Grant Chapel A.M.E. Church is the oldest black church in the state of New Mexico, was organized by the Rev. Spotwood Rice in 1882. The first building was located at the rear of the lot at 201 1 St. SW. The Trustees were: William Slaughter, Allen Carter and Edward Clark.
The little frame of house in which they worshipped was purchased and moved to Coal Ave and served as the church until 1892, when a brick church was built by the Rev. Matthew Jones. The original name recorded for the church after the purchase of the land was Coal Avenue Methodist Church. The name was changed July 24, 1905 to Grant Chapel named after Bishop Abraham Grant. Under the leadership of Rev. Walter F. Fortune the church was later relocated in 1990 to its current location today, 7920 Claremont Avenue.
This church was incorporated December 12, 1891 with thirteen members for the purpose of building. This site was sold and the church was relocated to 409 Santa Fe Ave. SE. That site was acquired and the church was built under the pastorate of Rev. C. N. Austin. The following officers served at that time: Morris Porter, Henry Jones, Samuel Hicks Sr. Ernest Wagner, Omar Blair Sr., Robert A. Bryant, Mrs. Addie Monroe, William L. Bailey, Morris Johnson, Herman Loftus, Edward S. Foster, W. Long, Robert Atkins, Toby Allen, L.O. Parker, C.M. Carothers and Precious Barlow.
Over the past 120 years, each pastor at Grant Chapel has left their mark of personality on the church. Each has brought something of himself to the church and has taken some of Grant Chapel away with them. Each in his own way has left some token of remembrance to the congregation- the young-the old-the church organization and the community at large.
Today, Grant Chapel continues its concern for the saving of souls, Christian living, quality family life, economic development, responsible citizenship, civic action and social welfare. Under the pastoral leadership of the Reverend Dr. John D. Hill, Grant Chapel continues to be an outreach ministry to Christian care beyond its walls; especially to the hungry, sick, needy children, families and the homeless.
Pastors of Grant
Rev. Spotwood Rice 1882-1884
Rev. Jeremiah Lewis 1884-1885
Rev. J.F. Curtis 1885-1888
Rev. James W. Sanders 1888-1889
Rev. J.H. Waldon 1889-1890
Rev. Matt Jones 1890-1892
Rev. J.W. Sanders 1892-1894
Rev. Matt Jones 1894-1896
Rev. R Cason 1896-1897
Rev. J.H. Bohaman 1897-1898
Rev. J.P. Watson 1898-1900
Rev. J.D. Barksdale 1901-1902
Rev. J.B. Poter 1902-1903
Rev. Matt Jones & Rev, W.T. Thornton 1903-1904
Rev. G.H. Byas 1904-1908
Rev. James Washington 1908-1909
Rev. N.H. Jones 1909-1910
Rev. J.W. Rogers 1910-1912
Rev. J.L. Jackson 1912-1913
Rev. J.W. Rodgers & Rev. D.H. Jones 1913-1914
Rev. William Hawkins 1914-1915
Rev. J.M. Endicott 1915-1917
Rev. G.G. Alexander 1917-1918
Rev. John L. Williams 1918-1920
Rev. S.R. Maguinez 1920-1923
Rev. A.C. Moore 1923-1924
Rev. J.M. Endicott 1924-1928
Rev. R.H. Harbert 1928-1929
Rev. E.C.W. Cox 1929-1932
Rev. W.E. Washington 1932-1935
Rev. A.H. Hamilton 1935-1940
Rev. B.H. Moore 1940-1942
Rev. D.C. Coleman, Sr. 1942-1947
Rev. Jerry W. Ford 1947-1950
Rev. C.N. Austin 1950-1953
Rev. A.H. Hamilton 1953-1955
Rev. D.C. Coleman, Sr. 1955-1960
Rev. L.K. Williams 1960-1963
Rev. George Grand 1963-1965
Rev. Leonard L. Bruce 1965-1975
Rev. A.N. Larkin 1975-1976
Rev. Harvey L. Vaughn Jr. 1976-1977
Rev. S Eugene Winn Sr. 1977-1981
Rev. Milton Green 1981-1984
Rev. H. Charles Farris 1984-1985
Rev. Walton F. Fortune 1985-1993
Rev. Leander Emanuel Coates 1993-1995
Rev. John D. MaGee 1995-1999
Rev. Delman E. Howard 1999-2001
Rev. John D. Hill 2001- Present
Bishop Abraham Grant was born near Lake City, Fla., Aug. 25, 1848. He was born a slave. He came into possession of the arts of reading and writing before the outbreak of the Civil War; he gladly took advantage of every opportunity of adding to his store of knowledge. After the close of the Civil War, he acquired an education in missionary and night schools. . He worked his way through Cookman Institute by clerking in a Jacksonville, Fla. grocery store.
In October 1868, while present at a camp meeting at Lake City, he was led to accept Christ as a personal Savior, and joined the A. M. E. Church at Jacksonville, Florida, taking up gladly the duties of steward and class-leader that came to him. A license to preach was granted him in April 1873, and the following December he was ordained to Deacon’s Orders, and in March, 1876, set apart as Elder. During his residence in Jacksonville he received the appointment of Inspector of Customs, and also served as County Commissioner of Duval County.
In 1878 he moved to Texas, where he became vice-president of Paul Quinn College at Waco and assigned to pastor churches in San Antonio and Austin. Grant was elected bishop in 1888 and served in the South and West until 1900, when he was transferred to the Midwest. From 1904 to 1911 he was bishop for Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and California, residing in Kansas City, Kansas. He was a founder of Payne Theological Seminary in 1891, and also was a trustee of Wilberforce University. Grant had an amicable relationship with Booker T. Washington and generally supported the Tuskegean’s approach to race problems. In 1908 he campaigned for the Republicans at Washington’s request.
His shoulders have been thought broad enough to carry other weighty burdens, so he was for years the Presiding Officer of the Board of Trustees of Wilberforce University; for twelve years he was at the head of the Church Extension Board of the A. M. E. Church, and for a time one-third as long was President of the Publication Board of the A. M. E. Church (Philadelphia) and President of the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia; for three years he had the casting vote of the Board of Trustees of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, and Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida.
Bishop Grant’s official duties have carried him across the seas; twice he has been in Europe and he has presided over Conferences at Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Monrovia, Liberia, West Coast Africa. For seventeen years Bishop Abraham Grant has been among those honored with the highest ecclesiastical authority that it is in the power of his church to bestow. Bishop Abraham Grant died in 1911.