Oral History

Arminta Foushee - On St. Paul AME Church

Interviewed by Kathryn Wall on June 23, 2022

"After the announcements were said I had this motto I would state, every Sunday I would say, "We are so happy to have you worshiping with us, we hope you would come back again." And St. Paul’s motto was: "visitors are strangers but once.""

- Arminta Foushee

Aminta Foushee shares photographs and a detailed history of St. Paul AME Church. Founded in 1864 under a grape arbor where the current church stands, St. Paul was the first African American church in Chapel Hill. She explains her family’s ties to the church and the history of other local churches, including Chapel of the Cross, First Baptist, Second Baptist, and St. Joseph’s. She talks about the Black church community in Chapel Hill and shares stories of the vacation bible schools children attended during the summer. Throughout the interview, she shares photos of various important members of the community, including founding families of St. Paul. She describes her home in the Northside neighborhood that her grandfather built in 1939 and her grandfather’s cab stand. She discusses the church officers' roles and shares pictures throughout the years of various events at St. Paul, including memorabilia from the church’s 100 year’s anniversary in 1964. She discusses the role of St. Paul and St. Joseph’s in the Civil Rights Movement in Chapel Hill. She shares photos of various church choirs and their anniversary celebrations. She ends the interview discussing the lack of children at St. Paul presently, and theorizes why there are fewer children in the congregation than when she was growing up.

Arminta Foushee - On St. Paul AME Church


Oral history interview of Foushee, Arminta conducted by Wall, Kathryn on June 23, 2022 at Home of Arminta Foushee, Durham, NC. Processed by Broun, Rachel.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Arminta Foushee - On St. Paul AME Church,” From the Rock Wall, accessed July 21, 2024, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/arminta-foushee-on-st-paul-ame-church.

"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

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