African Americans have been a substantial portion of the denomination membership of American Methodism since its founding. In 1823, the Holston Conference total membership included 7,512 whites and 1,078 blacks. In the early 1800's, some black citizens of the Wolf Hill section of Abingdon, known as King's Mountain, attended the Wolf Hill Methodist Church. By 1827, Abingdon church membership included 70 whites and 30 blacks.
After the Civil War, the Holston Conference Methodist Episcopal Church, South, granted a request of the African-American members that they be constituted separately. Charles Wesley joined the Washington County Conference in 1878 and the East Tennessee conference in 1900.
The first independent, black Methodist church in Washington County had its beginnings in meetings at the Masonic Lodge Hall in Abingdon, in the park where Campbell Funeral Home now has a warehouse. Rev. Solomon Wing founded the Charles Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873. The congregation soon outgrew their facilities and a tract of land was purchased the same year in the east end of Abingdon. Located on East Main Street, the parcel was part of a convent occupied by the sisters of the Academy of Visitations of Abingdon, Virginia. The congregation moved into their new home on November 20, 1877, and remains an active church community today.
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Geographical and Contact Information
322 East Main Street