Meeting to discuss future of Quinn Chapel

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 11, 2024

Black history museum proposed

The public in invited to a meeting on Feb. 16 to discuss the future of the Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church building in Ironton.

The historic Black church, located at 514 S. Eighth St. in Ironton, ended services in September, due to low attendance, Marta Coffer, who is part of the effort, said.

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She said the church is closed and is being put up for sale.

The meeting is regarding a proposal to turn the building into a Black history museum.

The church came to its current location in April 1865, when trustees of the church bought land from Ironton’s founder and John Campbell, an abolitionist, for $1,000. A year later, the building, the second for the church, had been constructed.

The first A.M.E. church in Ironton was formed in December 1856, at the home of Henry Harney, by those who had escaped slavery by crossing the Ohio River into Lawrence County at Burlington. It’s first structure was built for $300.

The church, which had been the final stop for years on the Lawrence County Museum’s historic church walk at Christmas, is named for Bishop William Paul Quinn, who was the fourth bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The current church building, the third, was completed in 1909.

Coffer said it is important to preserve the church because of its long history and ties to the Civil War and Underground Railroad.

She said they hope to apply for grants for the museum effort.

Ironton businessman Rich Donohue, who is supporting the efforts, said the aim of the meeting is to “take the temperature” of the public on the effort.

Input from the community is sought for the effort.

The meeting is scheduled at 2 p.m. in the Ohio Room at the college.