St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1865, two years before Nebraska achieved statehood. The first congregation for African Americans in Nebraska,
The church building was designed by Clarence Wesley “Cap” Wigington, one of 59 black architects during this time. With the leadership of Rev. W. T. Osborne, the first African American minister assigned to work in Nebraska, the church prospered for five years. Membership grew from the years 1912-1917 to 390, which encouraged the construction and relocation of the church. The church moved from 24th Street to its present location shortly after this time.