As early as 1900, men and women of color were congregating in what was known as a brush harbor on Hardaway Street. In 1907 this body of believers incorporated to form what is now Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Rev. Felix Strum was the first Pastor; Rev. W.W. Frazier was the Presiding Elder; and Bishop L.J. Coppin was the Presiding Prelate. Among the members who were instrumental in the founding of the church were Phillip William, Oliver Jones, Lewis Fulson, Dock Henry, Eugene Jackson and Verlin Jones.
In 1933, St. Paul AME Church was destroyed by fire. The Rev. L.C. Carter was the Pastor during this period. The church family held worship services in Tullibody Auditorium at State Teachers College, now named the Tullibody Fine Arts Center at Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama. In 1934, under the leadership of Rev. Carter, a new church was built at the corner of Hall and Payne Streets. Although the name of the church was not legally changed, according to court records, the church became known as New Saint Paul AME Church.
Saint Paul was blessed with outstanding leadership throughout her rich history. In November of 1996, the Rev. Joseph Rembert was appointed by Bishop Zedekiah LaZett Grady to pastor Saint Paul. In 1997, St. Paul was notified that Alabama State University planned to purchase the church's property at 1302 Hall Street to facilitate the University's expansion. Rev. Rembert led the Official Board of St. Paul AME Church to authorize the purchase of the Normandale United Methodist Church property located on East Patton Avenue. On May 22, 1998, the Trustees of St. Paul closed a deal to purchase the Normandale property, which includes a 24,000 square feet sanctuary and an educational building which sits on 2 acres of land. Under Rev. Rembert's leadership, St. Paul began a Child Care Center and a Senior Nutrition Program. Rev. Rembert served St. Paul until his resignation.
Rev. Dr. Farrell J. Duncombe was appointed Pastor of St. Paul on June 10, 2007 by Bishop T. Larry Kirkland. Rev. Duncombe, a son of St. Paul, retired on August of 2018.
MRS. ROSA PARKS
On December 5, 1999, a beautiful chapel within the St. Paul A.M.E. Church complex was named in honor of Mrs. Rosa Parks, who is widely considered the mother of the modern civil rights movement. Mrs. Parks joined St. Paul as a little girl. She was a member of St. Paul at the first location on Hardaway Street and the second location on Hall Street. She remained a member until she moved to Detroit after her arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery City bus.
Mrs. Parks served on the Stewardess Board and was Superintendent of the Sunday school for several years. The Sunday school, presently, convenes each Sunday morning in the chapel. On December 3, 2000, Mrs. Parks visited St. Paul at the current location for the first time for her family reunion. On December 1,(what year?)Troy University Montgomery dedicated a library and museum in honor of Mrs. Parks.
She was called to glory on October 24, 2005. Her body was returned to St. Paul A.M.E., the home church and she lay in state on October 29th, where her body was viewed by hundreds. A memorial service was held on October 30th with Bishop T. Larry Kirkland delivering the Eulogy.