BETHEL A M E CHURCH
Pastor William C Perkins and First Lady Rose Perkins
Reverend William Perkins was born January 24, 1942.  He attended west side public schools and finished at Waterloo East.  He was in the upper part of his class scholasticaly and was a First Team All-State basketball player in 1960, graduating the same year.  He accepted the call to the ministry in 1970 after several years serving in various capacities of Payne AME and accepted the pastoral duties of Coplin Chapil, Fort Dodge in 1981 as an ordained minister.  He was ordained Elder in l984 after completing the four yerars of study outlined by the Chicago Conference.  Rev and Mrs.. Perkins served Coppin Chapel congregation from 1981 (driving every week to Ft. Dodge)  until Oct.. 2004, being transferred to Bethel AME Cedar Rapids in October 2004.. 
.   My wife and I feel blessed to be a part of this fine Bethel Cedar Rapids congregation and endeavor to improve the church, make it better than we found it and to be a blessing to the people here

Bethel AME, although not the largest in Cedar Rapids,  is the  oldest  predominately black church in Cedar Rapids. 
The land where the church stands today was donated to the church by John F.and Mary A. Ely in 1874.   The Original deed for land is shown    The building was completed and dedicated on  July 1, 1876

                                                         Original Church built 1876

The house pictured to the right eventually became The Rice Funeral Home

Original wooden Bethel Church is in the background.  Picture date unknown

Interior of old wooden Bethel AME
dated approx

Bethel Church 1931 cornerstone laying


Bethel Cornerstone 1872-    1931

                                                 Current Church 512 6th Street SE

                                                                   Bethel Sunday School
front row; unk McFalls, Marilyn Carr, Joyce Collins, Billy Collins unk,unk,Unk, Paulette Gibson, Olin Gibson, Darlene Turner, Delores Gibson, Bobby Atkinson, Ray Turner, Dixie Carr, Billy Davis , Stevan Taylor , Sharon Wilson  Marva Jackson, Connie Rice, Bev Taylor, Norm Lewis, Jamie Philips, Charles Dillingham, Eddie Davis Teacher Evelyn Smith
Pastor's wife Mrs Copeland, Gloria Phillips, Charles Alnutt, Charles Castine, Keever Davis, Teacher Marjorie Smith

5 generation

L to R;  Connie Rice. Herschell Pickens, Ruby Hudson, Keith Brown, Carole Reed, John Wesley Collins, Kay Perkins
         Pastor Theodore Hudson  

Beatrice "GoGo" Kramer
"Mother Bea" as she is affectionately known, is a life long member of Bethel African American Methodist Episcopal Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Mother Bea has the longest membership (living) and is also the
eldest member (age wise).   Mother Bea is presently represented by five generations, as pictured  - all attending Bethel.  Daughter: Joanne Howard;  granddaughter, Wendi Cooks; Great-grand daughter, Erica ;and Great Great Grand son, Kaine 
Mother Bea has a BIG smile and a BIG heart as she approaches an upcoming "99th Birthday"  
on July 23, 2012        



                 Mt Zion Missionary Baptist Church

In 1914 the congregation obtained property on
624 Eighth Street SE on which the first Church structure was built.

Mt Zion Church built 19-- on the same 8th street locality

Mt Zion 2009 After the 2008 Flood
Located 13-- 3rd Ave SE


                   Mt Zion Baptist Church  Located at 6621 C Ave NE
Web site for the current church is:

                                                             Mt Zion SILVERLITE SINGERS 1957

                                         Link to "SENDING UP MY TIMBER" featuring Mr. Dawson                                                          



                                      CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST

730 H Street S W.
Established by Pastor Louis Charles Colbert and  First Lady Betty M. Colbert

The church was founded in 1946 and existed until late 1959, when Pastor Colbert accepted another position.


The church was originally located on the corner of 15th street and 13th Ave SE.  The building was moved and restored as an historical site to Ushers Ferry Park in Cedar Rapids.  The building was purchased and pastored by Viola Gibson's father around 1918.  It was subsequently pastored by Elder H.G. Darden and then by Viola Gibson herself.

                                                                    Rev. Viola Gibson


  Donald H,        Elaine V     Grace K    Mary McE      Delores Collins    Carol T    Margaret Ann
             Loretta S        Robert T
Father Joseph Servay.   Marvin M       Virgil H       James J         Gerald Sherwood,        Tony R