by Arida Wright
Cornish Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church is celebrating 154 years of diligent service to the Key West Community and they are inviting you to a Gospel Jazz Concert fundraiser. The event will take place on April 20, 2019. Show starts at 6:00 pm featuring guest recording artist Mr. Terrance Young from Columbia, SC. Tickets are $25. Doors open at 5:30 pm at 702 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL.
This will be a great event! Funds from the event will help restore our historic sanctuary and our historic stain glass Eye Of God window that was damaged during the hurricane.
We need your help, we need your support, so please come and join us.
For tickets or more information please contact Rev. Rochelle Pearson at (305) 517-6611.
Thank you and God bless you.
About the historic Cornish Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church at 702 Whitehead Street
“Sandy Cornish was an African-American farmer, businessperson, and civic leader in Key West, Florida. Cornish was born a slave in Maryland in 1793. In 1839, his master hired him out to a railroad-building project in Port Leon in Florida’s Panhandle. The position allowed him to earn money for himself, and after nine years of work at $600 a year, he was able to purchase his own freedom and that of his wife Lillah. However, the papers showing him to be free were destroyed in a fire. Lacking proof of his emancipation, he was seized by slave traders, but managed to break free. The next day he gathered a crowd of onlookers in Port Leon. He loudly proclaimed that, having purchased his freedom once, he would not return to slavery under any circumstances. He then deliberately maimed himself, stabbing his leg, slashing the muscles of one ankle, and cutting off a finger of his left hand, which he proceeded to sew back on with a needle and thread. These injuries made him worthless as a slave and thus immune to recapture. Friends took him home in a wheelbarrow, and he eventually recovered his health. Around 1850, he and Lillah bought a farm in Key West, in the area that is now Truman Avenue near Simonton Street. Selling vegetables and fruits to local residents, he became one of the richest people in Key West. He was a leader of the local black community and the founder of the Cornish Chapel of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, now the Cornish Memorial AME Zion church and chapel, which still stands at 702 Whitehead Street.” ~ from Key West Historic Marker Tour: for more information about the history of the Cornish Memorial church click here.