Courageous Women

First Black Churches

First Black Churches

Jarena Lee (1783-1849) was the first female preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. She left her Philadelphia home in 1824 to visit Baltimore then travel and preach throughout the the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her autobiography, The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee, contains many references to people and places in Caroline and other Mid-Shore Counties, including many of the earliest Black Churches.