Places of worship, regardless of their religious ties, created a gathering place for families and offered various services to the community. The majority of the black churches in Beloit opened early in the Great Migration years, giving migrants a place to worship when they arrived.
Bethel AME, the oldest black church in Beloit, was founded by 22 people in November 1881. The church was organized by Jesse S. Woods, a Beloit College alumnus. Bethel AME was the first Black Church to be founded in Beloit and for some time, until the founding of many fellow churches in 1917, it was the only one.
In an article titled “Three Quarters of a Century and More," in 1925 Emmanuel Baptist Church started a hot lunch program for the needy, a Learning Center with homework assistance for students, and a Social Action Committee that assisted with voter registration.
This exhibit was created by Beloit College students Nathan Lemke '22 and Katelynn Sinclair '20.