” In September 1891, Peter Blakely called together a group of people in an effort to establish the first Black church in Rockford. They met in the home of his mother-in-law, Maria Donley, who lived at 212 South Main Street. The Donley home became their meeting place until December 1891, when they were able to purchase a small house located at 206 So. Winnebago St., the present site (in 1980) of Allen Chapel. The present building was erected in 1917. Later, the church was dedicated as Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, by Bishop Archibald J. Carey, in 1920.
Text source: the 1980 Anniversary program of Allen Chapel
Picture: the 1954 Anniversary program of Allen Chapel
Source: Vertical File of Booklets and Programs, Local History Room, Rockford Public Library