The Grand River Historical Society Museum of Chillicothe plans to move the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Chillicothe to a location near the museum Wednesday.
Museum Curator Pam Clingerman says the church was donated to the museum, and the museum has spent the last year raising funds to relocate the building with a basement foundation now in place.
Once the building is moved, the museum plans to replace its roof, install new heating and cooling, and restore it. Clingerman says Bethel was thought to be the first AME church built north of the Missouri River after the Civil War with the church built in 1868 and closed around 2010.
In 1866, Moses Dickson joined the AME Church in St. Louis, became an ordained minister and was the driving force for AME churches in Missouri, including Chillicothe in 1868. Chillicothe was the first AME Church north of the Missouri River with the church in Chillicothe remaining active until 2010 when it closed due to continued declining membership.