Bethel Salter A.M.E. Church

Location: 106 Olive Street, Cleburne, TX

Salter Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in Cleburne in 1887 by the Goodwin and Sims families, with help from Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church in Fort Worth, and was named for Bishop Moses B. Salter (1841-1913). The first church building was built on East Chambers Street, followed by a sanctuary erected on Brazos Street in 1918. The Sanctuary was relocated here in 1926 on land donated by the Charles Alexander family with funding help from the Grand Lodge Colored Knights of Pythias of Texas. A community church was formed in Oak Hill south of Cleburne and formally recognized by the A.M.E. Conference of Texas in the 1940s. The church was named Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church. In 1943 a building was purchased for a sanctuary and moved to Oak Hill. Both churches had experienced a decline in membership, and officially merged into one congregation in 1988, named Bethel Salter A.M.E. Church. The aging sanctuary was torn down, and a new church building was constructed with the help of community volunteers and completed in 1992. The church continues traditional outreach programs and has as its creed "everlasting commitment to God our father, Christ our redeemer, and man our brother." (1996)

Source: Texas Historical Commission