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Sundays @ Metro

597 Bergen Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07304

9:30AM Sunday School
10:00AM Morning Worship

1st Sundays:

Holy Communion

2nd Sundays:


3rd Sundays:

Youth Church

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20/20 Vision

Metro-Spec, our 501(c)(3)

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Verse of the Day


Weekly Ministries

Tuesdays at 12:00PM

Free Bread and Pastries Bible Study

Thursdays from
1:00PM to 2:30PM

Free Lunch

About Metropolitan

The Vision of Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church is to lead our Community as the most innovative source of Urban Ministry, first rate Christian Institute, and the most trusted, committed, and compassionate voice for human liberation while helping people find a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Our Pastor
Our Story
Our Denomination

Rev. Eli D. Smith, Pastor

Rev. Eli Dwight Smith was called into the ministry on August 17, 1975, preaching his trial sermon at St. Augustus A.M.E. Zion Church in Kinston, North Carolina, under the pastoral leadership of the late Rev. Dr. A.E. Harris, Sr. Born the eighth of nine children to Mr. & Mrs. Roy & Helen Smith, Rev. Eli D. Smith was raised and received his formal education in Kinston, N.C. He later attended Livingstone College and Hood Theological Seminary, in Salisbury, N.C., where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 1977 and his Master's Of Divinity in Theology in 1980.

Rev. Eli D. Smith has been blessed with a variety of experiences, to name a few:

  • He tutored young people in an after school program in Salisbury, N.C.
  • In 1978 he worked for Church Women United in Rocky Mount, N.C. as the migrant ministry representative.
  • Since the onset of his ministry in 1975, he has pastured five churches: Hymn Chapel, St. Stephens, Green Memorial, Metropolitan and his present charge, Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church.
  • He has served his country in the U.S. Army as a Military Chaplain from 1981 to 1985.

Rev. Eli D. Smith is known as one who moves mountains and helps to bring about change for Christ. After his appointment to Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church in 1993, he has helped to improve the church by leading and encouraging his membership to reach out in faith to improve their lives, their church and encourage all those who enter as well as those within the community. Under the direction of God, Rev. Smith and the Shiloh Church family have and continue to make vast strides for the Lord and the church community in:

  • Purchasing a new church van to provide transportation for those who wish to attend church services.
  • Making improvements in the church and church property.
  • Providing the community with a SHARE program for purchasing food.
  • Providing an Outreach Program for Senior Citizens to study the Bible and do outreach ministry to the sick and shut-in at the Nursing Homes and Hospitals.
  • Providing free bread distribution to the community on Saturday mornings.
  • Providing a Summer Camp Program for the youth of the church and the community.
  • Providing a place where organizations can meet and discuss various issues of concern
  • Providing a Friday evening youth program, T.A.G. (Teach And Grow).

Rev. Eli D. Smith is known as a person who is serious about God, his church and the ministry of the church. He is currently Chairperson of the Board of Examiners for the New Jersey Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Rev. Smith devotes a portion of his time providing direction and leadership to the local preachers at the church and assists in the training of ministers through the Jersey City District School of the Prophets. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Staten Island and a former member of the Advisory Council for Public School 18 in West Brighton. Reverend Smith is married to Dale Smith and is the father of three children, Albert, Erica and Dewight.

Our Story

Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is the oldest African-American congregation in Jersey City. New Jersey. The church was organized in 1846 by Rev. Timothy Tate, in the Fourth Street home of Mrs. Ashby, Named Saint Mark A.M.E. Zion Church, the congregation made its first annual report at the New York Annual Conference in May 1847. St. Mark moved into a location on Monmouth Street, near First Street, and worshipped there for many years. In an 1869-1870 directory of the A.M.E. Zion Church, Rev. Josiah Biddle was listed as the pastor.

In May 1913, Rev. J.M. Hoggard was sent to Jersey City. The congregation moved three times before building a church of its own at 679 Communipaw Avenue. In 1929, Rev. Elias S. Hardge was sent as pastor. The Great Depression made it difficult for the church to maintain its property; it turned it over the New Jersey Conference.

The members worshipped in Long Branch, NJ for a several years before moving back to Jersey City and worshipping with Calvary C.M.E. Church. In 1936, Saint Mark bought a club house and bowling alley at 37 Virginia Avenue, reorganized and changed its name to Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church. Rev. Hardge served for 20 years.

Rev. David Cecil Lynch was sent to Metropolitan in 1949. Under him, the church purchased a parsonage at 702 Ocean Avenue. A sanctuary was built in the Virginia Avenue location for $64,800 and dedicated the first Sunday of April 1962.

Following the retirement of Rev. Lynch in May 1965, Rev. Andrew Wesley Mapp was sent to Metropolitan the first Sunday of September 1965. When the opportunity arose to purchase a house next door to the church that would serve as the parsonage, the members approved.

Later that year, Brother Cornelius Parker advised Rev. Mapp that the Emory Street Methodist Church at 597 Bergen Avenue was for sale. The officers and members inspected church, liked it and sought the approval of Bishop Smith to purchase the property for $80,000.

Two years later, on Wednesday, March 27, 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made one of his last speeches in New Jersey to an overflow crowd at Metropolitan. Eight days later, on April 4, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.

The year 1970 marked two more milestones for Metropolitan. The church mortgage was burned and a parsonage at 14 Highview Road was purchased. Sadly, Rev. Mapp was called to receive his heavenly reward on October 24, 1985.

