A Celebration of the Founding Bethel A.M.E. Church, April 1, 1868. This celebratory event with songs and inspired preaching is free and open to the public.
On April 1, 1868, a group of free African-Americans in the Iowa City area laid the cornerstone to build a house of worship. The Iowa City area is known to have been a stop on the underground railroad, and Bethel is proud to be an important part of that history. City directories from 1892 to 1902 refer to the church as Zion’s A.M.E. The church is known as Bethel after 1906. On September 27, 2000, Bethel A.M.E. Church of Iowa City received recognition as a national historic site.