by: Bonda Garrison
President, Ormond Beach Historical Society
The Ormond Beach Historical Society celebrated May as National Historic Preservation Month by recognizing the Historic New Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 115 S. Yonge Street in Ormond Beach, with its Community Preservation Award. The award was presented by Dr. Philip J. Shapiro, OBHS vice president and preservation committee chair, to Rev. Floyd Narcisse and the congregation on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. at the church.
“The theme of Preservation Month 2022 is 'People Saving Places' and the leadership and congregation of Historic New Bethel AME Church have been an outstanding Ormond Beach example of people saving places since the church was constructed," OBHS President Bonda Garrison said.
The church was formed in 1885, by a small group of people gathered in a wooden building on a dirt road that would be later be named Yonge Street. The current building was built in 1926 from concrete blocks formed by the parishioners.
To further recognize local historic place-savers, the OBHS Board earlier this year launched this new recognition program called the Community Preservation Award. This award is intended to be given periodically to a person, business, or other entity to recognize and highlight preservation of historic homes, buildings and sites in the Ormond Beach area. The first recipient, the Ormond Beach Elementary School, was announced this past January.