundation before yoking with the St. John’s congregation. Today, Albright-Bethune UMC exists to provide worship experiences drawing strongly on the African American tradition, and open to worshipers of diverse cultures and ethnicities.