About Us

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” ~ Acts 1:8 NRSV

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St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church

In the Beginning...

In 1868 Ezekiel and Catherine Gillespie, Louis and Matilda Hughes, Charles and Sarah Dorsey, James Johnson and Catherine Paget gathered to organize a Church of Allen in Milwaukee. On January 9, 1869, Rev. Theodore Crosby arrived in Milwaukee and thus began the organization for the new church. The first church was a rented room on 1 Spring Street (Wisconsin Avenue). On April 5, 1869, at the request of Rev. Crosby, Bishop William P. Quinn came to Milwaukee, and the church was organized. It was called First African Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years the members worshiped in rented locations throughout the city.

In June of 1869, First African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased its first church building and a four-room parsonage. The properties were located on a 50’ x 75’ site at Fourth and Cedar Street, now Kilbourn, where the Hyatt Regency is currently located. A historical maker bears witness to this history. First African Methodist Episcopal Church to St. Mark A.M.E. Church, affectionately called The Church of the Anvil is currently located at 1616 W Atkinson Avenue, where she continues to carry out the work of Christ as charged to the original Free African Society. One hundred and Fifty years later the First Church of Allen in Milwaukee continues to seek out and save the lost and to minister to the social, spiritual and physical development of humanity.

- St. Mark AME Church

Mission & Vision

Blessed to Be A Blessing (Genesis 12:2-3)

God Has called and empowered St. Mark to preach, teach and model biblical truths that empower and transform lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our Mission

God has charged St. Mark to make available God’s biblical principles, spread Christ’s liberating gospel, and continuing programs which will enhance the spiritual, physical, social, mental, and economic development of all people.

The AME Name

African Methodist Episcopal Church

The word African means that the church was organized by people of African descent and heritage. It does not mean that the church was founded in Africa, or that it was for persons of African descent only.

The church’s roots are of the family of Methodist churches. Methodism provides an orderly system of rules and regulations and places emphasis on a plain and simple gospel.

Episcopal refers to the form of government under which the church operates. It means that the church is governed by bishops. The chief executive and administrative officers of the African Methodist Episcopal denomination are the Bishops of the church.

What We Believe

  • We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
  • We believe in Jesus Christ God’s only son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead; and buried.
  • We believe the third day Jesus Christ, our Lord, arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ will one day return to judge the living and the dead.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, and the communion of saints.
  • We believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Founding of AME Church

The AMEC grew out of the Free African Society (FAS) which Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and others established in Philadelphia in 1787. When officials at St. George’s MEC pulled blacks off their knees while praying, FAS members discovered just how far American Methodists would go to enforce racial discrimination against African Americans. Hence, these members of St. George’s made plans to transform their mutual aid society into an African congregation. Although most wanted to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen led a small group who resolved to remain Methodists. In 1794 Bethel AME was dedicated with Allen as pastor. To establish Bethel’s independence from interfering white Methodists, Allen, a former Delaware slave, successfully sued in the Pennsylvania courts in 1807 and 1815 for the right of his congregation to exist as an independent institution. Because black Methodists in other middle Atlantic communities encountered racism and desired religious autonomy, Allen called them to meet in Philadelphia to form a new Wesleyan denomination, the AME.

For more information please visit the AME Church.

Our Pastor


Meet Pastor Joy L. Gallmon

Pastor Joy L. Gallmon, fondly known as “Pastor Joy,” is a native of Ft. Pierce, Florida. She is the daughter of Jacob and Earline Gallmon and the proud mother of two, David Jacob and Janis Annette.

Pastor Joy is a graduate of Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Doctor of Educational Ministries degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia.

Responding to the divine call to preach the gospel, Pastor Joy delivered her initial sermon in April 1999 at Greater Bethel AME Church, Miami, Florida and was ordained an itinerant elder in 2003.

Prior to her appointment to St. Mark AME Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pastor Joy served New Mount Pisgah AME Church, Lake City, Florida for seven years, St. Paul AME Church, Ocala, Florida for five years and Allen Temple AME Church, Brooksville, Florida for two years.

Pastor Joy remains forever committed to serving God, the Church Universal, and the community.

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