Lee Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church at 913 Beaver St., Brownwood, celebrated its 123rd anniversary Sunday afternoon with a celebration of songs, prayers, Scripture and preaching.

Refreshments were served after the service.

The Rev. Darrell Turner, pastor of Wesley Chapel AME Church of Fort Worth, presented a message and he was joined by numerous members of that congregation. Also attending the service were members of other Brownwood congregations.

The Rev. Courtene'y D. Martin is pastor.

Named for Bishop Benjamin Franklin Lee (1841-1926), Lee Chapel AME Church was organized in 1888. Led by the Rev. George E. Smith, who also organized the first school for blacks in Brownwood, the congregation first held worship services in Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Later, services were held in a brush arbor at Smith's home.

The first church building, located at Cordell and Hendrick streets, was moved to the current site at Cordell and Beaver in 1906. Its history is documented with a state historical marker.