Minnesota community remembers Black church destroyed by arson in 1907

  • Source: KSTP-TV ABC 6 St. Paul
  • Published: 10/24/2022 12:00 AM

VIDEO: Dozens of people gathered in Hastings Sunday afternoon to learn about a local Black church that was set on fire over a century ago. Nobody was ever charged in connection with the fire. The Hastings community came to First Presbyterian Church to remember history that happened blocks away. Building Remembrance for Reconciliation, nonprofit, organized the event called “Breaking the Silence: Remembering Brown’s Chapel AME.” Davu Seru’s family roots run deep in Hastings. In the 1800s, his family, The Wallace’s, settled in Minnesota. “I’m here to honor my ancestors. Without them, there would be no me,” Seru said. In July of 1892, Seru’s ancestors opened up Brown’s Chapel African Methodist Episcopal congregation (AME) in Hastings. The church became a pillar and safe space in the black community. “Former enslaved people were coming up from the south and elsewhere to make a life too. A lot of racialized violence happened,” Seru said.


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