In 1867, the black members of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church South withdrew and established their own church. For a short time, they met in a brush arbor near the site of their present church. Their first church building was destroyed by a storm. The present church building was built in 1902. Members did most of the construction of this building by working at night. This is one of the few churches in Perry County that features a side steeple. The building also features decorative shingle work, circular vents, and Gothic arched windows. The church was named for Paul Quinn, an educator and later a bishop of the church.
Quinn Chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a contributing property to the Uniontown Historic District. The church is located beside Highway 80 just west of downtown Uniontown (GPS coordinates 32.449197,-87.517147).
Following is a story that has been passed down by church members about an encounter experienced by Reverend Lazther Garner, a previous pastor of the church. One night, members of the Ku Klux Klan got Reverend Gardner out of bed and carried him into the woods. When crossing a creek, he asked for permission to pray. He was given permission but instructed to do it quickly. He knelt down in the creek and began to pray. When finished, he got up and found that he was alone. At first he was afraid to leave because he did not know where the Ku Klux Klan members had gone or what they might do to him if he left. He finally decided to try to find his way home. On the way out of the woods, he happened across two of the clan members. They asked him if he was a preacher. He said that he was. They said, “Parson, preach the Word. We are not going to harm you and we are going to see that no one else does.”
Source: Brief History Of Quinn Chapel A. M. E. Church (provided by Quinn Chapel).
Pictures courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.