The Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded by Rev. Dorsey Alfonso Cowart as early as 1948, as he and a few people began worshipping in his home. In the year of 1951, located at 62 Charleston Street, Newark, New Jersey, Rev. Cowart, along with 15 charter members officially brought the church into the New Jersey Conference. Later in the year 1967, the church moved to 221 Prince Street, Newark, New Jersey formerly St. Luke A.M.E. Church). In the year of 1968, Rev. Charles Floyd Milton, brought the church to 56-60 19th Avenue, corner of 17th Street, Newark, New Jersey.
Because of the dedicated service of Mother Mary Lou Cowart, in the first years of Allen, the Allen Women Missionary Society was named after her. Each pastor contributed to the growth of Allen. Rev. Cowart established Allen officially. Rev. Brown and Rev. Sims held Allen together for three years, spiritually high and fund raising. Rev. Milton found a large building and the congregation began to grow and flourish, they did all they could giving of themselves and finances, as well as talents. The prayers were sent up so that Allen could be a beacon on this corner. Rev. Jackson saw a need to use every inch of this building. Community programs began meeting at Allen and furniture for the church was purchased. Allen ended in $50,000.00 worth of debt but Rev. Richard T. Druid was able to relinquish that debt.
He made renovations, formed five choirs, established auxiliaries, brought fourth the YPD officers in the Annual Conference and Newark District Youth of the Year. Rev. James E. Deas, Sr brought to Allen a love for unity in the church and family. Rev. Deas and his wife was a “team” and both being educators, challenged the youth of Allen to further their education. An after school tutoring program was established as well as a college fund. Rev. Laverne C. McClellan got here just in time to gather the Young Adults together she appointed many of them to leadership roles in the church.
Rev. McClellan began reaching out into the community, along with renovating the church. Rev. Ballard and his wife had a love for the children that they created a new Sunday School curriculum and the children learned a bible verse starting with each of the alphabet. Rev. John C. Reynolds and his wife are very business like people who have gotten the church back on track with the financial system and helping the church get out of debt.
Rev. Reynolds has initiated New Life Ministry for new and existing members, worked with a team of women to strengthen the Women’s Fellowship, consecrated the Youth Commission to work with the youth of the church and from the community, and to strengthen the leadership and members of the church through spiritual preparation by preaching and biblical study. The ministry has grown numerically and financially.
Under Rev. Reynolds’ leadership the process that Rev. Laverne McClellan started with the housing project has finally begun and completed. Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church has 6 new homes built and sold in conjunction with the 1st Episcopal District across the street from the church. Rev. Kahlil G. James used his financial ability to get Allen’s debt under control by implementing ways to pay bills on time and save money. Under the leadership of Rev. Cynthia D. Jackson Allen is moving in the direction of being a beckon of light on the corner of 17th Street and 19th Avenue by reaching out and assisting the community with their various needs from starting a food pantry to helping offenders return to society with a better life.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE, IS DOING AND WILL DO.
Rev. Dorsey Alfonso Cowart
Rev. Velmore Brown
Rev. David Sims
Rev. Charles Floyd Milton
Rev. Isaiah Jackson
Rev. Richard T. Druid
Rev. James E. Deas, Sr.
Rev. Laverne C. McClellan
Rev. Amir Ballard
Rev. John C. Reynolds
Rev. Kahlil G. James
Rev. Cynthia D. Jackson