Women at Brown Chapel

Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Walnut Hills in 1862. The organizing congregation, called the “first class” of the Church, included as many women as it did men: Hannah Bridgett, Eliza James, Julia Braxton, Mary Jordan, Catherine Clay, Susan Clay, Mary King, Martha Mitchell, Nancy Mitchell, Ellen Ann Mendel, Lydia Mundel, Celia A. Gibbons, Eliza Jones, Mary Townsend, Catherine Townsend and Martha Wells.
Women continued to play a vital role in the early years of the church. Its history notes that the Church “organized the Women’s Missionary Society at Brown Chapel in 1869 although missionaries had worked at the church since 1862.” In 1872 the women of the church formed the Sisters of the Good Shepard to help build a new sanctuary for Brown. In addition, they took part in an organization founded in 1869 and called United Daughters, Walnut Hills, to provide mutual protection and relief.
The ladies at Brown Chapel followed the example of Sarah Allen, the wife of AME founder Richard Allen. She was the first AME missionary, and devoted her work to caring for pastors her husband sent out into the field.