Standing Together: Restoring Goodwin

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Work to raise funds to help Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church restore their historic 1910 building continues!


Over $40,000 has been raised already. 


On that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen,
and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old. (Amos 9:11)

History. Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church is an African American congregation located at 41 Woodside Avenue in Amherst. The congregation grew out of the Zion Church originally constructed in 1869 with assistance by Amherst College as the first African American community in Amherst. Goodwin is part of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, an independent African American denomination founded in 1822.

Restoration needs. The chapel building, which was constructed in 1910 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places, is in need of extensive repairs. The building requires a new oil burner and other immediate repairs totaling $13,000 and additional restoration needs totaling at least another $40,000. The fundraiser will help the congregation meet urgent needs as well as raise matching funds for the more extensive restoration the building needs to continue serving the local African American community for many years to come.

The Interfaith Opportunities Network held two fundraising events on Saturday, October 26, 2019. 100% of receipts for both events are going to the building restoration fund of Goodwin Church. Many Amherst-area congregations, businesses, and individuals are joining together to support this effort.

Benefit Dinner. A wonderful harvest meal, prepared by members of Goodwin Church and other area congregations, was served to overflow capacity of over 200 people in the parish hall of Grace Episcopal Church. 

Benefit Concert. The Oct. 26 events concluded with a joyful benefit concert that filled First Church of Amherst. Performers included:

  • Goodwin Memorial Choir
  • Juliana Ward (sacred dance)
  • Annie Patterson & Mary Witt
  • The Gospel Resurrect Choir of Amherst College
  • Leverett Community Chorus
  • John Sheldon 
  • Amherst Area Gospel Choir

Online fundraising site. Members of Hampshire Mosque created an online fundraising page providing a way that people at a distance could donate. This was done in part in gratitude for the interfaith contributions made to help open the mosque in 2017. This fundraising campaign concluded on November 8, 2019. Funds collected were added to those raised by the Oct 26, 2017 programs and direct gifts sent to Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church.

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2019 – The Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst held a special collection for Restoring Goodwin Church. Roger & Jacqueline Wallace described the project and its importance to our community.

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2019 – Celebration of the new Amherst History Mural (which includes Moses Goodwin) took place at Amherst West Cemetery on Triangle Street. Amherst Area Gospel Choir sang and members of Goodwin Church gave a progress report on the Restoring Goodwin Project.

From Hampshire Gazette:

You can still mail donations made out to “Goodwin Church” (earmarked for “Restoration”) to Roger Wallace, 41 Jenks Street, Amherst MA 01002. We will continue raising funds for the Goodwin building restoration project into 2020. Donations of any size are deeply appreciated!

For more information email: info@interfaithamherst.org