OUR PASTOR,

Reverend Larry Donnell Jennings, Sr.

 

Reverend Jennings is an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He was born in Brooklyn, New York the 5th of ten siblings and was educated in Brooklyn School system. He is now the very proud Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church of Huntington, New York June of 2008-present.

          

Prior to coming to Bethel, Huntington, Rev. Jennings previously pastured St. Paul A.M.E. Church of Brooklyn (East New York) 13years, and Bethel A.M.E. Church, Babylon, New York 9 years.

              

Rev. Jennings presently serves as the newly elected President of the Huntington Branch NAACP, Member of the Dolan Family Health Center’s Advisory Board, Huntington Ecumenical Ministerial Alliance and Vicinity, the A.M.E. Ministerial Alliance & Vicinity, Black Jewish Clergy for Justice board member, past Town of Huntington Action Collation Task Force headed by Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and Delores Thompson and Past Anti-Gang task force put together by Congressman Steve Israel for Suffolk County.

              

Rev. Jennings was formerly employed many years by the JPMorgan Chase Inc. as an Outgoing Distribution Specialist-Coordinator, Proof and Reconcilement Specialist.  His secular education includes Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, College of New Rochelle’s SNR, where he holds the Bachelor of Arts Degree. His Theological Training comes from Master’s Divinity School, and presently, Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio, where he is working toward completion of the Master of Divinity Degree.

              

Rev. Jennings lives in Huntington Station, New York with his loving wife Valerie of 18yrs, One Son, Larry Jr. who is 17yrs of age, and one Son, Wendell (30), who resides in Kansas City, where he serves in the United States Army’s Infantry Division.

              

One of Rev. Jennings’ favorite passages of scripture is from Philippians 4:13 “I Can Do All things Through Christ who strengthens me.”

OUR CHURCH

Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest African American church in the Town of Huntington , was incorporated in 1843.  The Church, located at 291 Park Avenue, has served as a beacon for the African American community for offer 174 years.  Some of the original incorporators of the Church were brickyard workers employed in the Crossman Brickyard in West Neck, currently known as Lloyd Harbor.  Some of the founders of the Church and their families are buried in the small cemetary behind the Church.

As indicated in the "Historical Sketch" written by former pastor the Reverend Chas I. Wilson, the earlier records of the Church are said to have been destroyed by fire.  However, in 1845, Bethel had a considerable membership: (according to Prime's Eccelesiastical History, the congregations numbered 52) and according to oral history, earlier prayer meetings and religious services were held in the homes of members living in the Wall Street area.

On June 5, 1843, the first incorporation was affected.  The certificate of incorporation, found on record at the County seat, in Riverhead, Long Island, shows that the male members of the African Methodist Episcopal Ebeneezer Church met in the Methodist Episcopal Seminary for the purpose of electing five trustees for the Church.  Charles Burch was the secretary of the meeting and the Reverend William Moore, Elder in Charge, presided.  The Trustees elected were:  Smith Green for one year, Peter Crippen and Oliver Strong for two years, and Nelson Smith and Joseph Lawrence for three years.  The incorporation was recorded November 27, 1843.  On November 2, 1844, the congregation purchased a building know as "The Seminary."  It is not clear when the name Bethel was adopted; nevertheless, some time between November 2, 1844 and March 13, 1854, Ebeneezer was dropped and the Church became known as "The African Methodist Episcopal Church of Huntington."

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