On May 10, 1846, a group of African-American residents of Wilmington who had affiliated themselves with the African Methodist Episcopal Church held a meeting for the purposes of electing trustees and organizing as a corporate body. At the time, approximately 15 families were meeting from house to house, worshipping under the direction of ministers from Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church in Philadelphia. The following September, the congregation purchased land at 12th and Elizabeth Streets on which a church was to be erected. The new Structure was dedicated in April 1847.
In 1853 the congregation relocated to a site at 6th and Penn Streets. They continued to worship there until 1865, when their need for a larger building led them to purchase the present site, where the Zion Evangelical German Lutheran Church then stood. The old building was used until 1878, when it was demolished and a new structure was built here.