Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Historic Bethel AME was organized in August 1864, at Camp Hamilton, New Tabb’s Field by Father Peter Shep- pard. Father Sheppard, Caroline Segal, Sarah Parker, Merrit Thomas, James Segal, Thad Peeden and Randall Gooden were instrumental in organizing a house of wor- ship on Oak Street (now Wine Street) in Hampton and, following several years of persistent labor, the first brick church was erected on Lincoln Street in 1887. After 85 years of service, and numerous repairs and additions, the present sanctuary, with pastor’s office, classrooms, choir room and other office space, was erected in 1972 under the pastoral leadership of the late Revered R. W. Wisner, with fellowship hall and modern kitchen built later. During its early history, Bethel organized three churches with St. Paul AME of Newport News among them.