Church History



hood Memorial AME Zion Church history

Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was started in 1907 from a prayer and worship meeting held in a community home. The first sanctuary, built in 1908 on a location on Rosehill Road near Raleigh Road (now known as Ramsey Street), was named Hood Mission. Under the leadership of Mr. Barkins, it was used as the first colored school in the vicinity. Students were charged ten cents per week to attend and they came from all around. Among the first trustees of the church were Mr. Simon Willis and Mr. James Smith.

Initially, the church was an independent congregation, the group elected to join the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church denomination. The first minister sent by the A.M.E. Zion leadership was Reverend E.A. Austin. The then presiding Elder, Dr. Mitchell appointed Mr. C.G. Avent, Sr. as Superintendent of Sunday School and as a member of the Trustee Board.

In 1915, Hood Mission moved to the corner of Raleigh Road and Jones Street. The name of the church was changed to Hood Temple. Reverend A.E. Gordon was pastor; Reverend W.W. Slade was presiding Elder, and the Right Reverend A. Walters was presiding Bishop. Hood experienced both blessings and loss at that location. Due to a dispute among members, the congregation divided and a majority of members left to form a new church whose location was within a quarter mile from Hood Temple.

In 1954, as recalled by some of the members, Hurricane Hazel stormed through badly damaging the church structure. Under the watchful eye of Reverend W.E. Walker, extensive repairs were made. During this time, Hood experienced a rapid growth in membership.

During the 1960s, the State Highway Commission decided to widen Raleigh Road which decreased the size of the church property, restricting the property line to within a few feet of the front doors. There was little space for parking or church expansion.

This ever-faithful congregation was left with no choice but to seek a new location. Fundraising was a major concern in that the state reimbursed only a meager amount for the seized property. Liberal donations were needed to gain credit approval for a mortgage. Members, Mr. and Mrs. Miles N. Sawyer had the financial means, generosity and obedience to God to gift the church with 2.3 acres of land of Rosehill Road, the church's present location.

On December 1, 1963, the groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Rosehill Road location. Reverend Christopher Jones was the pastor and the presiding Elder was Elder John W, Hatch. Elder Hatch served as the contractor for construction that began on February 29, 1964. Mr. Thomas N. Allen, former member was Chairman of the Trustee Board.

On Sunday 28, 1965, Hood Temple was dedicated and renamed Hood Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The morning message was delivered by Bishop R.R. L. Jones, followed by Holy Communion. There were evening activities, dinner and a renaming ceremony. The laying of the cornerstone was performed by the 18th District Deputy, E.J. Elliot.

By 1972, the church had been govered by four Bishops, six Presiding Elders and thirty-nine Pastors. The mortgage to the church was paid in full and burned on March 25, 1983.

Many gifted ministers have been Pastors in Charge of Hood Memorial to include: Reverend L. Bell, Jr.; Reverend W. Henderson; Reverend W. Mainor; Reverend J. Gillespie; Reverend C. Kendall; Reverend J. Scriven, Reverend T. Rhodes; and Reverend Frederick Hendley.

Bishop J. W. Hood

Hood Memorial was named in honor of Bishop James Walker Hood (1831-1918), prominent preacher who founded the first AMEZ church in the south, Saint Peter's in New Bern, NC. Bishop Hood was added to the Board of Bishops in 1872 and proved to be an unprecedented A.M.E. Zion leader. He became a strong man in North Carolina during reconstruction days. He was the first assistant Superientendent of Education for the Negroes, Leader of the movement that created Fayetteville State College, A and T College in Greensboro and Livingstone College at Salisbury, NC. He was author of One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and A Commentary on the book of Revelation entitled:  The Plan of the Apocalypse. Bishop James W. Hood was founder and first Bishop of the Central North Carolina Conference, first black Assistant Superintendent of North Carolina Public Schools and the First Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons of the State of North Carolina. The Gillespie Street Library was formerly the J.W. Hood Library of Fayetteville. The Hood Residence Hall located on the campus of Fayetteville State University, The Hood Theological Seminary of Livingstone College, Salisbury, North Carolina and Hood Temple A.M.E. Zion Church Rosehill Road, Fayetteville, NC were named in his honor. He is buried in Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville, North Carolina.


These two existing Historical Archived items survived hurricane Hazel from Hood Temple (1915). They are 106 years old.

the iron bell

The Iron Bell was restored and incorporated into the church sign, sitting in between both existing churches.  The main usage of it is to celebrate and honor a deceased member before they enter the church for the last time. A Trustee of the church is responsible for ringing the bell.

THE pulpit chair

This is the original main chair that was placed in the pulpit of Hood Temple. Our Apprentice Upholsterer was one of Hood Memorial sons, Rev. Selvynn A. Lindo.

Hood Mission (1908)
Hood Temple (1915)
Hood Memorial (1965)

Church Historians:  Carolyn Kelly and Larry Woodson

Hood Memorial Celebrating 114 Years of Existing

by: Carolyn Kelly



Hood Family and Friend, It's a celebratory moment for Hood Memorial AME Zion Church embracing 114 years of existing. This wonderful display was arranged by Carolyn Kelly in the early hours of last Sunday morning. Pastor Patania Eiland-Shorter would like to thank Carolyn Kelly for her leadership in helping reminisce the History of our Church. Look to see more celebratory events in the future.

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