Houston-Area Church Spotlight: Wesley AME Church
Pastor Leo Griffin and Evangelist Mary Griffin

Wesley AME Church has been in existence for well over a century, and from year one to now, it has lived up to its initial mission “To minister to the social, spiritual and physical development of all people.”

Learn more about this historic church located in Houston’s Third Ward by reading the info below.


Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Church, located in the Greater Third Ward Community, had a very humble beginning in the rear of a rope factory on the corner of Houston’s Milam and Congress streets. With less than a dozen determined souls, mostly women, the church congregation began to assemble.

The church was later moved to Preston Street where a small “box house” was built for worship. The name Wesley Chapel A.M.E. Church was recommended by Presiding Elder Rev. Henry White; confirmed by Bishop T.M.D. Ward; and dedicated in 1877. After several relocations over a period of 20 years, what was believed to be the permanent home for Wesley Chapel was purchased on the corner of Texas Avenue and Chartres Streets on September 5, 1897.  

Nine years later in 1906, The Houston Belt and Terminal Co. filed a condemnation lawsuit against the same property in an effort to expand its own terminal business. Thus, in November 1906, the present site was purchased at the corner of Dowling and Webster and a new building was erected known as “The Stone Church” or “The Rock Church.”

Later in 1925, this building was completely demolished as plans were developed for a new church on the same site. While the construction was in progress, the congregation worshipped for one year in The Old Jones Barn, a building on the corner of Dowling and Tuam that was also used as a movie theater.

In the 1930’s, a continuing phase of the construction project began while the congregation established temporary worship services in the Jack Yates High School auditorium on Elgin and Live Oak.  During this phase, the first floor steps were built projecting from the rear of the front sidewalk that led to the unfinished second floor which remained unfinished from 1925 through 1952 (27 years). Once completed, the interior of the second floor has served as the main sanctuary from 1952 to this day.

Over the decades, Wesley Chapel was blessed by the leadership of several dynamic pastors, including Rev. Dr. E.E. Coates, who held that position for 37 years. In 2002, Rev. Dr. Leo Griffin was appointed as the Pastor of Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and continued the legacy of significant accomplishments under his outstanding leadership, including: a change to the name of the church from Wesley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church to Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Church; acquisition of additional church facilities to house the Church School, Youth Church and Children’s Nursery; installation of a high-definition audio/video system for the main sanctuary and a digital video messaging system throughout the facility.  

Pastor Griffin started several programs to address the social needs of the Greater Third Community: feeding the homeless, distributing food for the youth weekend and summer programs, and providing various cultural enrichment activities for the community seniors.


Rev. Dr. Leo Griffin, Senior Pastor

Evangelist Mary Griffin

Rev. Sean Nickelberry

Rev. Darla Broden

Rt. Presiding Elder IC Cooper

Walter Cuby

Milton Davis

Rev. Bobbi Haynes

Rev. Charles Hudson

Rev. Dr. Ewart Jones

Rev. Sherri Samuels

Rev. Fred Reed




Lay Organization

Bereavement Ministry

Class Leader Ministry

Newsletter Ministry

Prayer Ministry

Teaching Ministry

Hospitality Ministry

Health Ministry

Women’s Missionary Society

Men’s Ministry

Children’s Ministry

Social Media/Marketing Ministry

Audio Visual/Sound Ministry

Music and Arts Ministry

Liturgical Dance Ministry

Mime Ministry

Step Ministry


Church School (In-Person & Online)

Sundays, 8:45a.m.

Wesley AME Church

Lower Auditorium

Zoom ID: 713 531 2719

Zoom Passcode: 2209713

Dial-In: 346-248-7799

In-Person Worship Experience

Sundays, 9:45a.m.

Wesley A.M.E. Church

2209 Emancipation Avenue​

Houston, Texas 77003

Phone: 713-659-6682

Virtual Worship Experience

Sundays, 9:45a.m.

Facebook Live: Wesley AME Church – Houston, TX

Online: www.WesleyAMEHouston.com

Zoom Dial-In: 346-248-7799 (Meeting Code: 713 531 2710)

Virtual Bible Study

Wednesdays, 7p.m.

Zoom ID: 713 531 2710

Zoom Passcode: 2209713

Dial-In: 346-248-7799

Prayer Line

Tuesdays, 7p.m.

Phone: 425-436-6200

Access Code: 752403


Website: www.WesleyAMEHouston.com

Facebook: Wesley AME Church – Houston, TX

Twitter: Wesley AME