Our History

Turner Chapel has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. Even though we are one of the oldest established churches in Marietta, GA, we continue to evolve based on the needs of the community we serve.

1800s

African-American residents of Marietta began their first religious meeting in 1853, shortly after the settlement of the town. This was a group of 37 persons of all faiths who desired a place to meet for prayer and worship. The meetings were held in a log cabin on Task Street (no longer existing), near an abandoned Coca-Cola Battery plant and Tobacco Cigar factory.

In 1839, the Presbyterian Church vacated their building on the corner of Waddell and Lawrence Streets in downtown Marietta. They offered the use of this building to the little group, which had grown from their original numbers of 37.

The new congregration was now called Trinity Church for Negroes and Indians.

During that time, the church operated under the direction of First United Methodist Church, which supplied its pastors until the end of the Civil War in 1865. During the Civil War, Trinity was also used as a hospital for the Union soldiers.

Reverend Henry McNeal Turner

In 1863, Henry McNeal Turner became the first black chaplain in the Union Army. In 1865, after the war, Reverend Turner, moved to Georgia and joined St. Phillip’s Monumental A.M.E. Church in Savannah, the first A.M.E. Congregation in Georgia.

Throughout Georgia, he began organizing AME churches, including Trinity Church.

Upon his arrival in Marietta, he found former slaves worshipping without ministerial leadership, so he organized the church under the auspices of the AME Church and became Trinity's first Negro pastor.

Turner Chapel is born

On July 6, 1867, the trustees of the First Methodist Church transferred the property deed to the trustees off Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church for the sum of ten dollars.

In 1891, under the leadership of Reverend Dan Strickland, the church was rebuilt and the name was changed to Turner Chapel, in honor of Bishop Turner.

As the years went by, many more land was donated and building enhancements were made.

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