The African Methodist Episcopal Church, more commonly known as the Fugitive Slave Chapel, was the first African American church established in London, Ontario. It was a refuge for escaped slaves traveling to Canada from the United States as well as a pillar for the African community already established in London. The church itself was built in 1848 located on Thames Street. By 1863 the church had a congregation of approximately 75 members and established a Sunday school service with 35 children in attendance. As the black community in London grew, the church did as well. The congregation built a new church in the year of 1868. The church was built on Grey street in the East end of London. This church was named the Beth Emmanuel British Methodist Episcopal Church and still stands today.
The Community-Based Learning Project
At Huron University College, students enrolled in the history program are required to take a course in their third year of university. This course entitled “Historian’s Craft” requires a Community-Based Learning project that brings together the theoretical and practical aspects of the course material. Students were able to choose and contact a local community partner that dealt with the local history of London, Ontario.
The purpose behind this alternative style of learning is for students to apply things they learn in the classroom to the real world while contributing to the wider community of historical research.