Established in 1833, St. James AME Zion Church is the oldest church in Ithaca, New York. St. James is part of the African Methodist Espiscolpal Zion Church denomination known as “The Freedom Church.” The denomination was established to provide equal opportunities for Black congregations to lead and participate in church life that white leaders of the church had historically denied Black members. St. James continued this legacy of activism throughout its history, including serving as an important transfer point for freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad. Prominent abolitionists including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman spoke and attended service at St. James. Today, the church congregation continues to keep this history alive, and it remains an active space of worship for the Ithaca community.