Remarkable Ohio

Serpent Mound Marker
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11-77 The marker as of Spring 2006

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Side A: Wesley Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. This church, founded in 1866, is the oldest Black congregation in Akron. After worshiping in several locations, the congregation held a fund-raiser to help finance the construction of a permanent home. The person collecting the most money had the privilege of renaming the church. That honor went to Mrs. Belle (Smith) Wesley. Completed in 1928, the current structure is a Neo-Classical Revival style building, featuring a classical pedimented portico, or porch, and four distinctive ionic columns. An education wing was added in 1963 by the late Rev. Dr. E. E. Morgan, Jr. Akron Black architects Herbert L. Wardner and John O. Somerville designed the church, and then a Black contractor, Samuel Plato, completed the structure. The church has long been a vital religious and social focal point for Akron's Black community. The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was organized at Wesley Temple. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places 3/19/94. Side B: Same. Same