Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Allen Chapel J.J. Brown interview
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TitleAllen Chapel J.J. Brown interview
DescriptionNotes taken by Knox College Professor of Sociology J. Howell Atwood from an interview with J.J. Brown. The interview topic is the history of Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church.
Sunday schools
Subject (LCSH)African Methodist Episcopal Church;
Named PersonBrown, J.J.; Shaffer, C.T.; Selik, Mr.; Davis, William J.;
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
Time Period1930s
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 3)
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-11-19
TranscriptAllen Chapel J.J. Brown 1

I was born in '68. I went
to SS at Allen in the early
70's. We had a little one
story wooden building then.
Had one room. We were
taught by white Sunday
school teachers in the after-
noon. This first building
was bought by a man
named Anderson. He
moved it away for the mater-
ial. Then we had to build
a larger structure. We held
services - had the organ in
it and it was practically
complete when it was burned
to the ground. It may have
started from the cow barn in
the back. We were afraid


J.J. Brown 2
the city authorities would
require a brick structure
so we hurried to put up
another frame bldg. This
was done. In 1911 the
brick veneer which is
the present exterior was
built. I presented
the keys to the Bishop C.T. Shaffer &
led the march from the
stairway up to the rost-
rum. I was secy [secretary] of
the Trustee board at that
A Mr. Selik a white
business man was one
of our teachers. Wm. J.
Davis (a colored man) Civil War Vet. was


J.J. Brown 3

very devoted to the Sunday
school. I used to lead
the singing. We didn't
know anything about notes
& dashes, but we sang
anyway. There was always
some young person who
could play the organ.
They were coming along
pretty fast then.
Physical Descriptionhandwritten on three half sheets of scrap paper
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