Our Church History...Days Gone By
In 1876, a congregation built a church at 15 North Ohio Avenue. The building was too large. In 1878 it was placed in the hands of the Camden Building and Loan Association. This property would later be purchased by the members of Price Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church and would serve as their house of Worship.
Mrs. Leticia Clinton, Dr. and Mrs. Howard Fletcher, Andrew Corse, Sarah Corse and others were instrumental in purchasing the property on North Ohio Avenue for $3,500.00. Bishop Joseph J. Clinton made the funds available through the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
In 1880, the Price Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church was officially organized and incorporated. On November 8th of that year, it was formally admitted as a society by the New Jersey Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Price Memorial would become one of the first Black Congregations in Atlantic City and the Absecon Island. The name Price was selected in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Joseph Charles Price, founder of our chief institution of higher learning, Livingstone College located in Salisbury, North Carolina.
Price Memorial remained at the Ohio Avenue location for 83 years. It should be noted that from 1941-1943, the Right Rev. Alfred G. Dunston served as pastor while at the Ohio Avenue location. He would later become the 68th Bishop in succession of the A.M.E. Zion Church Episcopacy. Bishop Dunston was elected at the General Conference of 1964.
In 1963, the building on Ohio Avenue that had served as the spiritual headquarters for the Price Memorial Congregation was condemned. Under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. William B. Cowherd, the church membership began searching for a new place to call home.
It was also during this time that the Congregation of the predominately white First Methodist Church of Atlantic City had moved from the area leaving their building located at 525 Atlantic Avenue vacant for 2 years. The white Methodist Church put the building up for sale with one stipulation, in order to keep the integrity and architecture of the building intact, they would only sell the building to another Methodist Congregation. Dr. Cowherd led the negotiations and the Congregants of Price Memorial voted to purchase the church and relocate to its current location. The sale was completed in April of 1964 for the purchase price of $30,000.00.
Our Church is rich in its legacy and history. We have hosted significant community, District, Annual Conference and Connectional meetings.
Annual Conferences Hosted:
May 16-20, 1951 (Ohio Avenue Location) May 16-20, 1973, April 16-20, 1980, May 11-16, 1993
It should be further noted that the “Missionary Seer”, which is the official publication of the A.M.E. Zion Church’s Home & Oversees Missions Department began at Price Memorial well over 100 years ago.
Over the years there have been many pastors that have made significant contributions to the Church and the community.
In May 1977 the Rev. Dr. Lawton Nelson, Jr. was appointed to serve as pastor. He served for 18 years.
Under Dr. Nelson’s pastorate, Price Memorial became one of the leading churches in the New Jersey Conference and the Atlantic City Community.
It was also under Dr. Nelson that many major accomplishments took place including the purchase of a 15 passenger church van. Office and classroom additions were made to the church edifice and a new parsonage was purchased.
In May of 1995, the Rev. Dr. W. David Lee was appointed by Bishop Cecil Bishop. Various ministries were implemented including the organizing of Zion Redevelopment, Inc. a community development corporation.
In May of 1998, the Rev. Dr. Odinga Lawrence Maddox, II was appointed by Bishop Marshall H. Strickland. Dr. Maddox served for 17 years.
Under Dr. Maddox’s pastorate, the church purchased a new Hammond Organ and 15 passenger church van.
Also, the church conducted a major renovation campaign that remodeled much of the edifice including a new roof, the installation of a new chair lift, the modernization of the kitchen, new carpeting and the installation of a new boiler heating system.
On October 29th, 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City took a direct hit! The storm caused over $250,000.00 worth of damage to the church. Despite the damage, the members rallied together and worshipped in the fellowship hall and repairs to the church were made. One repair, in particular, was the replacement of a large stained glass window which was replaced by then Bishop Louis Hunter. The stained glass window was also dedicated in his honor. In December of 2015, Rev. Grady Littles was appointed by Bishop Louis Hunter. He served for 2 and ½ years. Under Rev. Littles pastorate the community food bank continued to thrive and the GMWA held a concert at Price Memorial.
In June of 2018, Rev. Nicolle D. Harris was appointed by Bishop Dennis V. Proctor. It should be noted that Rev. Nicolle Harris is the First Female Pastor in Price Memorials History! Rev Harris led the congregation in launching the "Committed to the Comeback Campaign" a fundraiser to help with the renovations needed in the church.
In May of 2019, the Rev. Curtis M. Williams II was appointed as pastor of Price Memorial.
To GOD be the glory for the things he has done!
Roster of Pastors:
1. Rev. George Heckler
2. Rev. D.F. Bradley
3. Rev. M.A. Bradley
4. Rev. Elijah Hammett
5. Rev. H. Biddle
6. Rev. E.M. Stanton
7. Rev. George Cole
8. Rev. Jno. A.D. Bloice
9. Rev. W. Augustus Fitch
10. Rev. Clinton D. Hazel
11. Rev. P.J. McIntosh
12. Rev. Jacob Adams
13. Rev. James Batchelor
14. Rev. John F. Moreland
15. Rev. G. McMullin
16. Rev. J.S. Jackson
17. Rev. William Langford
18. Rev. Henry B. Gant
19. Rev. H.J. Johnson
20. Rev. Stephen Conrad
21. Rev. J.A.S. Cole
22. Rev. D. Grecian-Donowa
23. Rev. Oscar J.Remsen
24. Rev. Thomas T. Taylor
25. Rev. G. Howard Spaulding
26. Rev. A.C. Yearwood
27. Rev. Dr. Alfred G. Dunston, Jr.
28. Rev. Pritchard L. DeBerry
29. Rev. Marcus W. Smith
30. Rev. Wesley B. Brown
31. Rev. Lawrence B. Buchanan
32. Rev. William A. Blackwell
33. Rev. John E. Spurill
34. Rev. Dr. William B. Cowherd
35. Rev. Dr. Guilford K. Davis
36. Rev. Dr. James G. Flowers
37. Rev. Dr. Lawton Nelson, Jr.
38. Rev. Dr. W. David Lee
39. Rev. Dr. Odinga Lawrence Maddox, II
40. Rev. Grady Littles
41. Rev. Nicolle D. Harris
42. Rev. Curtis M. Williams, II