As being one of the oldest and first black churches in Fort Wayne, we named it after Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, the first bishop of the AME church, and born a freed slave in South Carolina in 1834. Our very first church was purchased back in 1869, which it was located on the southeast corner of Webster and Washington Streets. After 46 years, the church grew and found a new home.
Construction began on our new church back in 1915. It took two years to complete. It sat on the same lot as the first church and was served as the East Wayne Street Center. Another 46 years go by, and we're growing again and needing a new home.
In 1963, under the leadership of Rev. & Mrs. S.D. Hardrick, we found our new home, which is where we are today. It was purchased from Calvary Evangelical Church on the corner of Jefferson Blvd. and Harmar Street in Fort Wayne. After extensive renovations, Turner moved in on January 3, 1965.
Rev. Kenneth Christmon
With 18 years of progressive leadership, Reverend Kenneth Christmon serves as the senior pastor of Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Pastor Christmon has an extensive background in serving the African Methodist Episcopal Church and higher education. By fusing these qualifications, he's keen on producing a better, educated community. Before becoming pastor of Turner Chapel, he was an educational and faith-based consultant for AME churches across Indiana and the nation. In this role, he was a motivational/keynote speaker and also provided his experience in grant writing and educational support to the churches.
With distinction, he served as the Director of Admissions & Presidential spokesperson for Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. There, he worked with leaders such as Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake, U.S. Congress, Ret., Bishop William P. Deveaux, Bishop Greg Ingram, and a host of other national faith leaders. For each, he was an ear of confidence, and a trusted opinion on how to advance community engagement.
Pastor Christmon is bi-vocational. With over 20 years experience in higher education administration, enrollment management DEI, and consultation, he is presently advancing the Human Resources conflict and mediation programs at Purdue University Fort Wayne. He has been recognized by Purdue University with three major awards. Two for research grants and a lifetime achievement award entitled the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's Dreamer Award. Pastor Christmon is the current Chairman of the Board for the Fort Wayne Urban League.
He has two sons Jackson Isaiah and Kenneth Tziyon.