Presiding Elder Rochester served as supply pastor until the first Sunday of February 1986, when Rev. George W. Maize II was sent as pastor of Metropolitan. He soon launched an effort to renovate the sanctuary and the Price Building. With the support of the Trustee Board and Chairman Augustine Montgomery, the church secured a $250,000 bank loan for a major renovation. In August 1997, a break-in and fire caused extensive damage to the Price Building. Trustee Board Chairman Rodney Hairston spearheaded the restoration effort, and when the work was completed, he stepped down and was succeeded by Chairman Myron Bush. In 2007, Metro-Spec, Inc., Metropolitan’s community development corporation was awarded a $250,000 grant for modernization of the Price Building. The work was done under Trustee Chairman James Woods and continued under Chairman Theodore West.

At the May 2007 New Jersey Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church, Rev. Maize was elevated to Presiding Elder of the Jersey City District of the New Jersey Conference. Presiding Elder Theodore Calhoun Sr. served as supply pastor until Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett, Jr. appointed Rev. Nathaniel B. Legay as pastor of Metropolitan on Sunday, July 1, 2007. Rev. Legay, who some 30 years earlier had received his calling at Metropolitan, had returned home. In 2008, he was reappointed by Bishop Louis Hunter, Sr., the Presiding Prelate of the Mid-Atlantic 1 Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church. At the May 2019 New Jersey Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church, Rev. Eli D. Smith was appointed by Bishop Dennis Proctor., the Presiding Prelate of the Northeastern Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church.


Coming soon!

The A.M.E. Zion Church

Our Beliefs

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church professes the historical faith in God, who by Himself – outpouring, was manifest incarnate in Jesus Christ for our salvation. By God’s grace and the power of His Holy Spirit all believers become the new humanity. The incarnation having reached its completion in Jesus, who is the Christ, is continuing in the Church and is overcoming the calamity of the human predicament. We strive in the hope that the Church will grow from sinful existence through purification to oneness with God.

Our Heritage in doctrine and our present theological task demand that we renew our faith and understanding of the love of God, our Father, and the Lordship of His Son, Jesus. We believe that all who have faith in Him will be empowered and invigorated by the Holy Spirit to risk all for the reconciling work and fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.

Our Heritage

Zion Methodism grew out of the merciless enslavement of our African forefathers. They were kidnapped from their native land, chained, shackled, and shipped as beasts in deplorable conditions to a strange and distant land, having no family, no culture and no language. Yet, our fathers and mothers were comforted by the Lord God, through Jesus Christ, in the cotton fields and every place of their humiliation and degradation revealing to them that He would always be with them as He had been with them in the past. When Jesus, upon whom the Spirit of the Lord had descended, was preached at John Street Methodist Church, they united with that fellowship. However, bigotry and oppressively cruel barriers confronted them. The Spirit of the Lord led them in the establishment of Zion Chapel (which later became The Mother Church of Zion Methodism) where the gospel of His redeeming grace could be experienced. Taking with them the doctrines, discipline, and polity of The Methodist Church, they proceeded in the establishment of Zion Methodism. They believed that God had called them out of their bondage and had chosen them to be His people and a channel of His redeeming love for all people.

We believe and understand today that, in the Divine Economy, Zion Methodism is to make disciples of all persons throughout the earth, to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the Year of the Lord’s favor. We are to continue this mission until Christ, God’s Son, shall come again.

Mission Statement

The mission of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is to increase our love for God and to help meet the needs of humankind by “Loving God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with our entire mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Implicit in this statement is the belief that the church should have a positive relationship to humankind horizontally. We also share in the mission of His Son Jesus Christ, in “healing the sick, helping the blind to receive sight, the lame to walk, the leper to be cleansed, the deaf to hear, the dead to be raised, and the poor to have the Good News preached to them.” – Luke 4:18.

We actualize this mission by praising God, by being obedient to the demands of the Gospel, by telling the story of God’s gracious acts in creating and redeeming the world, by inviting persons to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and by serving as ministers of God’s liberating and reconciling grace.

Along with its emphasis on ministry and social change here in the United States, the denomination has focused much of its attention and energies on outreach abroad. To date, the AME Zion Church has member churches on all continents except Australia. In West Africa, in particular, the denomination has set up numerous schools and clinics throughout Ghana and Nigeria. The Church also has facilities in Liberia, though some of its main structures have been destroyed by civil war.

Overseas missions are a crucial component of the AME Zion Church's outreach, but the denomination believes in charity starting at home. That is why, over the years, several individual churches have implemented programs to help families to find low-income housing, jobs, financial planning assistance, health care and day care services. "Our concern is for the whole person," says Bishop Cecil Bishop, the (retired former) senior bishop of the AME Zion Church. "We have a holistic approach and a holistic gospel. We don't feel that we live in a kind of compartmentalized sense, but that life is a complete whole. So we have to be concerned about all of those amenities of life that help make up wholeness in an individual."

The outward person is important, but the primary focus of the AME Zion Church remains spirituality and "sharing the good news of the gospel," says the former senior bishop. As we, the AME Zion Church continues to expand and diversify its ministry, we also are preparing to lead an ever increasing youthful church body into the next century.

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Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church
Sanctuary Address:

597 Bergen Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Office Phone:


Mailing Address:

140 Belmont Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Email Address: