Our Story


Shorter Chapel was organized just before 1868. In 1873, the Trustees of Shorter Chapel started negotiations with the Trustees of the White Methodist Church (First Methodist Church) to purchase a plot of land on Church Street in Franklin, Tennessee. On May 12, 1873, the Trustees of the two congregations met and signed the deed giving Shorter Chapel the property which included a parsonage. Research revealed that the bricks were made by slaves and that the church had been used as a hospital for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

In 1923, the members decided it was time to relocate. Land was purchased in the heart of the Black Community, now known as The Historic Natchez Community. To preserve the historical status of the church, the original bricks of the church were carried either by hand or by wheelbarrow to the present site. Because of its history, Shorter Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church is listed on the Tennessee and National Historical Registries.

Shorter Chapel is a "Tie to the Past and a Link to the Future".

Meet Our Pastor

The Reverend Kenneth H. Hill, Ph.D., has been appointed as pastor of the Historic Shorter Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Franklin, Tenn.

Rev. Hill comes to Franklin as a retired Executive Director of Christian Education of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; he was assigned to Shorter Chapel after serving as Presiding Elder of the Louisville-Paducah District, in the West Kentucky Annual Conference; 13th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Church. His teachings span across universities and seminaries throughout the country.

He is the author of several books including his most recent: "Religious Education in the African American Tradition", Chalice Press.

Rev. Hill completed his Masters of Theology from Harvard Divinity School, and his Doctorate of Philosophy degree at the University of Michigan. He brings to the ministry an educator's mind and a pastor's heart. These qualities serve him well as he labors with a view to lead the Church into the future.

Rev. Hill is married to Dr. Roberta Hill. They have five children and four grandchildren.

Picture of Rev. Kenneth H. Hill, Ph.D.

Our Beliefs



The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ's liberating Gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the needy through a continuing program of (1) preaching the gospel, (2) feeding the hungry, (3) clothing the naked, (4) housing the homeless, (5) cheering the fallen, (6) providing jobs for the jobless, (7) administering to the needs of those in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, asylums and mental institutions, senior citizens' homes; caring for the sick, the shut-in, the mentally and socially disturbed, and (8) encouraging thrift and economic advancement.


"God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family."


I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. The third day he arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church Universal, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.


Shorter Chapel is a member of the 13th Episcopal District. For more information, visit The 13th Episcopal District.


For more information on the AME Church, visit The AME Church Official Website.