Payne Chapel was founded in January of 1893, during a pioneer era.  The first church, known as Bethel, was established in “The Styx”, now
Palm Beach.  The founders, Ed Walstine, Philip Akery, Bell Jones, Susan Gee Cook, Margaret Akery, D. Jones and Haley Mickens had strong determination toward preparing the way for carrying out “The Great Commission” of preaching and witnessing for Christ. The first Trustees were J.J. Gordon, D.J. Jones and Philip Akery.

In 1894, during the pastorate of Rev. T. W. Wilson, the name of the church was changed from Bethel to Payne Chapel in honor of Bishop Daniel A. Payne.

The first site of Payne Chapel was Banyan and Tamarind Avenue. The church was built during the pastorate of Rev. A. S. Simms, 1894 - 1895. The parsonage was built during the pastorate of Rev. M. T. Carey, who served from 1910 - 1914.

Rev. S. W. Adair organized the first rally for the new Payne Chapel A.M.E. Church during 1917 - 1920.  Rev. E. J. Jackson purchased the present site and laid the foundation during 1922-1923.  In 1924, Rev. S. W. Adair was again appointed pastor and began work on the new church.

The 1928 hurricane completely demolished the old church on Banyan Street. Services were then held in the basement of the “New Church on the Hill” beginning the first Sunday in January 1929.

Payne Chapel continued to progress and to complete the “New Church on the Hill.” The main auditorium was dedicated on November 28, 1937. In 1942, with Rev. Carey Gibbs as pastor, new pews were purchased.  In 1948 the church was cleared of all indebtedness.

During Rev. H. McNeal Harris’ administration, from 1963-1966, the present parsonage was built.  The mortgage on the parsonage was liquidated. The church was completely air conditioned during the pastorate of Rev. Stephen M. Peck, 1969-1981.

Under the leadership of Rev. Frank R. Satchel, 1981-1987, land was purchased for two parking areas.  The church office,  pastor’s study and Christian Education Office were erected in the lower auditorium. The ladies’and men’s lounges were completely renovated.

Beginning in 1988, another chapter of progress in history was written. Under the leadership of Shepherd W. J. Jackson, the New Genesis was instituted.  During Shepherd Jackson’s administration, the exterior of the church was painted, safety guard doors were installed, the mortgage was liquidated and another parking area was purchased.  Property around the church was purchased. The church underwent  renovation and restoration.  A new roof was installed on the church; exterior and interior painting was done; new pews and furniture were purchased; new lighting and carpeting installed; a new state of the art sound system , piano and organ were  purchased,  and the foyer and outside steps were tiled.

In November, 2002, Rev. Samuel E. Sullivan, was assigned to Payne Chapel by Bishop John Hurst Adams.  The congregation welcomed  Rev. Sullivan and his family and eagerly began to rebuild the walls of Payne.  Under his pastorate  the rental apartments were renovated, and debts on the organ and  roof were liquidated. During the 2004 and 2005 hurricane season, the church and parsonage sustained major wind and water damage. The interior of the church was completely gutted and treated for mold and mildew. Carpeting, pews and other furnishings and equipment were replaced.  After much work, Payne Chapel was restored to its magnificent grandeur.

On December 2, 2007, Rev. Milton Broomfield was assigned to pastor Payne Chapel by Bishop McKinley Young.

In 2013 Rev. Henry E. Green III, was assigned to pastor. Payne Chapel is looking forward to great things under the able leadership of Rev. Green.

From 1893 to 2013, thirty one pastors, twenty-four presiding elders, thirty-six bishops and three assistant pastors have served Payne Chapel A.M.E. Church.

It would be impossible to state the many contributions of all the dedicated and devoted ministers, faithful and loyal members, boards, auxiliaries and clubs who have sacrificed, given willingly and unselfishly of themselves over so many years.

Untold numbers of people have played an important part in the history of Payne Chapel.  All in their own way have helped us to arrive from our humble beginnings in the “Styx” to where we are today. With prayers, continued faithfulness, loyalty, and dedicated service of each one of us, we look forward to an exciting future in the life of Payne Chapel.


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