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The Oldest Black Church in the PNW

Church established in 1862!

First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church of Portland Oregon

First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church is the oldest Black Church in the Pacific Northwest. The church was organized in 1862; just 3 years after Oregon became a state. This historic church has been a staple in the community. This year is 161 years of the church’s existence. Our roots in the community are deep. The church has been a beacon of light in the community for many years and is the miracle on the corner of N. Vancouver Avenue and N. Skidmore Street. First AME Zion Church has been outspoken in the fight for equal rights and the needs of the community.

Under the leadership and vision of the current Pastor, Rev. Dr. Dennis G. Payne, II, First AME Zion Church is experiencing a “new birth”. The church is looking to the future. This church isn’t going anywhere. Through a partnership with Logos Faith Development, a redevelopment plan is in process. This plan will encompass the needs of both the community and the church. The plan is to have a mixed-use facility with a childhood education component and a before and after school tutoring program with breakfast and a hot lunch. Underground parking will be available. There will also be some form of mixed one-bedroom and two-bedroom housing units included in the plan.

First AME Zion Church is determined to continue with its community ministry and to continue to be a visible beacon of light in the Portland Community.


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