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History of Morris Brown Congregational
1821 N. Villere Street
New Orleans, LA
(mostly from The History of the Morris Brown congregational Church 1821 N. villere St. New Orleans, La. From its
beginnings in 1853 to 1920
Unknown writer from a folder in Amsted Research Center)

Morris Brown church was built by Rev. J. M. Brown in the year 1853 under the auspices of the African Methodist
Episcopal Conference at a cost of $3000.00. The builder was a man by the name of Doroux, the slaves came and
laid the foundation at night, by torch light. Rev. Brown remained its pastor until 1858. He left a debt of $900.00 on
the church, due to its builder, Doroux. So from 1856 to 1868 the church changed hands several times on account
of this debt. [by the War of Rebellion the church was closed as were all African Methodist Epsicopal churches in
New Orleans until the liberation of New Orleans by the United States Army] It became the property of the city and
was used as a public school, being known as the Bueregard School. It was once called the People's Church. In
1868 it was sold and became the property of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the second time. It was
purchased from them by the Congregational Aid Society on July 1, 1869. Between 1858 and 1868 the Morris Brown
Church met in different places, one of these was Callioux Hall at the corner of Goodchildren (St. Claude) and Union
(Turo). Some of the pastors of the church when it was AME were Ware, John Turner, Johnson Reese.

The first pastor under the Congregational Society was Rev. William E. Brown, then S. S. Ashley, P. P. Proctor and
the present incumbent Rev. Isaac H. Hall June 21, 1875. The church joined the Louisiana Congregational State
Association in 1870. The Congregational Aid Society had the following clause in its charter, that no bishop or
outside party would ever rule over them and that the church would forever remain an independent body. This can
be found in the Recorder of Mortgages and Conveyance office.

During the War of the Rebellion the building was used as a school for white children, after the war the state
Legislature recompenced the church with an appropriation of $1500.00 which the trustees of St. James African
Methodist Episcopal Church received and the Morris Brown Church did not receive anything, as Morris Brown was
at that time under the jurisdiction of the trustees of St. James church. They were Bros. Dowdy, Zemar, James
Reese, Nora Regore. Bros. Zemar and Regore, assisted Morris Brown in fighting this transaction and won out. They
joined Central Congregational Church and helped Morris Brown to elect her first trustees, William Small, Aaron
Boney, William Hunter, Jerry Goodman, William Smith, with William Brown as the first president.

The Louisiana Congregational State Association met with Morris Brown in 1880 and the kitchen in the yard was built
to help entertain the delegates. The simon tree in the garden was planted by sister Sofia Plymoth who died at the
age of 105 years.

The officers of the Morris Brown auxillary of the state union for the first year were Mrs. Mary Mitchell, president and
Miss Cecilia Jackson, secretary.

The Faith Cadets, a military organization was organized and held its meeting here. When war was declared against
Spain in 1898, a number of men volunteered and joined the 9th U. S. vol. Inf. Immunes, as part of Co. A. James C.
simpson, captain, G. H. Nelson, 1st Lieutenant; E. H. Phillips, 2nd. Lieutenant. Three of Morris Brown boys, Eugene
Tate, Spencer White and John Davis were buried beneath Cuban soil. In the World War (I) 16 of her boys entered
the service of our country. One, Robert Lewis, lies in Flanders field.
Bishop Morris Brown
2nd Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rev. J. M. Brown
Rev. Ware
Rev. John Turner
Rev. Johnson Reese
Rev. William E. Brown
Rev. Isaac H. Hall
Rev. I. H. Hall